11 May 2009

Uganda: University Entry Points Announced

Kampala — MAKERERE and other public universities yesterday released cut-off points for students joining university under the government sponsorship scheme.

The Public Joint Admissions Board reduced the entry points for most of the courses at Makerere University while the points went up for the other public universities, Mbarara, Gulu, Kyambogo and Busitema.

However, the traditional dominant courses remained competitive for both arts and science programmes.

In a closed meeting, the board also set new entry guidelines which require all new students to pay for their meals and cater for their accommodation.

The admissions board yesterday admitted 3,000 students to over 100 courses.

According to the admission guidelines, the board was asked to maintain the 75% of the scholarships going to science-based courses.

The Government sponsors 4,000 students in public universities. Of these, 3,000 are selected on academic merit, while 75% are admitted to science courses and 25% to arts and humanities. The Government stopped sponsoring most arts-related courses as part of a new policy to promote sciences and courses considered strategic for national development.

The board will sit again next week to admit the 1,000 students under the district quota system under which each district is given 11 scholarships. The academic year opens on August 14.

A source said the cut-off points for mainly sciences were lowered because of the poor performance recorded in last year's Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education.

Arts subjects were performed better than sciences.

In the arts courses, the Government will sponsor students for law, business administration, economics, guidance and counselling, literature, music and drama.

The Government no longer pays for students to study once popular courses like mass communication, social work and social administration, tourism, human resource management under the merit-based system.

Other courses that are no longer sponsored include social sciences, development studies, bachelor of arts and environmental studies, adult and community education, urban planning, arts with education and Secretarial Studies.

Under the current arrangement, Makerere University will take in 1,800 government-sponsored students, Kyambogo 700, Mbarara University of Science and Technology 300, Gulu, 200 and Busitema, 100.

The list of the government sponsored students is expected to be released this week, Makerere's deputy academic registrar of admissions, Vincent Ekwang, a member of the board, said.

"We hope to release before the end of this week," he stated.

Hundreds of parents have been waiting for the admission list before taking a decision on whether to apply for the private sponsorship scheme.

Admissions for private students will start next week. But there is relief after the government decided not to implement a recommendation to increase fees.

Out of the 89,921 students who sat A'level in 2008, a total of 57,510 candidates qualify to join university as they scored two principal passes which is the minimum requirement for joining university.

All universities in Uganda can only take 25,000 students, meaning that more than 27,000 will miss university admission.

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