Kampala — Makerere University has finalised the admission list for private sponsored students for the academic year 2009/2010.
A total of 8,525 students have been admitted for various courses under the private sponsorship programme, according to the list seen by The New Vision.
This is a reduction of 3,475 students from the 12,000 admitted last year. The 8,525 students is an addition to the 3,000 students who were admitted in May on government sponsorship.
The list, yet to be pinned up, shows that science-based courses were the most competitive judging from the high cutoff points. They ranged from 35 to 47 points.
They included Bachelors of Telecommunications Engineering, Architecture, Pharmacy and Civil Engineering.
Others with high cutoff points were Bachelor of Nursing, Dental Surgery, Quantity Surveying and Mechanical Engineering.
In arts, Mass Communication was the most competitive, with 47 cutoff points, followed by Bachelor of Laws, Business Management, Education, Leisure and Hospitality and Business Statistics.
For the last three years, the university has been admitting between 11,000 and 12,000 students under the private sponsorship programme. This followed a university council directive to decongest the 85-year-old institution.
The university admits another 3,000 students through the government sponsorship scheme that largely caters for science-based courses, which are considered strategic to the country's economic development.
Earlier this month, the academic registrar, Amos Olar Odur, said the university would increase the intake to 17,220 after they introduced 12 new courses and built more lecture theatres.
However, the decision to increase the intake was reversed shortly after to ensure provision of quality education, according to a reliable source in the university senate, the top academic decision-making organ which admits students.
"We received over 10,000 applicants but many have been denied admission. We realised there was need to reduce the student-teacher ratio so as to uplift the education standards," a member of the senate said.
Since Makerere University began the private sponsorship scheme in 1994, its ranking has been dropping mainly due to congestion amid limited infrastructure and under-funding. It is currently ranked 47th in Africa.
Uganda has five public universities - Makerere, Mbabara University of Science and Technology, Gulu University, Kyambogo University and the newly-established Busitema University. They all admit students under the private sponsorship scheme.
There are 25 universities operating in Uganda, with a combined enrolment of about 60,000.