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Jobs: Valueless degrees leave graduates exposed to rejection

By By Wachira Kigotho
Updated Mon, July 8th 2013 at 00:00 GMT +3

Some of the issues raised in this article are just the tip of the iceberg of the prevailing situation in higher education in Kenya and elsewhere that Kenyan students go to  for higher education.

For most young people, the nagging question is what has gone wrong with university education, taking into account that a degree has always been considered as an entry point to a good job and favourable future career prospects.

But what they do not know is that not all degrees are pointers to future success.

In essence some degrees, no matter how one looks at it, have too little value to help anyone   to enter the labour market with some advantage or even with scanty survival skills.

Bluntly put, some university degrees represent declining value for money and have many students and their parents worried whether the investment is worthwhile.

Nevertheless, despite these severe shortcomings, universities in Kenya and so many others in the region can become beacons of technological and economic transformation.

But for them to achieve that critical mantle, those universities would have to undergo radical reforms and stop behaving as siblings or equals of back-street academic garages.

Dr Bidemi says  professors and lecturers in public universities should be accorded time to undertake research, instead of being over-stretched in teaching courses that would better be offered in junior colleges. 

She argued that most lecturers are almost burned-out having been overworked and over-burdened. “Subsequently, there is need to control too rapid growth of programmes that are hastily marketed to students,” says Dr Bidemi.

For the government the time has come to show leadership not simply by urging vice-chancellors to raise sufficient funds by attracting many privately-sponsored students but to recognise that universities exist for public good and should be supported adequately.

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