Monday July 7 2014

Graduates leave Kyambogo with Shs5b debt - report

Ms Patricia Happy Birungi carries the mace

Ms Patricia Happy Birungi carries the mace ahead of Kyambogo University Chancellor Prof John Ssebuwufu with other students and lecturers during the university’s graduation last month. Photo by STEPHEN WANDERA 



A second committee instituted by Kyambogo University management to verify and validate tuition fees payments by students has discovered that some students who graduated in January and June left behind a debt of Shs5 billion in unpaid fees.

According to the Second Adhoc Committee report compiled in March, which this newspaper has seen, out of the 10,306 students who were expected to graduate, 3,727 were not cleared because they either had outstanding fees balances to the university, or did not show up for verification.
Some 2,055 students appeared for the exercise but were not cleared because they either defaulted full fees payments or had been involved knowingly or unknowingly in cases of irregular fees payments.

“Majority of students and also staff are not sure of the full functional fees payable. Many students were requested to pay for a number of items among the functional fees having been misguided as not payable, especially research, ICT development, undergraduate gown and recess fees,” the report reads in part.

The latest report comes after the first one by the Adhoc Committee recommended to the University Senate to take action against 11 staff implicated in irregular admission of students and misappropriating tuition fees. The staff reportedly took advantage of a laxity in the admissions division to insert names of illegal students in the University student information data system, a vice said to have been ongoing for the last four years.
But the committee recommended that examination results of all irregularly admitted students be expunged from the university records and culprits prosecuted – an action the university is reluctant to take.

A total of Shs835.5 millions was recovered from students in cash form during the verification exercise between August last year and March this year.

Prof Elly Katunguka, the acting vice chancellor, said the latest findings had been brought to his attention but their capacity to carry out thorough leak-proof investigations is limited.

Kyambogo University, established a decade ago, has suffered numerous problems over the past few years ranging from alleged incompetence of some staff, corruption, conflict of interest, intrigue to abuse of public property but surprisingly, the same problems continue to haunt the institution even when changes are made in top management.