Only 25 Engineering courses are accredited in universities

Only 25 Engineering programmes are accredited in Kenya today, the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) has disclosed. EBK chairman Maina Wanjau, said so far, only University of Nairobi, Egerton, JKUAT and Moi University have accredited engineering programmes.

He said Moi University has 13 approved and accredited programmes, being the largest number. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has six programmes, UoN five and Egerton only one.

Mr Wanjau said the board has also met with seven other universities and have agreed on the way forward. These are Dedan Kimathi University, Multi Media University, Technical University of Mombasa, Kenyatta University and University of Eldoret.

“The universities and the board developed an acceptable way forward for each of the application of programmes for accreditation,” he said.

He said the assessment of a university’s capacity to run an effective Engineering programme must undergo five stages. He, however, said the board conducts preliminary evaluation before making an accreditation visit to the university.

He said in the first instance, the board evaluates the submissions of the university with regard to the programme design, curriculum content and the proposed teaching staff.

Once the board is satisfied that the programme is adequate and that the university is adequately resourced, accreditation visit is done.

“The accreditation visit assesses the university infrastructure and provides an opportunity for visiting team to assess qualitative factors such as intellectual atmosphere and morale; professional attitudes and quality of staff and students,” said Wanjau.

Engineering Courses Accreditation Process

He said five other stages are followed in the entire accreditation process.

The first stage, he said, is the programme design, which assesses whether the programme is intellectually credible, coherent and meet national needs, the needs of students and other stakeholders.

“An assessment is made on whether the programme maintains an appropriate balance of theoretical, practical and experimental knowledge and skills,” he said.

The second phase is curriculum design, which assures foundation on mathematics and basic sciences.

It also looks at the broad preparation in engineering design and an exposure to non-technical subjects that complement the technical aspects of the curriculum.

Faculty staff establishment is another criteria. Here, the agency checks whether the faculty devoted to the programme is large enough to cover, by experience and interest, all of the curricular areas.

“We ensure there are sufficient number of full time faculty members to ensure adequate levels of students-lecturer interaction, student counseling and faculty participation in the development, control and administration of the curriculum,” said Wanjau.

He said the programme requires that competent thematic leaders be available to offer the leadership in each discipline.

Wanjau pointed out that training facilities and institutions infrastructure is another criteria.

EBK ensures the university has suitable and adequate learning venues, libraries, laboratories, workshops, information technology infrastructure and all other facilities necessary to adequately train competent engineering graduates.

Finally, the regulatory agency ensures that the training duration is optimum. “The board recommends a training period of five years in Kenyan education system to adequately cover the engineering curriculum,” he said.

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