Universities will soon be required to submit their academic journals to the Commission for University Education(CUE) before they are published in the respective journal sites.CUE said it is currently working on a standardised policy on journal accreditation, which all universities will use for their publications.Speaking during a CUE staff sensitisation workshop on scholarly publishing and dissemination of scientific information, Prof. Jackson Too, the Head of Research Department at CUE,said the commission has already met representatives from 42 universities to discuss how to standardise the policy on journal accreditation.Prof. Too addedthat the Commission has developed criteriathat will be used to evaluate journals received from universities to ensurethattheyare credible.
“Majority of the academic journals published in Kenya are not subjected to rigor that a refereed journal should go through. Journals must have arobustpeer review process that guarantees quality.Wewant to do this with a lot of caution. Our work as the regulator is to ensure that universities have adhered to laid down procedures, without interfering with their independence,” Prof Too said.
He added that CUE has benchmarked with South Africa and is ready for the task.
Prof. Grace Njoroge, Deputy Commission Secretary (Accreditation)addresses CUE staff during the sensitisation workshop. The training was organised by CUE’s Head of Library and Information Sciences, DrBeatrice Odera-Kwach and facilitated by Dr. Paul Gichohi from Kenya Methodist University
In her opening remarks, theDeputy Commission Secretary (Accreditation),Prof. Grace Njoroge,saidCUE has reviewed standards in research for universities asstipulated in the Universities Act to guide in the use of copyright laws and plagiarism.“We as CUE should set standards for research. Research is not complete until you tell the world what you have found out”, said Prof. Njoroge who spoke on behalf of the Commission Secretary/ CEO Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwi.
Prof. Jackson Tooaddresses staff during a CUE sensitisationworkshop on scholarly publishing and dissemination of Scientificinformation held at the Commission offices inGigiri from 4th to 5th November 2019.
Prof. Njoroge also asked the staff to adhere to ethical rules when it comes to publishing, which includeobserving copyright laws and how to utilise e-contents without infringing on the authors/publishers’rights.
The two-daysensitisation trainingfor CUE staffwas organised by CUE’s Head of Library and Information Services,Dr. Beatrice Odera-Kwach.
With regardto accrediting universityjournals, Dr. Odera-Kwach saidthat the Commission will determine, in consultation with the universities, which lists of accredited journals and indices are approved in terms of the policy being developed by CUE.
The training was facilitated by Dr. Paul Gichohi, a University Librarian at Kenya Methodist University. He presented the following areasto the staff:Integrityissues in scholarly publishing; Riseof predatory publishing and its implications,Characteristics of predatory publishers; Criteria for determining predatory publishers; Overcoming predatory publishers; Overcoming predatory publishers; Principles of transparency and best practices in scholarly publishing;Code of conduct for journal publishers;Poor journal standards and practices;Plagiarism and plagiarism software;Upholding ethics and honesty in research and publishing;Intellectual property rights;Access, selection, retrieval, use and dissemination of Information; andWriting for publication including publication structure and process.
He noted with concernthe rise inacademic dishonesty in higherlearning institutions.For instance, some academics falsify research data in their publications to get promotionsor in the research findings to receive funding. The trend, he said,was worrying at the Masters and doctorallevels.
Dr. Gichohi called on CUE and other related agenciesto be at the forefront in stoppingpredatory journals whose main purpose is financial gain rather than the quality of research
“We need to have a structured guide on scientific publishing practices. We also need to establish our own local journals that are governed by an accrediting body. This could be CUE,” he said.
All Public Entities arenowrequired to publish their tenderawardson the onlineGovernment portal at the end ofevery Quarter foreasy access bythe public.
Mr Thomas Otieno, the managerofCapacity Buildingat the PublicProcurement RegulatoryAuthority (PPRA), said this is a directivethat government agenciesshould followto enable eligible biddersto prepare accordingly.
