Friday, June 14, 2024

University Of Nairobi Degrees And The American Education Standards

University Of Nairobi Degrees And The American Education Standards
University Of Nairobi Degrees And The American Education StandardsIt is regarded as one of the best University in Africa where more than 180,000 students have graduated since inception in 1970 but when one seek accreditation using the given transcript, you will not qualify to register for any board examination anywhere in the world.

The University of Nairobi was ranked position in Africa and 697 in the world ahead of all other universities in the region and thus confirming its place among the academic giants worldwide.

The ranking placed the University among the top universities worldwide out of 720 best ranked higher institutions of learning.

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The rankings attest the stiff competitive position the University of Nairobi has steadily maintained in the world and in short it has established itself as a world class university committed to scholarly excellence.

However, those ranking , position and description of scholarly excellence is all but a mistaken belief, and sheer imagination  for after arriving in a foreign country especially in Britain and America , that degree certificate one carefully carry along with, is just a piece of useless paper without enough credits to be referred to as a full degree.

The transcript write up given for example can be challenged by a middle school transcript in the US and the accreditation body simply advice many to repeat certain subjects as they fall short of credits to qualify for a full similar degree in United States.

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Take for example a degree in Architecture from University of Nairobi which if compared to the same degree in the US lacks 53 credits after evaluation by NAAB,.. the accrediting body that regulates University education standards in America. (facts from past experience by Kenyans currently in the US)

The highly respected Architects trained at University of Nairobi will not automatically qualify to sit for board examination  in America after evaluation and one have to study further to be certified.

Architecture degree in US require one to study humanities, …English and literature included and one needs a total of 9 credits  hours to be certified ,….something not included at University of Nairobi course structure.

Architecture at the University of Nairobi until recently did not require one to study English, and humanities as prerequisites but those subjects are mandatory in the US.

Theory of structures studied at University of Nairobi have a deficiency of 6 credits compared to US structure, …Building Technology has 6 credits deficiency and many others like ecology, history of Architecture and even law in professional practice  just to name a few.

The only subject that students qualify and even have more than required accumulated hours is design thesis but all the rest that student go through during the five year program  at University of Nairobi,  lacks the minimum requirements according to American standard.

After presenting transcript provided by University of Nairobi in America, you will be evaluated and the accrediting body after scrutinizing will further advise you to go back to accredited college to gain more credits in order to qualify to sit for the board examination.

The minimum years to rectify the said deficiencies for a degree like Architecture accumulated to 53 credits is two years if you study full time or even five years if you study with breaks and in short, its like repeating the degree.

University Of Nairobi Degrees Do Not Meet American Education Standards



Many get discouraged or cannot even afford to pay for their education and survive at the same time and give up …thus resulting to doing meager jobs that are easily available.

Some convince themselves that they will do the meager jobs for a limited time but eventually, many find themselves doing the same odd jobs 10 years down the line.

When you compare the struggle Kenyans go through to get registered as professionals in various disciplines in United States, one fails to understand how foreigners including Americans are easily registered in Kenya by just taking and passing the simple board examination.

To prove how disorganized lecturers are, the University of Nairobi does not issue detailed transcript but only a sketchy summary of subjects passed because in the first place they have none. (shady badly typed transcript issued )

They do not have records of detailed weekly or monthly continuous assessment that students in America easily obtain and thus not able to produce when requested.

After requesting transcript from Kenya, all one gets is a summary showing the grade obtained and the grade given as a percentage, and thus making it impossible to relate and compare with credit hours system in America.

It is my wish if education was made universal in terms of teaching so that it does not matter which country one come from if all degree course structure were made identical or equivalent to be acceptable anywhere.

The same also applies to trained doctors from University of Nairobi after relocating as the story is the same and they too are required to repeat certain papers in order to be allowed to sit for the board examination.

Engineers and teachers are also in the same category as one will not automatically sit for PE, or get a teaching career in America without repeating the degree or obtaining more required credits hours to qualify.

The University of Nairobi should act without delay to maintain its status and further take time to compare their education curriculum with those of other great Universities so that it can obtain equivalent status.

The above disparities in education equivalence between Kenya and America hint out why immigrants graduates from Kenyan Universities or even other African countries cannot easily transfer their education and be able to get jobs related to the degrees one acquired.

