Graduates Demand Ksh2.2M From University Over Unemployable Course

Graduands attend a graduation ceremony organised by a Kenyan University.
Graduands attend a graduation ceremony organised by a Kenyan University.

Three graduates from Egerton University are now demanding Ksh2.2 million from the institution after failing to secure employment, three years after graduating.

The trio, who are set to appear before the National Assembly Committee on Education on Thursday, March 10 to present their case, petitioned Speaker Justin Muturi in August 2021 claiming that they enrolled at the university in 2014 to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree (Water and Environmental Engineering).

The three, David Okoti, Ian Nyaga and Elvin Onyango, graduated in 2019 although the course had not been approved by the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK).

They argued that since graduation, they are yet to be accredited by the regulatory body hence they cannot offer their services professionally.

A signpost showing Egerton University
A signpost showing Egerton University.

"This is a direct implication that we cannot be registered by the Engineers Board of Kenya and offer professional services as Section 49 of the Engineers Act prohibits the employment of persons, not registered under the Act, from offering engineering professional services or works.

"Further, Section 50 of the Act provides that a person who is not registered as a professional engineer or firm shall not be entitled to submit engineering plans, surveys, drawings, schemes, proposals, reports, designs or studies to any person or authority in Kenya," read their petition in part.

They are demanding that the University be compelled to offer them eight remedial courses to enable them to upgrade their degrees to Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

They are further demanding a payment of Ksh750,000 each to facilitate their studies, translating to a total of Ksh2.25 million.

"Direct the University to offer us the eight remedial courses to bridge from BSc Water and Environmental Engineering to BSc Civil and Environmental Engineering at no cost in two months' time from the date of this petition.

"Direct the University to pay each one of us a total sum of Ksh750,000 (Kenya shillings seven hundred and fifty thousand only) to enable us to upgrade to EBK accredited BSc Civil engineering from another institution and finally," added the statement.

The graduates are also seeking to have the university stopped from offering the course which was launched in 1997.

There has been a noticeable shift in court rulings in the favour of Kenyan graduates who sue their former universities over courses they term as unemployable.

In July 2021, the Technical University of Kenya (TUK) was ordered to pay its graduates millions over what the court termed as useless degrees.

The 75 students had sued TUK over the quality of degrees and had unsuccessfully sought employment for nine years. They argued that the degrees they attained were not recognised by the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK), rendering them unemployable.

The lot joined the then Kenya Polytechnic in 2009 which was still a constituent college of the University of Nairobi (UoN). The institution was later awarded the charter and rebranded to the Technical University of Kenya.

The Technical University of Kenya
The Technical University of Kenya