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Makerere agrees to admit bio-medics

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Makerere University Admissions Committee has enrolled 26 out of the 33 students from Biomedical Sciences who appealed for consideration. For about five years, applicants for this course have been struggling to get enrolled.

The 26 appealed to the admissions committee to effect a 2018 court ruling that guided their enrollment for two years on a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery program after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences. In the cohort of the 2021 graduates, only one student was admitted in the first call for applications.

Based on the fact that the degree program of Biomedical Sciences is not registered with the Allied Health Professional’s Council, the 2018 court ruling required the university to guarantee the students’ enrollment to a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, which they would join in year three.

This would enable the students qualify to practice as professional health workers after completion. Lawrence Mukibi, one of those admitted notes that much as a list with his name has been released, the process is incomplete until he receives a copy of his admission letter.

Peter Masaba, who has also been admitted, says that the next phase is to see that they are allocated groups to work with at health facilities to catch up with the rest of the students who are already studying.

A student, who sought anonymity expressed frustration with the fact that the university is indifferent to the costs students from biomedical sciences incur when they have to appeal to get admitted.

“These are things that were decided upon a long time ago. Why should we suffer from appeals and have to seek legal intervention? Lawyers charge over sh800,000 per student seeking an appeal and some of our classmates abandon working on their enrollment because of this,” the student said.

The students, who regret enrolling for the course in the first place, note that they never get to know its dynamics as they are applying until they enroll for the course.

Meanwhile, the course is one of the most expensive in terms of tuition at the College of Health Sciences where students pay sh2, 360,398 Million for the three years compared to Medicine and others at an average of Shillings 2 million.

This is in addition to fresh enrolment after graduation for a Bachelor in Medicine and Surgery because it is inevitable. Moreover, with all the complications around the course, the university increases its intake of first-year students every year by over 30 learners.

Isaac Ssemakadde, a lawyer from the Center for Legal Aid and the students’ representative on the case, questions the motive of the university maintaining the course unit, which can not produce professionals.

“We are appealing to the National Council for Higher Education to look into this matter once and for all. Why should Makerere University insist on a course unit that leads students nowhere?” said Ssemakadde.

Over 120 students have been admitted on the same course in the most recent intake for the academic year 2021/ 2022 at Makerere University.



One comment

  1. There should be a document accompanying the transcript to explain the MBchB qualification that span a period of only three years

    (It is disheartening to have a doctor at an interview, then the panelists querry the genuine qualification)

    This cohort had been meant to have several outlets including the one to feed into medical schools that lack well established Biomedical Science teaching. Others being specialising in respective branches of medical science

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