Opuda Asibo giving his keynote address during the 23rd graduation ceremony of Bugema University on November. Photo by Tony Rujuta
Universities have been warned against issuing 'fake' degrees to people out to meet their academic requirements.
The executive director of National Council for Higher Education (NHCE) John Opuda noted that a number people including public servants have been rushing to obtain academic certificates without even attending classes.
He made the revelation on sunday during the 23rd graduation ceremony of Bugema University in Luwero district. Opuda warned that universities found issuing such certificates risk having their charters and letters of interim authorities withdrawn.
He added that the council was keen to ensure the 'fake' degrees' rush stops in efforts to streamline higher education in Uganda.
"The council is aware that individuals, including politicians, have been approaching institutions of higher learning to secure diplomas and degrees to meet academic qualifications to vie for various posts. If a university is found to be involved in this racket, there will be dire consequences. We cannot allow people to buy degrees," Opuda said.
He added that, “We want universities to take this very seriously. When you register for a university programme, there are certain admission requirements you must fulfill. Additionally, the minimum contact hours must be met."
He also expressed concern over cases of university students missing their marks, thus denying them the opportunity to graduate in time.
This comes after recently Uganda's pioneer Makerere University embarked on a comprehensive academic audit aimed at recalling undeserved degrees.
The exercise involved examining marks of students over the past several years, to identify the certificates obtained on the basis of forged or altered results.
The university vice-chancellor Prof. Patrick Manu noted that the institution had witnessed quite an expansion and moderate growth since the last graduation.
“Challenges are always confrontations to give way to stepping stones which has nurtured us to stand tall. Enrolment has been maintained amidst the establishment of many other universities which are struggling for students,” he noted.
Manu also noted that the university was committed to equal opportunity and does not discriminate against qualified persons on the basis of gender, color, religion, national, or ethnic origin in its educational admission policies.
The chancellor Dr Daniel Matte urged the graduands not to forget the society which has invested in them.
“You are going to join the world of work where you are expected to make a positive contribution to society. You are called to serve. Do not forget what others have invested in you,” Matte said.
There were 105 students graduating with masters’ degrees, 24 with post graduate diplomas. A total of 1274 students graduated with 752 male and 522 female.