Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said that the 10% tuition fee increment for new students at Makerere University should be suspended with immediate effect and that Government will meet the cost of the increment this academic year.
The President was this afternoon speaking at a meeting with the University officials, led by the University Chancellor, including members of the University Council, administrators, students’ leaders and members of MUASA. The meeting held at State House Entebbe was also attended by Inspector General of Police, General Kale Kayihura.
President Museveni’s directive to suspend the increment followed remarks by Guild President Ivan Bwo that the increment has negatively affected students from poor families as they can’t afford to send their children to the higher learning institution.
The President also directed that monies already paid by student following the increment be carried forward to other semester.
He explained that to have a quality university there is need to have professors & lecturers who are stable to teach the students.
“What I want is a formula for a good university for our children & the centrepiece for such a university is good teachers. Teachers, professors and lecturers who are not running around teaching here and there. A professor should be earning about Ugshs 15 million. This way we shall retain them,’’ he said.
The President thus assured the University adminstration that starting next financial year the government will allocate Ugshs 300 billion to public to universities instead of the previous Ugshs 120 billion which he said should be used to improve on the welfare of the professors and lecturers.
He also directed Makerere University to come up with the unit cost of educating a student excluding salaries of professors and lecturers.
“Private students do not have to pay salaries for teaching staff. They should be paying the unit cost of their education and other necessities, utilities -such as power, water etc. Government will take up payment of professors & lecturers salaries” he said.
President Museveni also asked the University administration to review the many courses and ensure they are relevant to the job market.
“Put emphasis on sciences, areas and segments of humanities that are marketable. There is a degree in conflict resolution; when conflicts are over, where will these people work. Are they not going to float on the streets? I want us to ensure the reputation of Makerere University grows but on useful courses,” he emphasized.
Commenting on Development studies, the President said that his original idea to Mbarara University was that it is taught as a paper to all students, whether science or arts students.
He also said that there was need for the University to compare and contrast with the rest of the third world universities in Africa.
’’Study how Universities like Dar-es-Salaam, India, Nairobi perform better and pay their staff. Let’s have the facts and there won’t be anything to argue about,” President Museveni advised the officials.
Professor Mondo Kagonyera revealed that Makerere University has secured a grant of twenty million dollars from Master Card Organization towards helping disadvantaged students . He thanked His Excellency the President for his able leadership and ensuring peace and security for the people of Uganda.