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Muni university graduation hangs in balance over finances

Muni University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Christine Dranzoa appearing before Parliament’s Education Committee.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  |  Muni University officials have warned that its students will not be able to graduate next year if the institution’s budgetary allocation remains static.

The University Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Christine Dranzoa and Secretary Rev. Dr Picho Epiphony Odubuker were today meeting Parliament’s Education Committee in regard to the institution’s Budget Framework Paper for the coming financial year 2020/2021.

Dr Picho stated that the University has had its budget failing to increase in proportion to the number of students and members of staff. He said that the limited funds allocated to the University has crippled activities at the institution which is science inclined and in need of practical aids.  

The budget performance trend before the committee indicates that the University non-wage budget had only increased from 3.4 billion Shillings in the financial year 2016/2017 to 4.4 billion Shillings in 2018/2019. Dr Picho Odubuker points out that even the 4.4 billion Shillings provided last financial year includes a 1.7 billion Shillings supplementary budget of which only 1 billion Shillings was provided.

This poor funding prevailed despite an increase in student numbers from 90 to 400 and an increase in members of staff from 50 to 178 over the last three years.

He explains that the shortage of funds may lead to students failing to get promoted or graduate given that several activities that contribute to grading and examination remain unfunded. The University Secretary cited nursing students being unable to undertake clinical practice, science students failing to enrol for internship and education students failing to undertake teaching practice. 

He told the MPs that the University Council and the senate which approves results were unable to sit due to limited finances.  

Other underfunded priorities he highlighted include specialized machinery and equipment for practical teaching and lack of funds for the research and innovation department. He noted that the University’s plan was to engage staff in research and knowledge generation for the transformation of the community.

The University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Christine Dranzoa expounded on the funding gaps facing the university.

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