University council approvals
The University Council has continued with its mandate of ensuring the university achieves her vision through development and implementation of policies, regulation and guidelines
The University Council at a meeting held on 24th July, 2020 approved the following :
- Teaching Staff Appointment and Promotions Guidelines
- Revised Staff Scheme of Service
- Guidelines on postgraduate presentations via web technologies
- Amendments to the University Organization Administrative Structure
- Amendments to the Examination Irregularities and Their Penalties
- Amendments to University Schedule I: Regulations of Undergraduate Degree
- Guidelines on Online Learning Assessment and Examination
- Senate Approved Revised Programmes: September, 2019 – April, 2020
- On-line teaching
- Financial guideline on optimal class sizes
- Mount Kenya University Foundation and Chancellor’s Scholarships
- University Website Policy
- Mount Kenya University Associate Faculty Customer Care Unit
- Amendments to the Committees of University Management Board
- Containment Measures during COVID-19 Pandemic and the University Re-opening Plan
- Enhancement of E-Learning
- Partnerships / Collaborations
- ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System Audit
- Corporate Communications Activities
The University had been making reference to the Commission for University Education (CUE) Appointment and Promotion Criteria (2014) whose application ceased effective 11th December, 2019, after the Industrial Court declared the CUE guidelines null and void. In view of the gap created after the Court’s declaration, the university benchmarked on existing teaching staff appointment and promotion guidelines with other local Universities and developed Mount Kenya University Teaching Staff Appointment and Promotion Guidelines.
A Human Resource review process carried out with aim of realigning the existing jobs to the key institutional functions through four (4) phases outlined below;
- Review of the Scheme of Service (SoS);
- Review of salaries with regard to the current salaries and comparison to benchmarking findings;
- Review of the grading structure and
- Establishment of substantive job descriptions and grades for all staff in the institution.
The process was conducted through a collaborative approach and thus incorporated views and suggestions of the key stakeholders of the University fraternity. The review sought to address prevailing institutional challenges with regard to human resources and as such recommended several proposals for the re-alignment and grading of jobs within the University as well as terms of service. The key output of the process for the University approved by the University Council include;
- Revised Scheme of Service
- Revised Salary Structure
- Amended University Organization administrative structure
Due to the need to provide an opportunity for postgraduate students to present their work virtually where face to face presentation is not possible, guidelines on postgraduate presentations via web technologies were approved
The guidelines cover the following:
- Responsibilities of the student.
- Responsibility of the University.
- Examination of a research proposal presentation.
- Boards of Examiners meetings.
The University Council approved amendments to examinations irregularities on 23rd November, 2018. There have been several emerging cases in the examination malpractices as students are discovering new ways of cheating such as using fake or wrong registration numbers on answer booklets so that they can complain later of missing marks. As university administer online learning assessment and examinations, it has considered regulation of specific examination malpractices that may emerge.
The graduation ceremony envisaged in University Schedule I is one that requires a physical congregation, and subsequent award and conferment of diplomas/certificates and degrees, respectively.
In view of the current Covid-19 status in the country and future situations where physical gatherings may not be feasible, the University Council approved virtual graduation to be included in the Schedule.
In compliance with the presidential directive to suspend face-to-face learning due to COVID-19 pandemic, Mount Kenya University transited the face-to-face mode of teaching of regular, evening and weekend students to online learning.
In order to make provisions for online learning assessment and Examinations, Online Learning Assessment and Examination Guidelines have been approved.
The guidelines cover the following:
- Operational Terms and Definitions.
- Purpose and Scope
- General Examination Provisions for Virtual Assessment.
- Examination Dates.
- Examinations Types, Question Types and Examination Methods.
- Procedure for conducting online examinations.
- Procedure for Conducting Online Postgraduate Board of Examiners Meetings.
- Circumstances for Administration of Special Examinations.
- Staff and Candidates Capacity Building and Support.
- Reporting of the Examinations.
- Implementation modalities.
- Monitoring and Evaluation.
The revised programmes listed below were approved by Senate
|Programme||Justification for the revision|
|1.||Bachelor of Public Health
|To change the title of the curriculum from Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health to Bachelor of Public Health as recommended by the regulatory body.
|2.||Bachelor of Commerce||To include the Microfinance option. This is in consultation with stakeholders including Swiss Contact East Africa.
|3.||Master of Laws||To include a new niche area – International and Development and to have the curriculum approved by Council of Legal Education.|
Due to COVID-19 related issues, the university devised new platforms for delivery of lectures to the students which include:
- Teaching is being conducted using the Microsoft Teams and the Sakai platforms. These platforms allow effective interactions between the students and lecturers.
- Access to the Library is on EZ-proxy, a web proxy server is used by libraries to give access from outside the library’s computer network to restricted access websites that authenticate users by IP address.
