Deputy President William Ruto, who refers to himself as a hustler, will finally graduate in December with a doctorate from the University of Nairobi.
The DP’s name was approve alongside six others by the university’s senate on Thursday.
Mr Ruto has been pursuing the doctorate, the highest degree awarded by a university, since August 2012.
He will graduate with a PhD in plant ecology. The title of this thesis is ‘Influence of human activities on land use changes on environmental quality of riparian ecosystems: A case study of Saiwa Swamp watershed, Western Kenya’.
The DP’s graduation means that from December 21, he will be referred to as Dr William Ruto.
Mr Ruto’s project was approved in August 2012 and he submitted the thesis in September.
He did his oral examination on October 24 and his report was approved on October 25.
His graduation was approved in a senate meeting chaired by Vice-Chancellor Peter Mbithi and attended by people including Prof. Julius Ogeng’o, the acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs.
Mr Ruto has already published his work in two renowned journals as required by the Commission for University Education (CUE), which regulates university education.
These are the International Journal of Research in Environmental Science and the Asian Journal of Water, Environment and Pollution.
The 60th graduation ceremony is for students from the schools of health sciences, and humanities.
Last month, Mr Ruto was late to the launch of the TVET Curriculum Framework in Gigiri but he explained to the students that he had to meet his supervisors on the finalisation of his coursework.
The DP told learners at the Kenya Technical Training College that he could not turn down the requirement to defend his thesis.
He is in the Department School of Biological Science.
Those who will graduate with PhDs alongside the DP are Victoria Ameoliza Gioto, Victor Muya Ndambuki, Cheronoh Fancy, Museleku Erastus Kiita, Jacob Kwamina Dodoo and Samso Samuel Ogallah.
Mr Ruto, who is eyeing the presidency in 2022, can move to the lecturer hall should he lose, since he meets the CUE’s requirements on teaching staff.
Mr Ruto did not graduate in 2016 as he did not meet the requirements.
The DP, who has a bachelor’s degree in botany and zoology and a masters degree in plant ecology, encourages students to further their studies.
While explaining why he could not graduate in 2016, DP Ruto urged colleges to maintain standards and award certificates to students purely on merit.
Many students take long to complete their doctorate degrees for reasons including an insufficient number of lecturers with PhDs at public universities.
This leaves a few lecturers with the task of supervising students and causes them to pay less attention to the others.
A recent report by the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) revealed that a lecturer with a PhD serves 94 students yet the number recommended by higher education experts is 30.
Kenya has less than 10,000 PhD holders yet is needs at least 1,000 annually. Only 369 students graduated last year.