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Universities to Extend Private Admission Deadline

Prof Umar Kakumba, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in-Charge of Academic Affairs at Makerere University says although the private scheme undergraduate application deadline is June 12th, 2020 they will be extending it. He says they believe that the eighteen day extension will be sufficient for students who would have missed out on the government sponsorship and wish to join Makerere University.
Students viewing Government sponsorship list. (Courtesy photo)
Students who will miss out on government university sponsorship for the 2020/2021 Academic Year have a two week’s window to find alternative options for their tertiary education. 

Several university officials URN spoke to indicate that they will extend the registration deadline to June 30, 2020, to give students ample time to decide their options as the Public Universities Joint Admission Board-PUJAB is scheduled to hold the selection of students this week.  

Prof Umar Kakumba, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in-Charge of Academic Affairs at Makerere University says that the initial private scheme undergraduate application deadline of June 12, 2020, will be extended by 18-days. He is optimistic that the extension will be sufficient for students who would have missed out on the government sponsorship and wish to join Makerere University.

“That time is enough. When the list is released, we expect those who will have missed out but wish to study at Makerere will be sending in their applications within the given days,” Professor Kakumba noted.      

Gulu University, Vice-Chancellor Prof George Ladaah Openjuru, says there will be no further extension of the private undergraduate application deadline beyond June 30. “That is the limit. Those who are serious can use that time to make a decision. I know that by now they already have an alternative and when the list is out they will just take action, that is when they are not selected,” said Professor Openjuru.

Soroti University Spokesperson, Hassan Nyene says the university has already extended the admission deadline thrice since April to create time for students who miss out on government sponsorship.

“Our (Private scheme undergraduate’s) deadline is June 15, but of course after the selection, we will have to extend for the fourth time, although the period might not be so long but we are sure that the few students who will be left out will use the given time,” Nyene told Uganda Radio Network.

Usually, students apply for government sponsorship through the Public Universities Joint Admission Boards while in their senior six. Those who score above the cutoff point wait for the government sponsorship list before they decide their next course of action depending on the results from the selection exercise.  

However, a number of students in areas with limited or no access to online portals or internet connectivity are disadvantaged. Jolly Uzamukunda, the Commissioner in Charge of Higher Education in the Education and Sports Ministry, says admissions process can hold on until the ministry issues guidelines and new education calendar not to disadvantage less privileged students who might not have access to the internet at the moment.  

“I understand that these are autonomous bodies. But we cannot be discussing admission right now. We even don’t know what will come later.  I think the selections can be done but admission should be left open until we are certain about the future. Normally there are application deadlines because we know the opening dates," said Uzamukunda.     

PUJAB selections are normally conducted in May. However, the selection exercise was affected by the Covid19 nationwide lockdown and loss of student data by the board. There was also a delay by Uganda National Examinations Board to provide PUJAB with the required information including the result of applicants on time.

The government supports at least 4000 students in the nine public universities with Makerere taking almost half of the number.