Thursday, April 14, 2011


It is surprising to see that Government may endorse increased tuition at public universities. Time and again Government has been advised to stop the Government sponsorship because it does not make sense. Given the situation, the students could all pay and there would be no need of increasing fees. Instead what Government pays to students would go to improve facilities. When Government fails to listen to sense and instead does things the wrong way, the more people get fed up of it. It does not make sense to hike student tuition when that is only helping them to attend class. There are no meals, no stationery , no accommodation, then what is increased tuition for; to pay for buildings coming up at the University. If that is the reason, it is simply silly.

William Kituuka Kiwanuka
Thursday, 14th April, 2011
By Francis Kagolo

STUDENTS at Makerere University will continue paying the current tuition fees, the university has said.
In a statement, the university said the Auditor General’s proposal to raise fees to sh6m per year had been shelved awaiting further consultations.
The university spokesperson, Ritah Namisango, said the management and university council, which are the institution’s top most decision-making organ required by law to set tuition fees, were yet to discuss the proposal.
This follows public outcry over the proposed increment in tuition fees.
Appearing before the parliamentary public accounts committee on Tuesday, the university secretary, Kahunda Muhwezi, asked the Government to quickly approve the Auditor General’s recommendation to raise tuition fees from the current sh3m to at least sh6m a year.
Kahunda had said sh6m charged annually was the ideal unit cost of educating a student in a Ugandan university and that it would enable Makerere recover from its financial problems and operate effectively.
The proposal came barely a year after all public universities, Makerere inclusive, increased tuition fees by 40%.
However, speaking to New Vision a day later, several students, parents and educationists protested the proposal, saying it would deny low income earners a chance to educate their children.
Government officials and parents also approached the university bosses, questioning why they wanted to increase the fees at a time when the country was facing serious financial hardships.

Posted by Yasiin Mugerwa

on Wednesday, April 13 2011 at 00:00
Parents should brace for harder times after it emerged yesterday that public universities’ tuition fees could be doubled under a new blueprint backed by a confidential Auditor General’s report to President Museveni.
The proposal to hike fees at all public universities was revealed by Makerere University Secretary David Kahundha Muhwezi who led a team to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee to answer audit queries for the years 2007-2009. “A new research on unit cost of study at public universities has revealed that our charges are far too low compared to other universities in the region,” Mr Muhwezi said. “The cost per student should be Shs6 million per year (up from the Shs3.5 million) and this is what the Auditor General has found out in his report to President. We knew the cost but it was controversial and [so] before its implementation, the government wanted the Auditor General to first carry out a study.”
While appearing on the Kfm Hot Seat show yesterday, university Vice Chancellor Prof Venansius Baryamureeba, ruled out an immediate increase in tuition, saying they would await government guidance on the matter. He said, with the introduction of e-courses, fees are likely to reduce. Mr Muhwezi said, if President Museveni approves the Shs6 million to be paid per student per year, then, the government will have to subsidise Ugandan students.
Makerere University Bursar Joshua Karamagi said: “We are only waiting for government to study the Auditor General’s report and parliamentary intervention before we start charging students. This is something urgent because our charges are very low and we are financially constrained.” Mr Karamagi told MPs that the government had failed to release Shs11 billion for arrears and that in the 2011/2012 budget the university faces a gaping hole amounting to Shs90 billion.
Meanwhile, PAC has ordered Makerere to advertise the job of VC after the university secretary told the committee they had received instructions from the Ministry to halt the exercise until the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act is amended. Prof Baryamureeba is the acting VC. However, MPs objected to the delay arguing that there was no need to amend the Act.

1 comment:

  1. While it is true that the sponsorship program is wasted money,
    your reasoning on improvements is very poor, and is a prime example of bad governance.

    You'd like the government to spend money on "improve the facilities" , but you hate extra money being spent on "pay for buildings coming up at the university" (= facilities & accommodation).

    It seems you'd prefer the government's money being spent on stationary & meals, hence making possible huge arbitrage and procurement scams with the items bought.
    It is much harder to take a building for free without leaving traces and sell it in Wandegeya than it is to take some stationary and food and sell it on.
    When it comes to procurement fraud, both might be equally bad, though for the building it is limited in time (=until the building is finished), while new njaulo opportunities arise with every purchase of Matooke & books.

    On a governance note, I think it is sound governance for a university to concentrate on the teaching and the teaching facilities, and to outsource the accommodation, food & book printing. It is called division of labour, and therefore a source of great wealth creation.