Mkapa asks EAC govts to support private students

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th November 2013 10:39 PM

Former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa has asked EAC governments to support students in private universities.

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Former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa has asked EAC governments to support students in private universities.

By Vivian Agaba
Former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa has asked East African Community governments to support students in private universities the way they do for those in public universities. 
While addressing graduands of Cavendish University Uganda (CUU) at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Wednesday, Mkapa called for the extension of government packages such as student loans, sponsorships and bursaries to private universities. 
He noted that these privileges were, at the moment, only enjoyed by students in public universities subsequently depriving their privately sponsored colleagues of progress on similar schemes.
“The development of any country is determined by the level of the education of its people. A well-educated society has an enormous capacity to tackle the challenges of development, and vast ability to innovate and implement development plans and solutions,” Mpaka said.
University education in particular, Mpaka added could be used as an effective tool for political, social and economic integration and transformation. 
“This can be achieved through strengthening our existing institutions and policies and also adopting new policies that are relevant to ever changing circumstances,”Mkapa said. 
To standardize high education across the region, Mkapa further called for the strengthening of the inter-University Council of East Africa by harmonizing university entry requirements, examinations and qualifications. 
He told the EAC countries to introduce a regional council for higher education which will supervise and regulate existing national councils for higher education.
Installation of a regional mechanism to promote and monitor quality assurance in both private and public universities was another recommendation made by Mkapa. 
Ketrine M. Salati, the vice-chancellor of Cavendish University said to promote education in East African, there was need for the countries to agree and harmonize on the standards of education for exchange programmes.
“For East African countries to succeed in promoting education, they should agree on standards and qualifications needed for a student to enroll in the university of their Choice in East Africa,” Salati noted.
“This will help in providing platforms for students on the region thus giving them a chance to transfer knowledge from one university to another,” Salati added. 
A total of 718 students graduated, 420 of the graduates were male and 298 were female. They graduated with bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, and certificates in different disciplines that included business administration, Law, information technology, international relations and diplomacy, Public relations and media management, and Environmental health science among others.

Mkapa asks EAC governments to support private students

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