By Conan Businge and Gloria Nakajubi
THE NATIONAL Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has accredited Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU) as the 30th private university in the country.
This implies that the country now prides in having 30 private universities, on top of the five public ones; Makerere, Kyambogo, Gulu, Busitema and Mbarara.
The new university will contribute in taking on a number of students who will not easily be accommodated by the overstretched institutions of higher learning. The universities in the country, can only accommodate half of the students who finish Senior Six every other year, due to inadequate infrastructure and human resource.
The NCHE has last accredited new private universities in the country in 2011. The newest universities, which came on board in 2011, included African Rural University, Islamic Call University College, Livingstone International University, St. Augustine International University and Virtual University of Uganda.
The new university–UTAMU is owned by Makerere’s former Vice Chancellor Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba, who was voted out of office last year. UTAMU opened its gates in September last year, but it was then only offering online courses in collaboration with foreign univesity. It has no authority to offer its own localised degrees.
It was then partnering with foreign universities in India, United Kingdom and United States; on reasonable rates; using face-to-face and online delivery modes. But, its licensing does not mean it will cut its ties with the foreign universities, he explained.
The accreditation of any university by NCHE implies that it can now offer certificates and diplomas, and also confer its own degrees.
The National Council for Higher Education in accordance with Section 119A of the Universities and other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 as amended has also accredited undergraduate degree programmes. Among the degrees include bachelors in Computer Science, Information Systems and Technology, Business Administration, Arts in Economics and Science in Economics.
These programmes are housed in two schools i.e. the School of Computing and Engineering and the School of Business and Management.
“The School of Computing and Engineering has been carefully developed and equipped with very experienced human resource to nurture innovative minds in Computing and Engineering disciplines for tomorrow,” Prof. Baryamureeba told the press, in briefing held at the university premises in Kampala.
“On the other hand, the School of Business and Management has been established to produce entrepreneurs with best practice skills in business,” he added.
He explained that students from both schools will undertake a big part of their studies through experiential learning to equip them with all the requisite skills and values of the work place.
Uganda registers new private university