Why Busoga University won’t reopen this year

Busoga University Jinja City branch. The institution is exected to start next August.  PHOTO/TAUSI NAKATO

What you need to know:

  • A taskforce committee set up is yet to handle the handover of the institution to the government.

Parents and students who had hoped that Busoga University would reopen this year after a five-year closure will have to wait until August next year due to pending legalities at the Iganga-based institution.

The university, founded in 1999 and is affiliated to Busoga Diocese under the Church of Uganda, in 2017 had its licence revoked by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE).
The NCHE cited lack of qualified staff, teaching of uncredited courses and awarding fake degrees to more than 1,000 students.
But in February, the university was handed over to the Ministry of Education to expedite its reopening as a public institution following a directive by President Museveni in 2018.

Last month, the ministry appointed a six-member taskforce headed by Prof John Tabuti to kick start the reopening process.
When contacted, Prof Tabuti said he is not mandated to discuss the matter until he gets clear guidance from the ministry.
However, Bishop Patrick Wakula of Busoga Diocese, who is a member of the steering committee, on Tuesday told Daily Monitor that the taskforce should handle the government takeover. 

“They must look at the situation now, the management staffing, the new team that will serve according to the terms of reference they were given,’’ he said.
Bishop Wakula added that the taskforce will also handle the pending graduation of students.
The bishop urged parents and students to be patient, saying the reopening is a process.
“The taskforce will sit, invite the NCHE to make their final assessment and report back to the Minister [of Education],” he said.
Mr Patrick Kayemba, a former member of the transition committee, said plans are underway by the ministry to launch the taskforce committee that will oversee the official handover of the institution to the government before the end of this month.

“After the launch is done, there will be an official handover. The committee will receive the institution on behalf of the government,” Mr Kayemba, who is also the former Iganga District chairperson, said.
Mr Kayemba added that the committee will develop a work plan on how to execute the deliverables contained in the memorandum of understanding, and then embark on institutionalising the university.

He said the recruitment of students will start in the next academic year [August 2023].
Once it becomes operational, it will become the 11th public university after Fort Portal-based Mountains of Moon, which achieved the milestone on July 1.

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