Credential Audit At Tertiary Institutions To Begin Soon; NCHE Boss Announces


The National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) has announced a plan to audit the academic credentials of faculty members across higher education institutions in Liberia; Cynthia Quinisier reports.

   The commission disclosed that the evaluation will commence anytime soon with the University of Liberia, followed by Cuttington University and all other higher learning institutions in Liberia.

   Speaking during the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs, and Tourism regular press briefing on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, the Executive Director of the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE), Dr. Edward Lama Wonkeryor, revealed that during the Weah administration a proposal was submitted to the Ministry of Finance concerning the matter. Upon receiving the invitation, the former Finance Minister, Samuel Tweh, requested a proposal to secure funding for the initiative.

   Wonkeryor claimed that, upon receiving the request, he and his team worked diligently to submit the required documents. But, despite their efforts, the requested funding of US$260,000 was never allocated.

   He emphasized that the administration of President Boakai has shown renewed interest in higher education by increasing their budget from US$400,000 to over US$1 million.

   According to him, “These resources at our disposal, the NCHE is now implementing the mechanism to effectively carry out the credential verification process. We plan to launch the evaluation soon, beginning with the University of Liberia, Cuttington University, and other institutions, all of which are fully funded by taxpayers.”

   The exercise will be achieved through regular and systematic monitoring of universities and colleges to establish their compliance to guidelines and standards set by the NCHE.

   “Their primary objective is to verify the credentials of faculty and educators who claim academic degrees they do not possess,” he said.

   He further emphasized the importance of removing fake degrees from Liberian universities to ensure quality education that can compete regionally, and assured that the NCHE will execute the President’s mandate without using the available resources effectively.

   “Any individual found misrepresenting their academic qualifications will face the consequences, including potential legal action,” he noted.

   Meanwhile, Dr. Wonkeryor revealed that the NCHE is actively working to convene a stakeholders’ conference involving all higher learning institutions, mainly colleges and universities, to standardize their curricula.

   “This conference aims to bring together institutional heads, policymakers, and government officials to discuss higher education dimensions and synchronize the curricula effectively.

   Moreover, he announced the successful standardization of the health sciences curriculum in the sub-region, and plans to present this to heads of state for approval.

   Dr. Wonkeryor emphasized the goal of harmonizing curricula from varied institutions to facilitate seamless course transfers between universities.

   “If a student completes courses at the University of Liberia and seeks transfer to a different university, the requirements that the student has fulfilled should not be disregarded.”

   Meanwhile, The National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) is an institution that bears the statutory responsibility for the regulation and accreditation of higher education programs in Liberia. 

   Established by an Act of National Legislature in 1989, the NCHE has the mandate to regulate, manage, and monitor higher education activities in Liberia.

   At the same time, Dr. Edward Lama Wonkeryor extolled the Boakai administration for increasing the budget of the commission from US$330,000 to US$1 million in the 2024 national budget. He recounted that in 2022 he repeatedly appealed for an increment in the budget of the commission. The NCHE boss said the budgetary increment is a demonstration of President Boakai’s commitment in supporting higher education activities in the country.

   He emphasized a series of challenges resulting from the dismal budgetary support received by the entity over the years.

   According to him, steps taken by the President to support higher education activities in the country by increasing the institution’s budget from US$330,394 to US$1,030,394 are geared toward the improvement of the educational sector.

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