Makerere University Council has approved the establishment of an endowment fund to help raise money to support teaching and learning at the institution.
While inaugurating the seven members of the board of trustees, Prof George Mondo Kagonyera, the university chancellor, said for a long time, the institution has relied on government’s subvention and tuition from their students, which money has not been enough to facilitate the teaching and research.
“Most of the problems we have here come from not having enough funds. Our source of money is from government and the students. We know internally that this has failed. Get us out of the chronic disease we have suffered for a long time which financial constraint,” he told the members.
He criticised both students and lecturers who are against the university management raising tuition fees, saying the private students must fill in the gap where government has failed.
Dr Martin Aliker will head the fund which started its work yesterday. Other members include: Mr Gerald Karuhanga (Western Youth MP), Mr Barnabas Tumusingize, (managing partner with Sebalu & Lule Advocates and Legal Consultants), Mr Grace Isabirye (certified public accountant), Mr Martin Owiny (former board member of Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Uganda Ltd) and Ambassador Edith Ssempala.
The Fund will initially be operationalised using an endowment fund for the university now at £880,000 (about Shs3.9 billion), previously managed on their behalf by Crown Agents of London.
According to Dr Aliker, his board will not only look at the alumni but also find investors to develop the university land to diversify the institution’s constrained resource base. He said for a start, they will put the money they have been given in treasury bills
“Makerere has got a lot of land which has not been utilised. We hope to start a private partnership. We will put up high class apartments on some of the land,” Dr Aliker said.
The staff, however, were not happy that the board did not have their representation. Dr Muhammed Kiggundu, the academic staff association chairperson, said they will push to see that there is a student and staff on the board.