NCHE clears Masaka-based Equator varsity

The university has since been licensed upobn inspection by NICHE. PHOTO/COURTESY/EQUSAT

What you need to know:

  • The promoters of EQUSAT started pushing for a licence in 2019.

The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), a body charged with setting standards that govern the establishment and operation of higher institutions of learning, has finally given a greenlight to the Masaka- based Equator University of Science and Technology (EQUSAT) to start admitting students.

This comes after the university fulfilled the requirements to attain a provisional licence.
“Following your application for a provisional licence to establish and operate a private university in Uganda, I have the pleasure to inform you that the council at its 60th sitting of June 14, 2021 ,considered and resolved that your request be granted ,” a letter dated July 8 and issued by NCHE executive director, Prof Mary Okwakol, reads in part .

Prof Okwakol however, said the new university can in the interim offer only four  of the five academic programmes submitted to the council.

The accredited programmes include; Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, which will enroll 50 pioneer students effective September, Bachelor of Dental Surgery (15), Bachelor of Information Technology (75) and Bachelor of Business Administration (150). 

Bachelor of Pharmacy is among the courses the university wanted to start with but NCHE is still assessing their readiness and capacity to offer the programme.

“Please note that teaching unaccredited programmes constitutes an offence under Section 119A of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001, as amended and shall attract sanctions including but not limited to revocation of licence ,”  Prof Akwakol added.

Prof Fredrick Nozmo-Mukiibi, the EQUSAT pioneer vice chancellor, welcomed  the approval of their courses as a major breakthrough.

“We are happy for this milestone and promise to offer unique study and work opportunities and environment for the population of Uganda, East Africa and beyond,” he said.

Prof Mukiibi said due to the Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings, they will conduct online teaching and assessment of learners.

“Our staff are already mastering the technology of conducting lessons online and our pioneer students will experience how this works,” he said

EQUSAT is located at Masaka Regional Referral  Hospital  and has set up  a fully -fledged medical school  with laboratories, lecture rooms and other facilities.

According to Prof Mukiibi, students offering medical courses  will use Masaka Regional Referral Hospital as a teaching hospital .

He said  plan are underway  to construct another campus at Bajja Village, Lukaya Town Council on  the Kampala-Masaka Highway.

Dr Stephen Ssebaggala, the chairperson board of directors  Masaka Regional Referral Hospital, said their partnership with EQUSAT will enable them offer services such as specialised dental services including artificial teeth manufacturing and modern imaging,  among others.

“This is a gift to us. We are grateful to all those who pushed for this project, many people have been going abroad for specialised diagnostic services but with this  new state –of -the art equipment, all such services are going to be accessed here,”Mr Ssebaggala said.

The promoters of EQUSAT started pushing for a licence in 2019. The new university is established under an agreement between the government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health and the university of Lahore, Pakistani.