“We urge you to make it routine to publishall planned tenders on yourdigital platforms,including websites.This will cushionyou from legal battles and prevent any eligiblebidder from being locked out of the tendering process because they have failed to submit a singledocument,”said Mr Otieno, who was speaking during a recent procurement sensitization workshop for the Commission’s top management at Lake Naivasha-Panorama ParkinNakuru County.
He added that there isalso need for government entities to embrace green procurement practicesas enshrined in new procurement law.
This refers to the purchase of products andservices that have no negative effect on the environment.With climate change and global warming taking a toll on the environment, there is need for public organizationsto adopt green procurement practices to help conserve the environment, he said.
"You mustalsodemonstrate as Commission for University Education that you are promoting local contentby purchasing locally manufactured goods and services.This meansthat 40per cent of your tenders must be awarded to local manufacturers,”added Mr Otieno
Commission Secretary/CEO Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwi (second left) and members of CUE Top Management, Heads of departmentsduring a training held at the Lake Naivasha Panorama Park from22ndOctober 2019 to23rdOctober 2019.
The training focusedon the following areas:
1.The role of procurement in prudent management of public resources;
2.The public procurement legal provisions with an emphasis on the PPADA, 2015;
3.The Supply Chain Management Process and the role of each player (accounting officer, user department, procurement function, evaluation committees, inspection and acceptance committees, contract implementation committees anddisposal committees among others);
4.The integration of procurement planning in the budgeting process;and
5.Work plansand the link with procurement planning.
The training was also facilitated by Mr Joseph Malonza fromthe National Treasury. Mr Malonza exposed the CUE managementon the planning cycle in public institutions, implementation strategies, performance managementandthe
organizational budgeting process.
He urged the Commission to sensitize its bidderson the procurement processand make the whole process transparent and satisfactory.
He also highlighted the overview of Kenya’s Vision 2030 and CUE’s rolein achievement of these planned national objectives. TheCommission Secretary/CEO ProfMwenda Ntarangwi, who officially opened the event,thanked the two facilitators for thezeal and passion demonstrated in the training.
“We are looking forward to come out as better informed people. Wewill not hesitate to askfor your expertise in training our other colleagues,”ProfNtarangwi said.
The two-day training organized by theHead of Supply Chain Management Phyllis Karimi was held from 22ndand 23rdOctober 2019.
The Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board (KMLTTB) visited the Commission for University Education on Wednesday, 1st October 2019 to seek a partnership that will allow both regulatory agencies to work closely in streamlining Medical laboratory Science courses offered at varsities across the country. At a meeting chaired by the Secretary/Chief Executive Officer Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwi, the team from KMLTTB shared details of their work and how it intersects with that of the Commission.
Speaking during the meeting, Prof. Ntarangwi, expressed the need to have the two agencies work together to ensure that universities comply with the laid down standards and regulations that guide the training of medical laboratory technicians. The KMLTTB team was led by the Board’s Registrar Abdulalif Ali who shared a report on the current status of Medical Laboratory Science training programs offered at a number of universities in Kenya.
The report was based on inspections of some 13 universities in Kenya that offer training of Medical Laboratory Sciences at degree and diploma levels. The report was prepared after a study to ascertain whether the universities have complied with the set standards and regulations.
Commission Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwi (centre) addresses a team from the Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board during a consultative meeting to harmonize accreditation of Medical Laboratory Sciences offered at various universities in Kenya.
The Universities inspected were: University of Nairobi, Technical University of Mombasa, Moi University, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenyatta University, Kisii University, Kenya Methodist University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Maseno University, Technical University of Kenya, Mount Kenya University, University of Eastern Africa Baraton and Alupe University College. The team shared its recommendations for each of the universities listed. Some of the recommendations given to specified universities were as follows:
• Abolish training of Diploma course in Medical Laboratory Science due to inadequate resources;
• To discontinue Medical Laboratory Science programme and transfer students to approved programmes;
• To stop further admission of students into Medical Laboratory Science programme until compliance is attained.
“This is actually a continuation of our meeting to collaborate and partner in work to be able to achieve what is required of the two regulators and to harmonize academic courses” Mr. Ali said.