Mwanza — The Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) has expressed gratitude to the government for abolishing the Central Admission System (CAS) currently used to admit students into Higher Learning Institutions.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the 'Daily News' yesterday, the SAUT Vice Chancellor Dr Thadeus Mkamwa said the directive given by President John Magufuli to the Tanzania Commission of Universities (TCU) on the system was timely and will save his institution from a number of losses incurred before as it implemented CAS.
He said although previously TCU had asked the Universities to share views on the performance of CAS, an intervention by President Magufuli will now give more confidence for them carry out their own admissions basing on recommended qualities and criteria.
"We were eagerly waiting for such a step as taken by the President since in our view, CAS had many anomalies that saw stakeholders disapprove it hence the plea for the system to be abolished," he said.
Dr Mkamwa who is also the Chairperson of the Committee of Vice Chancellors, Principals and Provosts of Tanzania (CVCPT) and President of the Association of Catholic Universities and Higher Education Institutes of Africa and Madagascar (ACUHIAM) said SAUT will resume the old admission system with a number of improvements in site.
He mentioned one of the strategies as the introduction of online application system which not only will carry out thorough selection of the eligible students but will also enable the University to admit quality students both from within and outside the country.
President Magufuli's directive, according to Dr Mkamwa, has in a way or another responded to the statement prepared by CVCPT in November, 2011 and submitted to TCU on the shortcomings accompanying the implementation of CAS as soon as it was introduced.
Available records show that the introduction of CAS affected many higher learning institutions including SAUT main campus here whose admission dropped sharply from around 5,000 students in 2010/2011 to roughly 2,500 the following academic year when it officially came into force.
"So through CVCPT we had written to the TCU raising an alarm on the implementation of the CAS which apart from other controversies, denied the Universities the powers to admit students basing on their specifications. So we therefore thank the President for the move," stressed Dr Mkamwa.
By virtue of his capacity at CVCPT, the VC said he was aware that many of the Universities particularly private ones were badly shaken economically but remained optimistic that with the Individual Admission System now being reinstated many including SAUT will regain their pace and make sure delivery of quality academic programs is maintained.
Basically, CAS was meant to ensure fair allocation of students but it was astonishingly learnt that the system was dominated by conflict of interest with five Universities being allowed to continue admitting students on their own.