It is sad to imagine that even after studying at Princeton University the so called Ivy league, the person entrusted to structure the then University of Nairobi, Professor Josphat Karanja or his counterpart Professor Mungai, never took any initiative to elevate the University to acquire  accreditation status with American Universities.

It is with those few remarks to further urge the University of Nairobi to streamline the curriculum and raise the institution to universal standards to enable those immigrating to easily transfer their credits and be able to practice in all disciplines anywhere in the world.

If the situation remains the same, the so referred to as academic giants will be dwarfed the moment they relocate and it can be traumatizing to receive a disturbing letter from the accrediting board that reads “we are sorry to inform you that the degree presented fall short of minimum credit hours required”

Many have voiced their concern and we are optimistic that soon the main Universities in Kenya will uplift academic standards and eventually liaise with accrediting bodies especially in America  so that degrees offered can be evaluated in advance.

D.K.  Gitau

Kenyan Parents in USA

University Of Nairobi Degrees And The American Education Standards

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  1. Hey. Thanks for your comments. I am a product of only two institutions: Tande and the University of Nairobi where I am pursuing my PhD. I am an architect. Shame on you! To graduate with a bachelor degree from UoN takes six years, not five. Trust me, it is easier to get a PhD in the USA or Europe than it is at UoN. The question therefore is, which standards are higher? Be patriotic, Gitau. I study to serve my country, not the USA. Learn from China and their concept of ideas and things with “Chinese Characteristics. “ Let us move from the mediocre thinking that American standards are world standards. Let us embrace our unique continental requirements and the attendant standards. For instance, who will want to pay for the cost of a building designed to strictly adhere to European standards? And remember that the climate and culture in Europe are different from Kenya?

    • Mr Nyogesa, I share the same resentment as you. It takes forever to curve the UoN courses. That is why it is hard to register a new course because it goes under high scrutiny. Secondly it has to meet the country demand and current situation. I can attest to the fact that getting a masters or phd in science UoN is so hard.

      I took Conservation Biology at UoN while my classmate did a similar course in US. She completed within 2 years… I didn’t. I actually did her project work while I couldn’t finish up on my thesis. The demands on my thesis project were so high. Minimum 9 months of work. 6 months data collection. Her project took 1 Month. I wished I went to US too because it was so easy. She wished she had stayed in Kenya because the skills I acquired were much better.

      Secondly as Nyogesa said, the US standards are nothing to look up to. Why didn’t you compare to the British, because that is the education system we adopted.

      Here is the thing, when China is majoring in ensuring their architecture students are innovative enough to ensure the building they come up with can withstand earthquakes, others like Mexico are more concern about the buildings that can withstand storms. What am saying is, the countries craft their courses in accordance to their needs and none should feel more superior than the other. Look at this as you compare.

      About English, English is taught in Kenyan high school as a requirement. Don’t get me started on how we are loosing our culture and languages because of this. Instead of withholding our swahili until it is recognized as an international language, we are ready to embrace English. If you want to study in France especially under scholarship, you have to undertake french as a language. Do you think we require students to study swahili if they come to Kenya.

  2. You have no clue what you are talking about since you just joined University when things are streamlined. You never read properly for if you did you will note my comment where I said Department of Architecture have complied to make it Universal.
    I studied when the degree was equivalent to seven years not 6 like you are implying. We did A-levels then 5 years at Gilman heights. One had a choice to do 3 years in BA in Architectural studies and then go back and do 2 years in MArch. It then changed to a 5 year degree program where students would get BArch . That is the course I did and graduated in 1981. Yes that is the issue. Humanities with English language was not mandatory then. Today it is and that is what we are talking about. Come to America with your PHD and if you qualify to sit for board examination with the required preliquisites then you will be special.
    We are trying to make reciprocal easy, we are not challenging the education but it has to be universal.
    Guys are bright but just get your transcript and you will not be able to convert them to credit hour system in America.
    So do you see we are different 6 year guy verses 7 years.

