The shock that gripped Anthony Kizza in the early morning hours of January 8, this year, is something still fresh in his memory.
As Kizza was heading to Victoria University that morning, he received a call from the guild president, his close friend, informing him that activities at the university had abruptly come to a standstill.
“He first asked me if I knew what was happening at the university. When I told him no, that is when he updated me on the situation at the institution,” Kizza explains.
Opened in 2011 by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the university offered and awarded degrees from the highly regarded University of Buckingham, UK.
But on January 8, it suspended the accreditation for courses at the university on over the anti-gay-bill that was tabled before Parliament.
As much as the university offered the students the option of going to Dubai to continue their studies, Kizza who was studying Business Management and Information systems, did not apply.
“I decided not to bother myself because my sponsors could not afford to pay the high fees,” he briefly explains.
Kizza then applied to some of the different public and private universities. He was however not considered. After months of running back and forth, he decided to eventually settle for an eight weeks course in Cisco at the Kibo Foundation, a registered Canadian corporation located in Kansanga.
Some of the other students on the other hand have had to spend a lot of money, trying to secure vacancies in different learning institutions.
Collins Bita, a former first year student at the university, is one of them. He opted to apply at some of the private universities and admits to spending over Shs250,000.
“I used part of this money for getting the application forms, photocopying documents as well as for transport,” Bita explains.
He also confesses that after the university’s closure, he had to deal with his guardians who blamed him for having chosen to study there in the first place.
“They were really mad and angry at me. According to them, their money had gone to waste just like that,” Bita says.
Their anger only ceased after he finally received a confirmation letter from one of the private universities confirming his admission.
Since some of the students were not comfortable with the idea of going to study in Middlesex University Dubai for the Buckingham courses, Simo S. Dubajic, the executive director of Edulink Holdings, the Dubai based company that owns Victoria University confirms that their tuition was refunded.