Universities’ ‘expired’ courses imperil students’ futures

The future of thousands of current students and recent graduates at Ugandan universities is in danger after it emerged that courses they are pursuing, or completed, are “expired”, writes Damali Mukhaye and Lydia Felly Akullu for Monitor.

An expired or invalid course, in this case, is a degree or diploma programme not duly accredited for teaching by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), the sector statutory regulator. Such qualifications, said one highly placed source, are “legally and technically null and void”. The crisis came to the fore after the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom reportedly declined to admit an alumna of Makerere University, who had studied a Bachelor of Biomedical Laboratory Technology, to pursue an advanced degree on the grounds that the NCHE website said the programme had expired in 2015 and the student graduated in 2018.

An analysis by Monitor of the statuses of various academic programmes tenable at Uganda’s public and private universities listed on the NCHE website showed that almost all are at fault, meaning the degrees they awarded or plan to award to graduates who enlisted as students after the courses expired are invalid. Section 119A and the accompanying statutory instrument oblige degree-awarding institutions to ensure that they, alongside their academic programmes, are accredited by the regulator.
Full report on the Monitor site