  3. On that note Mr Nyingesa please on Monday since tomorrow may not be possible, go and talk to Mr Kamau Karogi, or Tom Anyamba or Mr Kungu.
    I believe Mr Kamau is still the chairman or better still Tom the smiling professor is a good guy .
    Tell him DK says the degree should relate to American NCARB requirements especially in General education which is the problem many are experiencing here in America
    Tell especially Mr Karogi to make sure students have Natural science, Social science, Humanities, Mathematics, English Grammar and speech, English composition….all taught at university level total hours equivalent of 88 semesters.
    Tell him also theory of structures , environmental control and structural systems has a deficiency of 3 credits.
    Even with your PhD without those I have mentioned, you will not be able to sit for board examination in America.
    Tell them to detail transcripts not the final grade received.
    Do me that favor and you will make life easy for many Kenyans immigrating and cannot practice in America without have to go back to college.
    It’s not for my sake am retired… it’s for the future young ones that are relocating.
    Long live Golan heights.

  4. Thanks Gitau,

    Information is power. And that is what your article has done. I suggest you do an email to the department at UoN. I think it will help, in case they won’t read your article.

    On the other hand, please do a follow up article that Nurses with Bachelor of science from the University of Nairobi can practice anyway in the world including the USA as long as you get a board authority to sit for NCLEX and you pass. And in some cases diploma in nursing holders too from Kenyan colleges with certain additional requirements.

    That is an exception Sir.

    Regards, from a Registered, BSc.N Nurse.

  5. I have written to the Department of Architecture many times and have followed the issue.
    I will simply tell them to get all degrees equivalent to US as majority suffer when they come.
    Grades given should match those of US for as it is now a C in Kenya is fail in America.
    No one can sit for any board exam direct after producing the transcript. Doing Masters or PhD is easy in America but we are concerned about to be able to practice without being told your degree fall short of hours in certain subjects.
    Nyongesa May say shame on me without knowing that even with PHD you will not sit for board examination of a simple subject is missing or if credit given at undergraduate has deficiency
    That is the issue

  6. Dear Rose
    It’s good to comment on grammar but am quick to note that you cannot even construct a sentence.
    The word enormous cannot be used to describe excess.. you cannot continue a sentence with I after enormous. So before you comment not the content of the information it is meant to convey.
    After it’s acted on we will edit the same.

  7. Dear Agnes
    You missed the point as we are not talking of doing Masters or PhD that is so different.
    The issue is to sit for a board examination in the US, they will get your transcript from Nairobi and then compare with the US degree structure.
    If the subject was not taught at University level, you will not sit for board examination.
    If you look at the subjects I mentioned like English and composition, if you never did them at university level, you will not sit for the board exam.
    That is the subjects that need to be universal. Even UK you will not sit for the board exam without them.
    It’s the equivalence we are talking about.
    Doing Masters with degree from Nairobi in USA is easy but to sit for board not only in Architecture as also Engineering and medicine is the same and its almost impossible. In short all degrees are not equivalent to American standard. They show 65% in your transcript as a C but in America it’s a fail.
    That is the issue.

  8. I received a reply from universities to the effect that University of Nairobi is ISO 9001.2015 certified but that is not the issue.
    The issue was whether they have fulfilled the education standards to make the degree in Archircture acceptable by the Accrediting board NAAB.
    Without the mentioned subject meeting the required credits, whether certified or not you will not qualify to sit the board examination and have to repeat.
    It’s not Architecture alone as also medicine is in the same category.
    University should present transcript or the degree structure to NAAB and they will know what the issue is.
    No one qualify to sit for board examinations with UON transcript.

    • I received a reply from university to the effect that University of Nairobi is ISO 9001.2015 certified but that is not the issue.
      The issue was whether they have fulfilled the education standards to make the degree in Architecture acceptable by the Accrediting board NAAB.
      Without the mentioned subject meeting the required credits, whether certified or not you will not qualify to sit the board examination and have to repeat.
      It’s not Architecture alone as also medicine is in the same category.
      University should present transcript or the degree structure to NAAB and they will know what the issue is.
      No one qualify to sit for board examinations with UON transcript.

  9. I’m not surprised. Our education system is now completely useless. How are the younger generation going to cope with the industrial revolution that’s going to disrupt people? Funny how many argue about embracing Swahili and Kenyan culture instead of thinking critically. Poverty is going to hit hard in the future.

  10. You should consider pulling down this article! The title is alarming and a lot of facts are wrong!.This article is actually making it hard for Kenyans in diaspora(With UoN degrees) to get Jobs in the US. It’s the first thing that appears on google when someone with no clue about UoN gets when they google if UoN is accredited .


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