What you need to know:
- The closure comes nine days after the NCHE blocked the institution’s graduation ceremony due to fights between the current management and alleged founder members who had set different graduation dates for the same students.
The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has closed Great Lakes Regional University in Kanungu District for one month over contested ownership and mismanagement.
The closure comes nine days after the NCHE blocked the institution’s graduation ceremony due to fights between the current management and alleged founder members who had set different graduation dates for the same students.
The November 23 letter from the Executive Director of the NCHE, Prof Mary Okwakol, directs the vice-chancellor to ensure that all managers, staff and students vacate the university premises by November 24 (yesterday) mid-day.
“The decision to halt the operations is to enable NCHE to conduct a thorough investigation into the issues…,” Prof Okwakol said.
The closure leaves more 600 students who had just reported for studies stranded.
The trouble emerged from two factions – one led by the current executive director of the university, Mr Wilkins Honest Natukwasa, and the other led by the former university chancellor, Dr Hamlet Mbabazi Kabushenga - who are fighting over ownership and management of the university.
NCHE warned the university not to reopen until they are cleared to do so.
“Students and staff should only return after clearance and communication from the NCHE. We have asked the Resident District Commissioner of Kanungu to provide security to the university properties,” Prof Okwakol wrote.
Managers speak out
But Mr Natukwasa said the decision by NCHE is unfair.
“There was abuse of the process to reach that conclusion because key stakeholders were not consulted. The decision was made in a haste. The plight of the students, staff and other key stakeholders was not given attention,” he said.
Dr Mbabazi said he was aware of the NCHE directive and that he would issue a statement about the matter.