Kampala- About 100 law students at Cavendish and Gulu universities face an uncertain future following failure by the two institutions to secure accreditation by National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) to teach law.
A list released on Monday by the chairperson of the Committee on Legal Education and Training of the Law Council, Mr Fredrick Ssempebwa, states that nine universities were accredited to teach law, excluding Cavendish and Gulu universities, among others.
Ndejje University, which is scheduled to offer law course in the next academic year, does not also appear on the list.
However, Ndejje University pointed out that they are in the process of getting accreditation and have already submitted their request to NCHE.
“We shall start teaching law in August. We are awaiting accreditation from NCHE which we hope to get before the academic year commences,” said Ms Filder Oyella, the institution’s academic registrar.
The non-accredited universities are fully self-proclaimed law teaching universities offering bachelors, diploma and certificate awards to their law students.
“We expect them (unaccredited universities) to get accreditation. If not then, they are doing it illegally,” Prof Opuda Asibo, the NCHE executive director, said yesterday.
For any institution to be accredited to teach a course, the NHCE follows the provisions of the University and other Tertiary Institutions Act, 200I Section 3, which empowers the NCHE to make regulations to ensure the provision of quality higher education.
“The universities not accredited, but teaching law are in the wrong and not meeting the expected standards of processing the application to get accredited,” Dr Rose Nassali Lukwago, the Education ministry permanent secretary, said.
Ms Hellen Abulu Obura, the secretary of the Law Council, said since the named universities are not accredited, they are not part of the Law Council and therefore not answerable to the council.
“Ndejje was left out of the list since the council was not aware of the institution’s inception of a law faculty,” she added.
Efforts to get a comment from the Gulu and Cavendish universities were futile by press time.
Makerere University, Kampala
Kampala International University, Kampala
Nkumba University, Entebbe
Uganda Christian University, Mukono
Uganda Pentecostal University, Fort Portal
Islamic University in Uganda, Mbale
Busoga University, Iganga
Bishop Stuart University, Mbarara
St Augustine University, Kampala