- Lecture recording on TV47 to supplement on-line teaching.
The current quorums for minimum class size of 12 for undergraduate and 6 for postgraduate programs for classes are untenable due to the following reasons;
- Fees have been reviewed downwards severally without reviewing the minimum class size.
- There are many new programmes which have been mounted with different fees structures.
- The University direct and overheads costs have been increasing over time.
- The University has an increasing number of government sponsored students who pay less fees. Currently the University has 9011 government sponsored students out of a total student population of 36,811.
- In May, 2020, Kenya Universities and Colleges Placement Services (KUCCPS) placed 4,400 students for admission in Mount Kenya University.
The University Council approved programme minimum class sizes are as below:
|Programmes||Diploma & Certificates||Bachelors||Masters|
|Business & Economics||10||17||20||13|
|Pure & Applied Sciences||7||23||33||13|
|Computing & Informatics||11||28||33||13|
|Hospitality Travel & Tourism||8||24||35||13|
Due to the need to provide a framework for management of the Mount Kenya University Website to ensure accuracy, consistency and integrity of the content and identity of the University website, university website policy was approved.
The objectives of the policy are:
- To ensure accuracy, consistency, integrity of the content and protection of the identity and image of the University.
- To enhance the University national, regional and international visibility and create a strong brand in line with the Strategic Plan.
- To provide a set of mandatory guidelines for the Mount Kenya University Websites
- To manage and control the maintenance of the web content and development/review of the Website to ensure continued reflection of the true status of the University within its web space
Due to the need to mainstream matters related to the welfare of associate faculty, the Associate Faculty Customer Care Unit Committee (AFCCU) chaired by the Human Resource Director was approved by the University Council. The membership and terms of reference of the Committee are:
- Human Resource Director – Chairman
- Director, Information and Communication, Technology
- Finance Director, Reporting and Supervision
- Administrative Officer, Council Affairs – Secretary
Terms of Reference
- To develop system of receiving an addressing concerns from the Associate Faculty.
- To work in conjunction with other relevant University committees on matters related to Associate Faculty.
- To receive complaints and enquiries, verify and channel them to the relevant officer.
- To prepare reports and submit to the relevant Committee for consideration.
- To deal with any other matters related to Associate Faculty
The current committees of the University Management Board were approved by Council on 1st July, 2016. Due to emerging trends in the higher education sector, there is need to periodically review committees of the University Management Board with the aim of ensuring that their functions capture emerging trends. In light of this and upon consultation, the University Council approved amendments amendments to the Committees of University Management Board.
The current committees of Management Board are as listed below:
- Administration, Planning and Development Committee.
- Finance, Grants and Endowment Committee.
- Student’s Services and Alumni Affairs Committee.
- Academic and Research Affairs Management Committee.
- Corporate Services, Business Development, Quality and Compliance Committee.
- Steering Committee.
The amended committees of Management Board are as listed below:
- Finance, Administration, Planning and Development Committee (Chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Planning and Institutional Advancement)
- Students’ Welfare, Alumni and Career Management Committee (Chaired by Principal, Student and Alumni Affairs)
- Academic, Research Affairs and Grants Management Committee (Chaired by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Research Affairs)
- Corporate Services, Linkages and Quality Assurance Management Committee (Chaired by Principal, Corporate Services)
- University Management Executive Committee (Chaired by Vice-Chancellor)
Following the government’s directive to suspend face-to-face teaching and learning at learning institutions, Mount Kenya University suspended face-to-face teaching and learning on 20th March, 2020.
Regular students were transited to digital learning platform that has ensured continued teaching and learning at Mount Kenya University.
Following a request to universities and colleges by the Ministry of Education to prepare contingency re-opening plans and submit them by 25th June, 2020, a taskforce chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Planning and Institutional Advancement was constituted.
The University Re-Opening Plan after COVID-19 Pandemic was submitted to the Ministry of Education on 25th June, 2020.
Mount Kenya University strategies for compliance with Covid-19 containment measures are:
- Creation of Mount Kenya University (MKU) Health Technical Advisory Committee.
- Provision of adequate space for social distancing.
- Provision of clean running water and soap for handwashing.
- Provision of alcohol-based sanitizers.
- Frequent cleaning and sanitizing of often touched objects such as door knobs, light switches and stair railings with disinfectant.
- Mandatory use of face masks or face shields by learners, lecturers and non-teaching staff, service providers and visitors.
- Thermo guns for monitoring body temperature of all persons entering the institution and specific public places on campus.
The proposed dates for resumption of face-to-face teaching are 2nd September, 2020 and/or 4th January, 2021 subject to concurrence by the Ministry of Education.
