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Archive for November 22nd, 2009

Students blame Fairland University for admission to non-existent course

Posted by Administrator on November 22, 2009

TROUBLED: A warehouse-turned class at Fairland University. PHOTO by pauline kairu.

TROUBLED: A warehouse-turned class at Fairland University. PHOTO by pauline kairu.

Tens of eager Kenyan students aspiring to become nurses have been left in the lurch after it emerged that the Jinja based Fairland University they were admitted to a few months ago does not offer the course.

Students parted with millions of shillings in tuition fees only to be told a whole semester into the course that they are not qualified for it. “That is when everything began to fall apart. Some of my colleagues had not even studied Biology in secondary and yet they were in class,” Janet Chebus, one of the students, told Education Guide.

The student says they were shocked when they found no laboratories and other infrastructure necessary for a nursing course.

The students conducted their own investigation and realised Fairland University is not permitted to conduct a nursing course.
“We were shocked when we went to the Ministry of Education in Kampala and were informed that the course was non-existent at the university and that we didn’t even qualify for the course,” Martin Chege, another Kenyan student said.

“We were lucky to be inquisitive. The Ugandan students had been there a semester before us and they were not even aware of this.”  The students say the nursing course was advertised in a Kenyan newspaper but requirements were not specified.

“At the agency, all of us were made to believe that we had qualified for the course. They didn’t say that I didn’t qualify. But now officials have turned around after months of sitting in class and told us that we have to be vetted because we don’t qualify,” Wilson Kirimi, who is also from Kenya said.
“He (the agent) has the application letters with him in his office and he convinced me that I qualify for the course.”

Costly course
The students paid between Shs1 to3.6m to study at Fairland. They allege that they were admitted through a Nairobi-based agent, Mr Francis Mwangi, and charged an agency fee of KShs50,000 or UShs1.3m.

When contacted, Mwangi said he is unaware of the problem.
In addition, they also paid tuition and other fees. Mr Mwangi, who operates his Prestige Education Network agency at Ellis House, Nairobi, is reportedly more interested in recruiting students regardless of whether they qualify for the course or not.
 
The Kenyan students have for the last two months been demanding for a refund without success.
“These people have been threatening to invite the police if we insist on pestering them for a refund,” said  Violet Morangi, another frustrated nursing student.

Police investigating
Jinja police has taken interest in the matter. Jinja OC CID Mr Gregory Okwi said they are working with Interpol to address the matter.

“We are investigating the agency in Kenya and the university to find out what is taking place. We are also making enquiries into whether the university is indeed supposed to be offering this course. We have had several of the students make statements and we have gathered documentary evidence, but we are still carrying out our enquiries,” he said. Efforts to get a comment from university vice chancellor Dr Solomon Wakabi proved futile. 

“We have tried in vain to track Dr Wakabi down. We have called him severally to answer these accusations but he has not showed up weeks after we first contacted him,” Mr Okwi said.

Located along Walukuba/Masese road in Jinja’s Industrial Area, the school housed on two blocks, one of which is a former warehouse for ETATS Constructors, has since its inception about five years ago been plagued by accommodation and regularisation hurdles.

Tens of eager Kenyan students aspiring to become nurses have been left in the lurch after it emerged that the Jinja based Fairland University they were admitted to a few months ago does not offer the course.

Students parted with millions of shillings in tuition fees only to be told a whole semester into the course that they are not qualified for it. “That is when everything began to fall apart. Some of my colleagues had not even studied Biology in secondary and yet they were in class,” Janet Chebus, one of the students, told Education Guide.

The student says they were shocked when they found no laboratories and other infrastructure necessary for a nursing course.
The students conducted their own investigation and realised Fairland University is not permitted to conduct a nursing course.

“We were shocked when we went to the Ministry of Education in Kampala and were informed that the course was non-existent at the university and that we didn’t even qualify for the course,” Martin Chege, another Kenyan student said. “We were lucky to be inquisitive. The Ugandan students had been there a semester before us and they were not even aware of this.”  The students say the nursing course was advertised in a Kenyan newspaper but requirements were not specified.

“At the agency, all of us were made to believe that we had qualified for the course. They didn’t say that I didn’t qualify. But now officials have turned around after months of sitting in class and told us that we have to be vetted because we don’t qualify,” Wilson Kirimi, who is also from Kenya said.
“He (the agent) has the application letters with him in his office and he convinced me that I qualify for the course.”

Costly course
The students paid between Shs1 to3.6m to study at Fairland. They allege that they were admitted through a Nairobi-based agent, Mr Francis Mwangi, and charged an agency fee of KShs50,000 or UShs1.3m.

When contacted, Mwangi said he is unaware of the problem.
In addition, they also paid tuition and other fees. Mr Mwangi, who operates his Prestige Education Network agency at Ellis House, Nairobi, is reportedly more interested in recruiting students regardless of whether they qualify for the course or not. 

The Kenyan students have for the last two months been demanding for a refund without success.
“These people have been threatening to invite the police if we insist on pestering them for a refund,” said  Violet Morangi, another frustrated nursing student.

Police investigating
Jinja police has taken interest in the matter. Jinja OC CID Mr Gregory Okwi said they are working with Interpol to address the matter.
“We are investigating the agency in Kenya and the university to find out what is taking place. We are also making enquiries into whether the university is indeed supposed to be offering this course. We have had several of the students make statements and we have gathered documentary evidence, but we are still carrying out our enquiries,” he said. Efforts to get a comment from university vice chancellor Dr Solomon Wakabi proved futile. 

“We have tried in vain to track Dr Wakabi down. We have called him severally to answer these accusations but he has not showed up weeks after we first contacted him,” Mr Okwi said.

Located along Walukuba/Masese road in Jinja’s Industrial Area, the school housed on two blocks, one of which is a former warehouse for ETATS Constructors, has since its inception about five years ago been plagued by accommodation and regularisation hurdles.  

 

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