The Tanzania Commission for Universities, or TCU, will not withdraw its decision to bar 19 universities, including three international institutions, from admitting new students for the 2017-18 academic year starting this September, owing to concerns over quality.
The TCU Acting Executive Secretary Eliuther Mwangeni told University World News the ban was still in place and none of those universities listed will be permitted to admit new students.
The commission issued the order in July this year following a 2016 finding that they were providing poor quality education.
The TCU has also stopped the admission of students to 75 bachelor degree programmes in 2017-18 from 22 universities and colleges, including the University of Dar es Salaam and University of Dodoma.
“Due to limited requirements found in certain colleges and universities, a total of 75 programmes from 22 universities in the country have been suspended for the coming academic year 2017-18,” Mwangeni said.
However, he said the ban will not affect the continuing students in the universities and those undertaking the banned 75 courses.
The University of Dar es Salaam was barred from admitting students to the Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering and Mechanisation degree programme as well as the Doctor of Medicine courses, while the University of Dodoma was barred from admitting students to the Bachelor of Science Petroleum Engineering and Bachelor of Management Science programmes.
The suspended programmes will affect students seeking to pursue bachelor, masters and PhD degrees.
Among the 19 universities prevented from new enrolments, three are international universities – Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Kenyatta University of Kenya, and Kampala International University of Uganda.
According to Mwangeni, a universities' probe conducted in September and October last year revealed that the universities were not fit to admit first-year students until they addressed the concerns raised by the probe.
Mwangeni said the report is not available to the public, but it identified poor quality education, poor infrastructure and lack of qualified lectures.
“The universities were directed to start working on the spotted irregularities and seek fresh assessment and validation from responsible authorities before TCU can then allow them to admit new students,” said Mwangeni, adding that all institutions with flaws were given 14 days to correct and submit their reports to the commission for further review.
“Already, some universities are ready to be validated but the earliest they will be allowed to admit students is the next academic year – 2018-19,” he said.
The affected higher learning institutions include: Kampala International University (Uganda), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya), Kenyatta University (Kenya), St Joseph University College of Engineering and Technology, Eckernforde Tanga University, United African University of Tanzania, International Medical and Technological University, University of Bagamoyo, St Francis University College of Health and Allied Sciences, Archbishop James University College, Archbishop Mihayo University College, Cardinal Rugambwa Memorial University College, Marian University College, St John's University of Tanzania Msalato Centre, St John's University of Tanzania St Marks Centre, Teofilo Kisanji University, Tumaini University Makumira-Mbeya Centre, and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli endorsed the decision by the TCU to ban the universities from admitting students. In a statement, he said: “The commission had done a wonderful job to bar the universities from admitting new students in order to ensure quality education.”
Nearly 33,000 candidates who sat their form six national examination in 2017 scored first and second division passes to qualify for direct entry into university. Over 20,000 others with division three passes and below are also expected to seek enrolment in colleges for training that corresponds with their scores.
In 2016, TCU banned two universities – St Joseph University of Science and Technology and International Medical and Technological University – over poor infrastructure in the institutions. The move affected over 2,000 students.
Receive UWN's free weekly e-newsletters