By Innocent Anguyo
Thousands of Makerere University students who had been de-registered for failing to complete their studies within the stipulated period, have been pardoned.
The university has given them until December 30, 2014, to apply for resumption of their studies.
Although the New Vision could not establish the actual number of students who have failed to complete their programmes in time, by March 2011, at least 2,000 faced dismissal for overstaying on their courses.
Initially, students who took too long to complete their courses faced dismissal.
Sources at Makerere said the biggest number of students who have failed to graduate within the stipulated period are from the College of Business and Management Sciences, College of Education and External Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Law.
These include both undergraduate and post-graduate students. Some of them joined more than 10 years ago. Most bachelor’s degree courses take three to five years.
Masters degree courses take two years, while PhDs take three to five years. A 2008 policy passed by the university’s senate, required that students stay for a maximum of two years after the expiration of the stipulated period for their courses.
Despite the two-year grace period, it has emerged that thousands of students have failed to graduate even after 10 years.
THE NEW POLICY
On Friday the university released a circular detailing a new policy that allows students who have overstayed to resume studies. The policy was passed by the Makerere University Senate, the top academic organ, at its 150th meeting held on April 16, 2014.
The academic registrar, Alfred Masikye, said the new policy is aimed at clearing the backlog of overstayed students and ensuring efficiency in operations of the university.
The academic registrar asked all students admitted to programmes before the 2004/2005 academic year, whose registration status elapsed and have not completed their studies, but wish to complete their studies, to apply to their colleges so they can be helped.
“Any student who was admitted before 2004/2005 and does not report or apply by December 30, 2014, will miss out. It will be assumed that they have abandoned studies and will be discontinued for overstaying on the programme,” Masikye told principals, deans and registrars of colleges and schools.
MUK issues new deadline for overstayed students