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Students want court to suspend pharmacy course and exams at USIU


A section of USIU students participates in a protest outside their campus in Nairobi on March 28, 2019. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • Students want the university to be forced to comply over the next year to allow them a smooth transition to formal practice.
  • They are worried about their chance to practice in Kenya as pharmacists, as the course is not fully accredited by the KMPDB.
  • USIU-Africa would also use a different scoring system from Kenya’s standard.

Pharmacy students from United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) sued the institution for allegedly failing to administer the course by Kenyan standards.

The 196 students now want the High Court to stop the university from teaching and administering course exams until the institution fully complies with the training rules.

“Pending the hearing and the decision of this request, a conservatory order will be issued prohibiting the defendant from exercising any academic activity which includes the offering and administration of examinations, the marking and the publication of results of the examinations taken by the applicants and the offer of courses for the applicants, ”reads one of the orders sought by the students who lodged a complaint with the Milimani courthouse in Nairobi.

Students want the university to be forced to comply over the next year to allow them a smooth transition to formal practice.

The USIU students’ decision is a break from the past where pharmacy students mainly blamed the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) and the Commission for University Education.

KMPDB accreditation

Students are worried about their chance to practice in Kenya as pharmacists, as the course is not fully accredited by the KMPDB.

They attribute the council’s failure to accredit the course to the university’s laxity in establishing basic training facilities and links with industry.

Among the functions of the board are the approval of training institutions for physicians, the accreditation of institutions and programs, and supervision of the internship program.

The students allege that the course offered did not meet the requirement.

They claim that only one year away from their graduation due in May 2020, they have yet to undertake compulsory secondment to health facilities, as the university has not entered into an agreement with any hospital. .

They further alleged that at the time of their admission in 2015, the university did not have any labs as it claimed in the course announcement.

They claim that the human anatomy lab was built three years after the start of studies, adding that even after it was built, they never used the facility for any training.

USIU-Africa would furthermore use a different grading system to the Kenyan standard for the evaluation of courses for the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree, which it had promised to take into account upon admission.

But despite students constantly raising the issue in various forums, the university reportedly neglected their advocacy until August 2018, when it proposed changing the grading system for the university as a whole.

Reject the proposal

The other students rejected the proposal, but the pharmacy students alleged that they accepted the proposal, which was one of their grievances.

The university senate approved the change in grading system for the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in January, but reportedly reverted to the previous one without consultation.

The students further accuse the university administration of having violated the provision of its own charter and its right to fair administrative actions, among other things, which they seek to resolve in court.


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