Sweden cuts funding to Ugandan universities

The Swedish government is discontinuing funding research at public universities and redirecting its resources to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law. “The issue of funding universities is a matter of development of and for a country, and needs to be steered nationally,” said Per Lindgard, the Swedish ambassador to Uganda, writes Stephen Otage for the Daily Monitor.

“We expect the government of Uganda and the universities shall allocate more local funding to postgraduate training and research and that new ways of partnership shall be promoted,” he added. News of the announcement caught the education ministry and universities’ executives off-guard, with the former unable to respond to enquiries on whether the government stood ready to step in and fill the gap.

Sweden has over the past 15 years injected US$101 million (UGX380 billion), an average of US$6.7 million (UGX25 billion) per year, in public universities-led research. Uganda currently has nine public universities, although Makerere University, the country’s oldest and largest university, has been the biggest recipient of the Swedes’ cash. Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, the vice-chancellor, acknowledged last week that the Swedish government support for research had helped the institution to hone the skills of its upper-tier academics and their published works have lifted Makerere on global rankings.
Full report on the Daily Monitor site