By Innocent Anguyo
The list of students who have secured government sponsorship in public universities under the district quota system is out.
At least 896 students from 112 districts were selected from across the country, with Makerere University taking more than half of them.
The remaining students will go to the other public universities: Kyambogo, Gulu, Busitema and Mbarara University of Science and Technology.
Districts with higher student populations were allocated a higher number of candidate slots following last year’s resolution by the Government that districts should get slots in tandem with their population. However, each district is entitled to a minimum of six slots.
Accordingly, the districts of Kampala with an estimated 1.7million people and Wakiso with an estimated 1.3million people were given 23 and 18 slots respectively. Arua was given 12 slots as Iganga and Yumbe took 11 places each.
Because of their relatively low student populations, Kween, Kyankwanzi, Lyantonde, Moroto, Ntoroko, Nwoya, Otuke and Rubirizi districts are allocated the minimum six slots.
However, over 90% of the students admitted from the central region districts, such as Wakiso, Masaka, Mpigi, Luwero and Mukono are girls. All the students from Kampala and Wakiso are female, save for six boys.
The Public Universities Joint Admissions Board attributed the high girls enrolment to the 1.5 extra points awarded under the affirmative scheme.
Charles Ssentongo, the Makerere University deputy registrar, undergraduate admissions, says copies of the admission list will tomorrow be sent to the districts for confirmation, which should be done within two weeks.
“The names are subject to confirmation by the districts. When the district does not approve a specific name, we replace it with the next best candidate. We expect the districts to give us feedback by August, in time to process the admission letters before start of the new semester,” Ssentongo says.
A total of 3,000 students were admitted under the merit category last month. In addition to the quota scheme, another 104 students will soon be admitted to add up to the 4,000 students sponsored by the Government yearly.
Of the 104 vacancies, 40 slots are for talented sportsmen and women, while the rest will go to students with disabilities.
The district quota system was introduced in 2004 to enable bright students from underprivileged schools in remote districts get university education.
According to the admission guidelines, preference is given to candidates who sat A’ level at schools in their home districts.
In the recent past, the scheme has been abused as some students fraudulently gained admission.
More than 100 students admitted in the 2006/2007 academic year were discontinued because they came from the wrong districts.
In 2008, over 300 students were disqualified on the quota system for forging papers. Unscrupulous students opt for remote districts, which have few or no students with two principal passes to qualify for the universities.
Find the full list in the Sunday Vision newspaper