The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has warned that several universities are offering masters degrees and PhDs when they are not qualified to do so.
Prof. Abdu Kasozi, The NCHE chief revealed on Friday that only 13 out of 32 universities are allowed to offer masters degrees and PhDs. These are the chartered universities. The rest have provisional licenses and are not authorized to offer masters and PhDs.
“Such post-graduate degrees from universities with provisional licences are not recognised,” Prof. Kasozi says.
Prof Kasozi explained that all public universities like Makerere, Mbarara, Busitema, Gulu and Kyambogo are allowed to offer masters and PhDs. However, private universities cannot offer these degrees unless they are chartered.
There has been contention over Kampala Iinternational University’s awarding of 42 PhDs to its students. The NCHE advised KIU to stay the awards, pending confirmation of their validity, a decision which the university ignored.
During a press briefing on Friday, Prof. Kasozi said PhD degrees which were awarded are still being scrutinized.
“But this does not mean they are invalid, since we are still ascertaining the process KIU went through to have them awarded. We will study the documents presented to us by KIU and later make a decision,” Kasozi added.
He said that although KIU has the capacity to award PhDs, it was the high number of the awarded students in such a short time, which raised an alarm, leading to the inquiry.
The NCHE has set up a Committee to work out improved minimum requirements and general guidelines for training and awarding of post graduate degrees appropriate for Uganda and the East African region.
The Committee is being chaired by Kyambogo University acting Vice-Chancellor Prof. Asibo Opuda. The others are the former Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba, Dr. Muhammad Mpezamihigo from the Islamic Univesity in Uganda and Dr. Jane Egau Okuo from Ministry of Education and Sports.
Dr. Umar Kakumba (Makerere), Prof. Maria Musoke (Makerere) and Dr. Cyrus Ssebugenyi (NCHE) are also part of the task force. The team, Kasozi said, is expected to produce its report in two months’ time.
The public universities certified to offer PHDs are Makerere University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Gulu University, Kyambogo University, Busitema University(Tororo) and Uganda Management Institute (University level).
The private Universities are Islamic University in Uganda, Ndejje University, Uganda Matrys University, Bugema University, Nkumba University, Uganda Christian University and Kampala International University.