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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mandatory entry into EAC varsity forum

The Inter University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) is currently working to ensure that all universities in the region are mandatory members of the regional body.

Currently, of the 22O higher institutions of learning in East Africa, only 93 are members of IUCEA.

“At the moment, it is voluntary, but once the new law is enacted by next year, then it will be mandatory for any higher institution of learning in the region to be part of the body,” IUCEA Executive Director, Prof. Mayunga Nkunya, said during the just concluded Higher Education Forum in Arusha.

The new legislation, according to Nkunya, will have benchmarks to ensure quality academic standards.

Regional ministers in charge of higher education will meet in Kigali early next month to discuss the act before sending it to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) for enactment.

“The ministers want the act to be in place as soon as possible because the current law is too weak and it doesn’t address issues pertinent to the region,” Nkunya said.

Meanwhile, participants at the EAC Higher Education Forum organised by IUCEA, yesterday derided regional universities that still don’t meet quality standards and called for a strict quality assurance framework.

Kenya’s EAC youth ambassador, Milly Mbedi, emphasised the need for scrapping off the current requirement of student passes, saying that this contravenes the free movement of people as provided in the Common Market Protocol.

“We would like to see more tailored courses at universities that will give way to job makers as opposed to job seekers like the situation is today,” Mbedi added.

Burundi’s EAC Youth Ambassador, Desire Bigirimana, said it was important to involve industries in the development of university curriculum and development of research projects.

By Gashegu Muramira

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