Several universities are offering masters degrees and PhDs when they are not qualified to do so, the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has warned.
The NCHE boss, Prof. Abdu Kasozi, disclosed on Friday that only 13 out of 32 universities are authorised to offer masters degrees and PhDs. These are the chartered universities. The rest have provisional licenses and are not authorised to offer masters and PhDs.
New Vision online has established that some of the unchartered universities are offering advanced degrees on their websites and prospectus.
"Such post-graduate degrees from universities with provisional licences are not recognised," Prof. Kasozi says.
He explained that all public universities like Makerere, Mbarara, Busitema, Gulu and Kyambogo are allowed to offer masters and PhDs. However, private universities cannot offer these degrees if they are not chartered.
This comes days after a contention arose over KIU's awarding of 42 PhDs to its students. The NCHE advised KIU to stay the awards, awaiting confirmation of their authenticity, a decision which the university ignored.
On Friday, during a press briefing, Prof. Kasozi said PhD degrees which were awarded are still being scrutinised.
"But this does not mean they are invalid, since we are still ascertaining the process KIU went through to have them awarded. We will study the documents presented to us by KIU and later make a decision," Kasozi, who was flanked by his staff, added.
He explained that KIU, has the capacity to award PhDs, but it was the high number of the awarded students in such a short time, which raised an alarm, leading to the inquiry.
More so, Kasozi added that the NCHE has decided to put in place a Committee to work out improved minimum requirements and general guidelines for training and awarding of post graduate degrees appropriate for Uganda and the East African region.
Kasozi added that the requirements will be flexible enough to apply globally.
The Committee is being chaired by Kyambogo University acting Vice-Chancellor Prof. Asibo Opuda. The others are the former Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba, Dr. Muhammad Mpezamihigo from the Islamic Univesity in Uganda and Dr. Jane Egau Okuo from Ministry of Education and Sports.
Dr. Umar Kakumba (Makerere), Prof. Maria Musoke (Makerere) and Dr. Cyrus Ssebugenyi (NCHE) are also part of the task force. The team, Kasozi said, is expected to produce its report in two months' time.