- The E-Learning platform has ensured teaching and learning continuity at the time of disruption due to COVID-19 pandemic.
- In view of (i) above, E-learning Enhancement Committee chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Planning and Institutional Advancement was constituted.
- The terms of reference of the committee were:
- To conduct a detailed evaluation of cloud based emerging Learning Management Systems against Sakai with a view to determine the most viable Learning Management System for MKU.
- To integrate online library (E-learning books) with Learning Management Systems.
- To develop short courses for equipping the faculty with key aspects of online teaching.
- To explore the possibility of conducting online examinations.
- To explore modalities of partnering with internet service providers to ease access of e-learning platform by the students.
- To prepare weekly progress reports and make recommendations.
- To prepare and submit the final report to the Vice-Chancellor by 15th June, 2020.
The Committee submitted the report to the Vice-Chancellor on 23rd June, 2020.
i) On Matters related to evaluation of cloud based emerging learning management systems against SAKAI, the Committee reported the following:
a) The Canvas Learning Management Systems has the following merits and demerit.
|It has live support feature good in improving teaching and learning. Allows an instructor to create virtual conferences.||It has no elaborate tool needed for monitoring learner progress, measure results and drive growth.|
|Has anti-plagiarism functionality.|
b) The Brightspace Learning Management System has the following merits:
- It has features that include Brightspace Learning, Brightspace Repository, Brightspace Portifolio and Brightspace Assigned Grader.
- It allows Virtual Classrooms and Video Assignments.
- It can be intergrated with Google Apps for work, Microsoft Office 365 and Learning Tools interoperability (LTI) third-party integration.
On matters related to integration online library with the Learning Management System, the Committee reported that:
- Creation of E-Library accounts for lecturers.
- Creation of a link for E-resources in the students portal.
- Training of lecturers on use of e-resources is ongoing.
On Matters related to developing short courses to equip faculty with key aspects of online teaching. The Committee reported the following :
- Training of lecturers on SAKAI platform is ongoing.
- Developing of online pedagogical competency course is ongoing.
On matters related to conducting online examinations, the Committee reported that evaluation of various online Examination Management System including; Digi Examination Solution, Digi Examination with Microsoft Teams, Digi Examination with Proctoring tool and On-Campus Digital Examinations.
The committee has recommended that the University Management considers:
- Continuing with SAKAI but seek to enhance it by upgrading to version 20 and seek to move the hosting to the crowd.
- Using the tool of test and quizzes in the SAKAI platform to administer examinations.
- Integration of lockdown browser and proctoring applications with SAKAI
University Council has approved partnership between Mount Kenya University (MKU) and the institutions outlined below:
- MKU & Manchester Metropolitan University MOU.
- MKU & Health Management System Association (HESMA)
- INES (University of Applied Sciences, Ruhengeri, Rwanda and MKU.
- Gujarat University & MKU MOU.
- Amendment and Restatement of the Research Collaboration between Mount Kenya University & Osaka City University.
- Agreement between University Court of the University of Edinburg & Mount Kenya University.
- Mount Kenya University & BIDCO Africa MOU.
- Cooperation Agreement between Leipzig University and Mount Kenya University – African Center for Career Enhancement & Skills Support (ACCESS).
- Agreement between MKU & 2nd European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnerships Programme.
- MKU & Mentor Talent HUB MOU (University of Regensburg, Germany.
University continues to meet the ISO9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS) requirements.
Two internal audits were scheduled to be conducted in the year 2020. The first audit was conducted from 10th – 12th March 2020 in all the campuses and ODeL Centre’s of Mount Kenya University.
Results of the 10th – 12th March 2020 audit were as outlined below:
Conformity to a great extent
|Malindi ODeL Centre||70.25%|
|Kakamega ODeL Centre||85.7%|
|Kericho ODeL Centre||83.93%|
|Kisumu ODeL Centre||85.7%|
|Kisii ODeL Centre||86%|
Corrective actions on recommended areas of improvement are being undertaken.
Person to person online campaigns and social media have facilitated reaching target markets, especially during the COVID -19 pandemic.
The University increased partnerships and collaborations have increased the University online presence.
The University has been ranked in various independent surveys as follows:
|Type of Ranking||Position|
|Webometric ranking||Top 5 in the league of private universities
|Position 15 in the country in January, 2020 and improved to position 13 in July 2020 edition
|4ICU Ranking – UNIRACK||Position 8 out of 64 universities in Kenya, position 4 in private universities in Kenya and position 131 in Africa|
|Employability Survey||– Position 6 as most preferred university by employers in Kenya
– Position 4 of highest number of continuing students in employment in Kenya.
East African Community Partner States National Medical and Dental Practitioners Regulatory Councils inspected the Medical School and the university was in position 1 for Medical Schools in Kenya