Dar es Salaam. Hundreds of students from 14 universities in the country were yesterday plunged into uncertainty after the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) directed that they be transferred to other campuses due to irregularities at their current colleges.
TCU announced in Dar es Salaam that it had revoked the accreditation for two universities, ordered five to stop their curriculum activities and barred seven others from admitting new students.
TCU executive secretary Charles Kihampa said the colleges at which the students were studying lacked the necessary financial and human resources to provide quality education.
He thus ordered that their students be transferred with immediate effect. The two universities whose accreditation was revoked are Teofilo Kisanji University (TEKU-Tabora Centre) and St John University of Tanzania (SJUT-Msalato Centre in Dodoma Region). Those that were barred from admitting new students are Kampala International University-Tanzania (KIUT), Teofilo Kisanji (TEKU), Marian University (MARUCo), Cardinal Rugambwa University (CARUMUCo), Sebastian Kolowa(SEKOMU), St John University of Tanzania (SJUT-St. Mark’s Centre) and United African University of Tanzania (UAUT).
Prof Kihampa said, however, that the move would not affect continuing students.
“Continuing students are obliged to go on with their studies and should not be affected by the decision, but the universities should not admit new students at any level until further notice.”
Five other universities have been instructed to stop their teaching activities until the TCU issues further notice.
They are Mount Meru University (MMU), Bagamoyo University (UoB), Eckernforde Tanga University (ETU), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT-Arusha Centre) and Josiah Kunitaftia University (JOKUCo).
Leaders of students’ organisations reacted in disbelief, saying TCU’s decision had come at short notice as many students had a few months left to complete their studies.
A student leader at Eckernforde Tanga University (ETUSO), Mr Michael Mbezi, said,“We are really surprised by this decision. It clearly indicates that nobody cares about students from poor families. There are 342 of us expected to graduate in the next eight months. How come that we are being transferred to another university?” he queried.
He said that he wasn’t against TCU decision, but he expected to have been involved at the early stages before the decision was made.
Mr Mbezi revealed that he and other students had jointly written a letter stating the reasons as to why they would not accept to be transferred until the government intervened.
“We have students here who are working in Tanga, others have their families? We will write to (Education minister) Prof Ndalichako asking her to intervene,” he added.
For his part, Tanzania Higher Learning Institutions Students Organisation (Tahliso) secretary John Mboya told The Citizen that students who will be transferred to other universities were likely be affected if there is no proper grading mechanism at the universities they would be taken to.
“In 2015 students who were transferred to UDOM from St Joseph were seriously affected by the grading system that was far different from the one they were used to,” he said.
He pleaded with the institutions that will receive the students to create a conducive environment for the new students and enable them to adapt.
The Citizen contacted one of the effected universities. The acting vice chancellor of the University of Bagamoyo, Prof Elifuraha Mtalo, said the institution had stopped registering students since 2016 following TCU’s directive and currently had 154 students.