Uganda’s Academic Crisis Causes Panic in Parliament

Uganda’s Academic Crisis  Causes Panic in Parliament
Uganda’s Academic Crisis  Causes Panic in Parliament

The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) in Uganda has recently unveiled a concerning issue regarding expired courses offered by various educational institutions in the country. It has come to light that several foreign universities have rejected degrees obtained by Ugandan students, citing the courses they pursued as “expired” or “outdated.”

The list of expired degrees indicates that nearly all academic programs offered by universities and tertiary institutions in Uganda have become obsolete and are deemed unacceptable in advanced countries abroad.

In this context, an expired or invalid course refers to a degree or diploma program that has not received proper accreditation from the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), which is the regulatory body for the sector.

This crisis emerged when the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom refused admission to an alumna of Makerere University. The student had studied Bachelor of Biomedical Laboratory Technology and intended to pursue an advanced degree. In response, an official from the University of Bristol stated, the university explained that the Bachelor of Biomedical Laboratory program at Makerere University had its accreditation expired in 2015, while the applicant had graduated in 2018. Consequently, her qualification was deemed ineligible for acceptance.

In the wake of public outcry and the UK letter, the NCHE issued a statement acknowledging that certain academic programs offered by institutions had expired years ago, with some dating back over five years or more. The statement mentioned the collaboration between NCHE and the University of Cambridge to facilitate student admissions into recognized programs. It emphasized that once a program has expired, students who have completed or been enrolled in it for more than two years may face limitations in their academic pursuits, not only at the University of Cambridge but potentially across Europe.

The statement has since moved the deputy speaker of parliament Right Honorable Thomas Tayebwe to summoned the minister for education to make a case on the matter concerning the fate of Ugandans who obtained degrees and diplomas of the courses in question.