Crackdown continues:Universities blocked from enrolling new students

22Jul 2016
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Crackdown continues:Universities blocked from enrolling new students

THE ongoing crackdown on academic fraud in the country has taken a new twist with the state-run Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) now barring fresh student enrolments at at least six local universities for various education-related reasons.

In its Undergraduate Admission Guidebook for Higher Education Institutions in Tanzania released yesterday for the 2016/2017 academic year, the TCU made it clear that the cited universities were blocked from admitting new students until they fulfilled certain standard requirements.

The barred institutions are the International Medical and Technological University (IMTU), St. Francis University College of Health and Allied Sciences (SFUCHAS), and University of Bagamoyo (UoB), all of which have been ordered to stop enrolments for all tuition programmes.

Others are St. Joseph University College of Engineering (SJUCET) – also blocked from enrolments in all programmes - University of Dodoma (UDOM) and State University of Zanzibar (SUZA), both of which have been told to halt fresh student enrolments for their respective Doctor of Medicine degree programmes.

According to TCU director for admission and documentation Dr Kokubelwa Mollel, the six affected institutions of higher learning have been stopped from taking in new students for the time being after a recent official inspection which discovered various anomalies in essential infrastructure and the quality of education provided by them.

Among the more serious shortcomings discovered were that some of the universities did not have the type of laboratory facilities necessary for the nature of courses offered, Mollel told The Guardian.

“All the affected institutions are aware of these findings because we shared with them,” she added.
On Tuesday this week, the education ministry threw out over 7,000 students from the University of Dodoma (UDOM) following a probe that established that they had been enrolled for a special teaching diploma course despite lacking the minimum academic qualifications for admission.

The next day, the ministry announced a bigger operation to identify and remove not only current learners but also past graduates who had gained admission to any local university in a similarly irregular manner.

According to the responsible minister Prof Joyce Ndalichako, past graduates caught in the dragnet will have whatever certificates they earned at university rendered invalid and the government will even ensure they are ejected from any jobs they are now holding on the basis of those ‘invalid’ paper qualifications.

“This operation will start immediately after the completion of the current one meant to flush out ghost students who receive state-sponsored loans from the Higher Education Students’ Loans Board,” Prof Ndalichako said, adding:

“We won’t spare anyone…we will go through all student names from freshers to finalists currently in local universities, as well as past graduates. Entry qualifications are very clear so there will be no room for maneuvering.”

In effect, if the growing concern that many students have been gaining entry to higher learning institutions through the back door is true, the ministry’s new move may end up effecting hundreds if not thousands of past and present students.