What you need to know:
- Lecturers argue that the guidelines are discriminatory and unfavourable to the academic staff.
- The policy gave the institutions five years, from October 24, 2014, to stop hiring assistant lecturers.
Lecturers now want a review of their promotion guidelines that were developed by a higher education regulator in 2015.
They argue that the guidelines are discriminatory and unfavourable to the academic staff.
University Academic Staff Union (Uasu) Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga said since 2015, only a handful of institutions have promoted lecturers, with the rest freezing appointments.
“Uasu wants the development of an equitable appointment and promotion criterion for academic staff,” Dr Wasonga said.
He added that the policy was developed without input from lecturers.
“The documents have serious shortcomings on how qualification of staff is assessed for appointment or promotion, leading to haphazard implementation, poor career development and pervasive staff disenchantment,” he said.
“The lacunae in policy for vertical mobility has given rise to brain drain.”
The policy gave the institutions five years, from October 24, 2014, to stop hiring assistant lecturers.
All university teachers were to be PhD holders.
Lecturers with master's degrees were reduced to tutorial or junior research fellows, commonly referred to as teaching assistants.
Data by the Commission for University Education shows that more than half of the country’s 10,350 lecturers do not have PhDs and that 4,394 students or one per cent of the total population of learners are enrolled for doctoral programmes, making it difficult to implement the programme.
The rules state that in determining suitability for appointment, staff would be evaluated on the basis of qualification, experience, research and publication, quality teaching and learning, administration and responsibility, community engagement and other contributions.
In the current guidelines, a graduate assistant must have at least an upper second class honours degree and should be registered for a master’s degree.
A tutorial fellow must have bachelor’s and master’s degree and should be registered for PhD.
A lecturer should have a PhD with at least three years teaching experience at university level with a minimum of 24 publication points, 16 of which should be from refereed journal papers.
Senior lecturers must have a PhD with at least three years of teaching experience at the university level or six years research industry experience.
They must also have a minimum 32 publication points as a lecturer, of which at least 24 should be from refereed scholarly journals and must have supervised at least three post-graduate students to completion.