The government of Uganda has been called upon to come up with an appropriate funding model for public universities.
PIC: The Vice chancellor Kyambogo University, Prof. Elly Katunguka Rwakishaya. (Credit: Adolf Ayoreka)
By Adolf Ayoreka
MBARARA - The government of Uganda has been called upon to come up with an appropriate funding model for public universities to enable them run their heavy budgets.
This call was made by Prof. Elly Katunguka Rwakishaya, the Vice chancellor Kyambogo University (KYU).
Rwakishaya made the remarks while addressing a press conference in Mbarara town on Tuesday about the new study centre that is being opened up in Bushenyi district this academic year.
Katunguka noted that apparently, the government is not funding public universities substantially. Out of the budget of sh100b the government only gives sh35b.
"If the government comes up with a funding moduel and substantially funds these public Universities, then they can go ahead and instruct them on what to do.
"With that in place, the university finds no reasons as to why it should not implement some of the works but apparently we struggle to get funds.”
On the issue of raising their own funds, Katunguku noted that by the time he joined Kyambogo, he found a big challenge with failure to know how much money the university was collecting because of the manual systems that would be easily manipulated and misused by some group of people in the administration.
To overcome the challenge, he introduced a system called E-compass system that has financial management modules, students’ records modules that this has enabled them to easily compute the funds they raise from students’ fees.
He adds that next year they are projecting to collect sh140b from sh108b and out of this government has been giving us sh40b and the money from government mainly goes to pay salaries and then little money goes to support government sponsored students.
“So we have a challenge of under funding but we have tried to progress by ensuring that the little money received is used properly,more so our discussion with the minister for education she has been very strong on how Universities can use our facilities to generate money, we have come up with a resource mobalisation policy which is now going through council for discussion, we have a lot of land more than 130 acres and we have been using it for rearing cows but we are looking on how we can use this land to generate us funds.
Prof. Katunguka mentioned that as Kyambogo University effective this academic year they are going to open up a study center in Bushenyi district next to Valley University of science and Technology in abid to decentralise the education system to the locally based students.
He said that when Valley University was starting, it expected a big number of students whom they thought would register which was not the case, so their facilities remained redundant un occupied.
He adds they were approached and held a discussion on how they can use the facilities by establishing a study center which is going to start this academic year.
He says they do this with an effort to bring close services since there is much demand for education that all cannot be taken to higher Institutions of learning, he said they take in only 9% of the people who qualify to join university.
For Kyambogo University, Katunguka says this year they received 25,000 applications and 20,000 were senior leavers and 5000 diploma holders who want to upgrade. He adds that they managed to admit 15,000 students of which they expect 10,000 to turn up. Open up a study centre in upcountry district like Bushenyi Katunguka noted that is done in response to the increased demand.
“The fact that we are in charge of all NTC and PTCs and people have been asking us why don’t you bring these services to us especially courses like Education, Engineering science so that they have to leave their jobs to go to Kampala,” Katunguka said.
More so, the incomes of these people have not been improving drastically in the rural areas.
"There are many parents who cannot manage to send there children to Kampala for studies because the cost of living is very high, so when we have these programmes run like in Bushenyi, there are students who would want to study from Bushenyi so when this facility is available students from within will be given a chance to join University.”
He says so far they have opted for Bushenyi and Soroti for this year and that as time goes by they will gauge the demand.
He says that have already put some money aside to run this centre, mechanism to supervise teachers and that these will be recruited locally.
For the start this study center is going to create job opportunities to the people within the locality, he said that they are now looking for the center coordinator, three administrators, two office attendants, cleaners and security persons and one with ICT competence.
He said that they are hoping to get 600 students for the start since the begining of any institution is not always good.