National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has reacted to an outrage over a story published by Campus Bee in which a Makerere University Graduate’s Academic documents were rejected at a University in England, due to holding a degree of an ‘expired’ course from Uganda’s premier institution.
In a statement issued to this reporter on 19 May 2023, the management at NCHE notes that Institutions of Higher Learning are required to re-submit programs for reassessment every 5 years (for Masters, Bachelors, Diplomas and Higher Education Certificates) and every 10 years for PhDs.
For a programme at University to be re-accredited, NCHE says that the following criteria are followed:
- The implementation of NCHE regulations regarding minimum standards
- The adherence to the programme design, the content, the duration, contact hours and assessment of what is taught
- Relevance of what is taught for the job market and the nation
- The quality of graduates.
NCHE further explains that expiry of accreditation means that the programme needs re-assessment to establish whether the key aspects upon which accreditation was granted, are still in place. And if otherwise, the programme is considered out of date (expired)
This only means that there was short of accreditation-renewal of the course in question at Makerere, for which the graduate, whose academic documents were rejected in England over ‘expired degree’, attained.
Accreditation for the programme in question – Bachelor of Biomedical Laboratory Science & Technology expired on 23rd June, 2016 and has since, not been renewed, as it is only marked as “under review” (as per the NCHE accreditation website).
The affected alumna graduated in 2018, two years after the course accreditation expired. This now leaves more questions than answers including: why the university took all this time to rectify this anomaly?
By press time, efforts to get a comment on this matter from Makerere Academic Registrar – Prof Buyinza Mukadasi were futile.
However, it’s important to note that the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs at the same institution – Prof Umar Kakumba had earlier told Campus Bee that the Academic Registrar’s Office had been working with the NCHE and such programme anomalies had been addressed.
Annually, each student across different Universities in the country contributes Shs. 20,000 (Ugandan Shillings) to the funds of the NCHE.