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NCHE sets Nov 30 deadline to review 'expired' courses

Students at Makerere University

Students at Makerere University

The National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) has set November 30th as the deadline for all higher institutions of learning to submit their academic programs for review.

Prof Mary Okwakol, executive director of NCHE said the resolution was made during the 71st NCHE’s council meeting and failure to comply will result in a ban on student enrollment.

Last month, the country woke up to the shocking news that the University of Cambridge and Bristol University declined to enroll Ugandan students for postgraduate study on account of the fact that the applicant graduated after the program accreditation period had expired.

“The circulation of the two documents from the University of Cambridge and Bristol University resulted in public concerns, apprehensions and anxiety. NCHE would like to inform students, graduates, parents, sponsors, higher education institutions, employers, prospective employers, the international community, and the general public that they investigated the authenticity of the two documents,” she said.

She said the inquiry about the document allegedly originating from the University of Cambridge revealed that it was fake. The confirmation was made by the university's academic secretary Dr Mike Glover. However, she said Bristol University has not responded to their inquiries.

NCHE has since met 50 vice chancellors and 13 heads of other degree awarding institutions, 67 principles of tertiary institutions. They acknowledged that the word expired had existed on the NCHE website for many years.

“It was not until the word got into media outlets and was misinterpreted that it caused concern. The two meetings were cordial and productive. And we came up with a number of recommendations. And these recommendations were presented to the council at its 71st sitting, which was held on Monday,” said Okwakol.

The two meetings resolved to replace the word expired with ‘due for review’, for programs whose reassessment period had lapsed and have not been resubmitted for review and ‘under review’, for programs whose reassessment has lapsed but have been submitted for review.

They also resolved to extend the period between accreditation and reassessment to the equivalent of two program cycles plus one year during that period a program is recognized as accredited and fall to have mandatory submission to the NCHE of all the programs labeled as due for review by 30th of November.

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