SAUT revokes degrees awarded to 162 medical doctors

What you need to know:

  • The degree for the 162 graduates have been revoked after refusing to return academic transcripts issued to them without the knowledge and endorsement of the University

Dar es Salaam. Panic and confusion gripped the academia yesterday after St Francis University College of Health and Allied Sciences (SFUCHAS) announced that it has revoked over 160 degree certificates.

St Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT), in which SFUCHAS is its constituent college, has been since 2021 recalling the transcripts issued irregularly to over 300 Doctor of Medicine (MD) students who graduated between 2015 and 2019, but almost half (162) failed to adhere to the call, a statement published in the Mwananchi newspaper yesterday, said.

The announcement said the decision was reached through the university Senate in its 54th Senate Extraordinary meeting held on February 25, 2023 at the SAUT main campus.

“The degree for the 162 graduates have been revoked after refusing to return academic transcripts issued to them without the knowledge and endorsement of the University Senate despite thorough reminders,” it reads in part.

The SAUT public relations officer, Mr Living Komu, said the decision was reached following grading confusion that occurred at SFUCHAS campus.

He said in the past SAUT was using a different grading system that was not used by other universities, but later it was directed to start grading its graduates using the government system.

He said before 2017, a student had to score 50 marks to get a C grade as a pass mark, noting that on the contrary through the government system, students were required to score 40 marks.

“SFUCHAS erred in the grading of its graduates from 2015 to 2017 when the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) directed the college to make rectifications by recalling all issued transcripts,” he said.

“This is the reason for the notice requiring graduates to return their transcript for corrections,” he added.

However, a victim who spoke under anonymity told The Citizen that despite disregarding the college calls, graduates have legal rights.

“We were given transcripts and certificates signed by the university senate, which some of us have used during employment processes…, this is not fair and I’m personally prepared to appeal,” lamented the victims.

“Every member of my family is disappointed, including my parents and siblings...” he added.

For her part, Ms Sophia* said she didn’t see announcements that recalled transcripts, noting that she neither got any information.

Instead, her colleagues sent a picture of the advert bearing her name on it.

“I am very shocked. It’s my friend who informed me after seeing my name in a newspaper. This happens at a time when I have planned a trip to the college to find out what happened,” she said sadly.

“I do agricultural activities and I am often in the village. It was very difficult for me to see the issued ads.”

Mr Abednego Msheri, who is a lawyer, said that graduates were not safe even under legal parameters following the issued announcements asking them to return the transcripts since the adverts were made more than once in the mainstream media.

However, the TCU executive secretary, Prof Charles Kihampa, admitted to being aware on the issue.

“TCU cannot interfere with the university’s decision... I have nothing to comment at the moment. However, let’s remember that the university senate has the mandate to revoke all certificates from graduates whenever there is a need to do so …,” he said.