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Giving updates to key stakeholders about the progress of establishing Busoga University as a public university in Kampala yesterday, Prof John R.S. Tabuti, the chairperson of the university’s taskforce management committee, said the programmes and policies have already been developed, and that the taskforce was finalising with a few pending issues
Students and parents who have been anxiously waiting for the re-opening of Busoga University for over five years, can now breath a sign of relief, following an announcement that the institute will start re-admitting students during the June 2024 intake.
Giving updates to key stakeholders about the progress of establishing Busoga University as a public university in Kampala yesterday, Prof John R.S. Tabuti, the chairperson of the university’s taskforce management committee, said the programmes and policies have already been developed, and that the taskforce was finalising with a few pending issues.
“The key pending tasks still awaiting are two; one is the development of the instrument that will start the university. Rt Hon [First Deputy] Prime Minister [Rebecca Kadaga], this is now where our prayers to you are to help us expedite, to convince your fellow ministers that this is really what we have remained with to start,” Prof Tabuti said.
He also said developing the university’s master plan was yet another pending task.
Responding to the concerns raised by Prof Tabuti, Ms Kadaga said she would follow up the matter.
“On Monday, we shall discuss it in Cabinet. I will also support you with the renewal of the lease of the university piece of land in Jinja. I hope to be there on Tuesday next week,” she said.
She appealed to the taskforce to execute its tasks as planned so that the university can open doors to the students as soon as possible.
“We hope, soon we will be able to start. People are asking, what has happened to the university? There is a lot of anxiety in the region,” Ms Kadaga said.
Busoga University was established in 1999 as private university under the leadership of Busoga’s pioneer bishop, the late Rt Rev Cyprian Bamwoze. However, the university’s licence was revoked in December 2017 by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE). The council also recalled more than 1,000 students. The university was accused of recruiting unqualified academic staff. It was also affected by the increasing debt burden.
In 2018, President Museveni directed that government takes over the university. He later appointed a committee led by the State Minister for Higher Education, Mr John Chrysostom Muyingo, that recommended the formation of a taskforce management committee for takeover, write the curricula and other management tools.
On February 2, 2022, the Ministry of Education, Church of Uganda and Busoga University Ltd, signed a memorandum of understanding that specified that Church of Uganda and Busoga University Ltd, hand over all land to government, Busoga University Ltd winds up, government takes over all liabilities, human resources and students.
In July 2022, Education Minister Janet Museveni appointed a six-member taskforce management committee to establish Busoga University as a public institute.
On the issue of liabilities, Prof Tabuti said they had grown from about Shs15b and $66,000 (Shs240m) to about Shs17b and $66,000 by April 2023, but government had already cleared Shs3.5b.
He also noted that negotiations were held with Bank of Baroda, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to stay further growth of interest on the liabilities.