The authorities at Makerere University Business School – MUBS, a school of business of Makerere University, have rejected a directive by Makerere University to increase tuition fees for graduate programmes.
Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba, the MUBS Council Chairperson, has described the directive by Makerere University Council to increase tuition fees as illegal and unfortunate.
Last month, Makerere University Council directed MUBS to revise tuition fees to not less than UGX5million and UGX7million per annum for Masters and PhD programmes respectively before March 26.
But Prof. Baryamureeba says that public education should be inclusive and that the proposed fees by Makerere University Council are more likely to exclude the majority of Ugandans who earn less than Ugx500,000 per month.
While communicating the MUBS council position on the directive, Prof. Baryamureeba, in his April 3, 2018 letter contends that whereas MUBS is a Public Tertiary Institution by law affiliated to Makerere University, it is financially and administratively autonomous of Makerere University.
” MUBS gets government subvention in addition to the fees paid by students to enable it run all its programmes. Therefore MUBS will not be increasing its tuition fees for all academic programmes including those for the award of Makerere University degrees in the foreseeable future unless government directs all public institutions otherwise,” Prof. Baryamureeba said.
In his explanation, Prof. Baryamureeba said that MUBS would go through an extensive consultative process before it can increase tuition.
This would include undertaking stakeholder analysis and consulting all key stakeholders including government line ministries of finance, Education as well as the public, students, staff and alumni.
” Experience has taught us that abrupt increase of tuition fees at public institutions has always led to strikes by students,” said Prof. Baryamureeba.
Adding that; “MUBS has not been able to recruit the desired number of students on its graduate programmes even at the current tuition levels. Furthermore, other public universities charge less than what MUBS is charging on similar programmes and MUBs is not ready to price itself out of the market.”
According to Prof. Baryamureeba, much as MUBS runs Masters and PhD programmes for awards of Makerere University, 100% of tuition fees of these programmes goes to MUBS
MUBS provides business and management education at the certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate levels. According to the 2016/17 Makerere University Fact Book, there are 716 post graduate students at MUBS of the overall 3186 total postgraduate and PhD enrolments at Makerere University.
The Makerere University Council headed by Eng. Charles Wana-Etyem comprising representatives from the Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and other stakeholders, resolved that all new graduate students the minimum tuition for any Graduate programme is UGX. 5million.
Ritah Namisango, the Makerere University Senior Public Relations Officer confirmed the tuition fees increment for graduate programmes but said the decision will affect those who will be joining Makerere University in August 2018 and not the continuing Graduate Students.
According to Namisango, the decision to increase fees was reached following recommendations with reference to findings of the Jamwa Report, Prof. Omaswa Report and the Visitation Committee Report on the need to charge the realistic cost of higher education.
She adds that; “With consultations with the National Council for Higher Education and surveys conducted by the Planning and Development of Makerere University as well as the Quality Assurance Directorate of Makerere University, it is clear that if Makerere University is to solve some of the financial challenges facing the institution, it should charge the realistic unit cost of higher education.”