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Private Universities Admit 2020 Senior Six Leavers As Gov’t Gambles With Academic Year

Uganda Christian University (UCU) main gate

Nearly all private universities are on massive enrolment of new entrants despite the fact that the government is yet to give clear guidelines on the new Academic Year.  

The universities are targeting 68,013 of the 97, 490 candidates who successfully completed their Uganda Advanced Level Certificate Examinations-UACE last year.  

Due to the COVID-19 induced school closure, many academic institutions have paused their academic programs pondering their next move. This is not the case with private universities, which have embarked on mass enrollment of learners.  

Julius Ssekatawa, the Spokesperson of Kampala University, says that they are currently admitting learners for the 2021/2022 academic year based on the fact that the main intake always places around August- September.

He says that candidates who sat their examinations in the just concluded national examinations are eligible for admission so long as they have recommendation letters from their previous schools.      

Just like Ssekatawa, staff from other private universities contacted by URN also confirmed the ongoing enrollment of senior six leavers with many expecting to conduct online studies.

“Students completed their A-Level examinations and we are ready to receive them. Even if the president had not allowed physical classes. We would be admitting given the fact that National Council for Higher Education-NCHE has already approved universities to teach using open, distance and E-learning,” A staff at one of the Kampala City-based universities told URN on condition of anonymity.

Frank Obonyo, the spokesperson of Uganda Christian University-UCU, says that they have been receiving applications ever since UNEB released the UACE results.  

Since the government has allowed universities to resume physical classes effective November 1, 2021, Obonyo says that UCU is planning to prioritize face-to-face learning for the freshers and final year students with the continuing students remaining online.      

In normal times a student would be required to present the Uganda National Examination Board-UNEB pass slips or certificates, which are not yet out. Currently, universities are encouraging applicants to share their electronic result statements from UNEB.      

Many private universities argue that they have a mechanism that will allow them to verify the results with UNEB and at a later stage, students will be encouraged to hand in hard copies of the required documents.    

Dr. Denis Mugimba, the Ministry of Education spokesperson has cautioned private universities and other tertiary institutions against rushing to admit 2020 senior six learners or start a new intake.

Mugimba says that before the reopening date was set by the president, universities had informed the ministry that they were interested in teaching year one students so that they progress and create room for the new cohort to prevent clogging the education system.    

-URN

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