The Uganda Vice Chancellors’ Forum (UVCF) has said there does not exist something called an expired course or academic programme, and the public should not be afraid about a non-issue.
The forum met at Makerere University on May 29, 2023 and made resolutions they will share at a meeting with the National Council for Higher Education on Thursday, June 1.
After the meeting, the UVCF chairperson Prof George Openjuru, executive director Prof Eriabu Lugujjo and members Dr Halima Wakabi Akbar and Prof Mouhamad Mpezamihigo addressed the media to allay public fears that have arisen from unauthentic sources.
Openjuru said their forum’s resolutions concur with the attorney general Kiryowa Kiwanuka’s opinion that there is no legality in the concept of ‘an expired course’. He said there is no blame game going on, and they continue to interact with NCHE as before.
“We have recently had two meetings with NCHE, and we are to meet with them again on Thursday.”
Openjuru explained that approving a course at university goes through rigorous procedures at departmental, faculty, senate, quality assurance unit and council levels, in that order, before presentation before the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE).
The NCHE then initiates its own procedures for approval and certification of the course. Although the NCHE approves the courses, courses belong to the universities which initiated them basing on their own capacities of infrastructure, personnel, ambiance and other factors. Hence universities carry out internal reviews of their own courses annually.
“As universities, we are autonomous institutions with authority to derive our programmes, unlike schools which have to follow a common curriculum developed by the National Curriculum Development Centre. We can’t start a programme we are unable to maintain. We write our programmes, examine them and give awards,” Openjuru said.
Openjuru added that some of the courses on the list of so-called expired courses were phased out by universities; but due
to NCHE’s limitations, such courses were not deleted from their (NCHE’s) list. He urged the public to compare lists of courses at the website of each university with the information on the NCHE website.
“We urge that stakeholders and the public know that the programmes circulating in the media had already been accredited. So, for sure, they are still valid. So, also the awards we gave out are valid. If there is need to improve the process, that’s another matter,” Dr Akbar said.
“Our graduate products and ongoing students are still relevant to our society. So, there is value for money for our students. All our universities have quality assurance units, and they scrutinize regular tests, internships, etc.,” added Prof Lugujjo.
“We don’t even need the so-called six months to do anything because there is nothing to be done,” Openjuru concluded.