Makerere University vice chancellor Edward Ddumba Ssentamu will today present a senate decision to council that will allow the institution admit students twice every year.
Prof Ddumba yesterday said the proposal that was passed by senate was only awaiting council’s approval. The University Council is the institution’s highest decision making body.
“We are going to admit students every semester. We are piloting it on some programmes and if it is successful, we shall roll it out in the entire university.”
“The policy was passed by senate and is going to council for approval on Wednesday (today). If Uganda Christian University is doing it, where is Makerere?,” Prof Ddumba said in an interview.
If adopted, the proposal will see the university’s student numbers double, a move Prof Ddumba says is aimed at raising funds to meet among others, a 70 per cent staff salary incentive management implemented last year following a strike that paralysed university operations for weeks.
Other measures that are being considered are privatisation of halls of residence, whose adverts, according to Prof Ddumba, will be out in two weeks’ time.
The management will at the same time, table a proposal to increase tuition by 10 per cent next academic year to factor in inflation.
“I want people to understand that if government is not giving us enough money to run the university, we have to think of other alternatives to find it. Government has too many things to do and can’t do everything for us,” Prof Ddumba said.
“Every year, we should be increasing tuition by 10 per cent for first years alone to cater for inflation. Schools do this every year but Makerere doesn’t.”
This means that a student wishing to do bachelor of science in agriculture currently at Shs1.34 million, will have to add an extra Shs134,400 next academic year to join the same course.
The university is also interesting partners who will build a perimeter wall around the campus but at the same time utilise the same space to put up commercial structures like shopping malls.
Prof Ddumba said his biggest challenge is not paying staff incentive but the Shs50 billion pension arrears.
Mityana District Woman MP and the chairperson of the parliamentary committee on education and sports, Sylivia Ssinabulya commended the university on its progress to develop its land.
However, she was non-committal on the double intake proposal saying she had not seen the document. “Developing land is commendable. Universities world over have projects instead of relying on government,” she said.
Ms Mary Goretti Nakabugo, a former Makerere University senior lecturer and head of the department of curriculum teaching and media, yesterday warned that the ideas should be well thought out so that they don’t bring confusion.
She cited the evening programme which was introduced in the 90’s to generate money but instead increased student numbers while facilities remained constant and few staff benefited from the tuition collection.
However, she insisted that the university should increase tuition to meet quality and encouraged parents and government to support them.