Kagonyera lobbies more funding for universities

Education Jesicca Alupo and Makerere Chancellor Mondo Kagonyera at a graduation in MUBs on Friday. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA

Government should prioritise funding of universities to enable them do research and compete favourably with others in the region and globally, Makerere University Chancellor Mondo Kagonyera has said.

Prof. Kagonyera said government sinks a lot of money in free education schemes at lower education levels but argued the benefits will not be realised if higher institutions of learning remain poorly funded.

“Lower levels cannot succeed unless the higher levels are funded too. For instance, we need teachers in the lowers schools. There is shortage of science teachers, for us to overcome this, we must address the higher levels.”

Due to limited resources, Prof. Kagonyera said most universities lack infrastructure and equipment –something that has he said has impacted negatively on the quality of education offered.

“Without infrastructure and equipment in our institutions, we cannot compete, not only regionally but even internationally. Equipping our institutions will enable us deliver better education and even attract students from abroad, ” Prof. Kagonyera said, while presiding over the 7th graduation ceremony of 1,200 students of Makerere University Business School in Kampala on Friday. Of the 29 universities in the country, it is only Makerere which is listed among the top 100 universities in the Africa at 12th position. None of the Ugandan universities is ranked among the 500 top universities in the world, according the latest webometrics ranking.

The rankings are based on web publications, the visibility of the university on the Internet, volume of publications and general impact of information published.
Education Minister Jessica Alupo said government was committed to raising funding to universities provided they increase research and ensure that students not only get paper qualifications but get employable skills.

World Bank reports show that most governments in Africa spend less on university education yet the least spending on a university student be about $2,000 a year. The total annual cost of tertiary education in Africa each year is then $7.5-$11b of which $2b is borne by students and their families.

Education experts say for a student to effectively get quality education, they need to pay between Shs12m to Shs15m annually.