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NCHE Clears Over 60 percent of Courses Due for Review :: Uganda Radionetwork
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NCHE Clears Over 60 percent of Courses Due for Review

Dr. Ssembatya stated that as the given deadline has passed, the council will soon begin assessing individual institutions to identify courses that do not comply with the required regulations. He emphasized that institutions will not be permitted to admit students to these programs until they undergo review and receive approval.
09 Dec 2023 15:09
Dr. Vincent Ssembatya, the Director Quality Assurance at NCHE

Audio 3

The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has completed the review of at least 62.5 percent of courses from various higher learning institutions that were significantly overdue for review.

Dr. Vincent Ssembatya, the Director for Quality Assurance at NCHE, revealed that as the deadline for submitting these courses for review approached, institutions overwhelmed the council with submissions. Consequently, the council has been working tirelessly to clear this backlog. 

Dr. Ssembatya pointed out that, as of the latest update, they have successfully reviewed over 1,000 courses out of the 1,600 that were long overdue for re-assessment.

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The course review issue emerged as a storm in the realm of higher education in Uganda, sparked by the surprising news that the University of Cambridge and Bristol University had declined to admit Ugandan students for postgraduate studies. This decision was because the applicants had graduated after the expiration of the program accreditation period.

This matter escalated into a contentious debate, particularly concerning the validity of programs labeled as "expired" and the uncertain fate of students who had graduated under such conditions. Amidist this crisis, NCHE clarified that the qualifications of graduates who pursued courses recently declared as "expired" but had prior accreditation remained valid.

Following a series of meetings and discussions, the council made several decisions. They opted to replace the term "expired" with 'due for review' for programs whose reassessment period had lapsed and had not been resubmitted for review. Additionally, the term 'under review' was assigned to programs whose reassessment had lapsed but had been submitted for review.

The council insisted on mandatory submission of programs for reassessment within a six-month timeframe to ensure compliance with accreditation standards. Vice-chancellors, including Prof. John Robert Ikoja-Odongo of Soroti University, admitted being caught unprepared, acknowledging lapses in periodically reviewing programs for continued relevance.

For a mutually beneficial outcome, NCHE also decided to extend the time between accreditation and reassessment to two program cycles plus one year. Within this timeframe, a program is acknowledged as accredited but is required to undergo mandatory submission to the NCHE for all programs labeled as due for review by November 30th.

Dr. Ssembatya stated that as the given deadline has passed, the council will soon begin assessing individual institutions to identify courses that do not comply with the required regulations. He emphasized that institutions will not be permitted to admit students to these programs until they undergo review and receive approval.

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Institutions were granted a grace period to continue admitting students for courses under review until the November 30 deadline. Consequently, any course that remains unrelieved will not be permitted to admit students for the January intake in institutions that follow such a schedule.

A recent examination of the status on the NCHE website revealed that top universities have the highest number of programs due for review. Kyambogo University ranked highest with 155 programs, followed by Makerere University with 115, and Uganda Martyrs University with 105.

However, Ssembatya recognized that certain institutions may have discontinued, temporarily suspended, or permanently halted specific programs for internal reasons. 

Nevertheless, he emphasized the importance of communicating such actions with the council.

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