Kampala — The government has established a committee that will spearhead the processes of taking over Busoga University as a public institution after it was closed for lack of minimum standards by the regulatory body last year.
Dr Chrysostom Muyingo, the State Minister for Higher Education, will chair the committee following a meeting with President Museveni.
Some of the committee members include Busoga Diocese Bishop Paul Naimanhye, Mr Nathan Ahimbisibwe (South Ankole Diocese), Bishop Sheldon Mwesigwa (Ankole Diocese) and Emeritus Bishop Michael Kyomya.
Others on the committee are Dr David K. Kazungu, Dr Edward Gaamuwa (former Busoga University council chairperson), Mr Patrick Kayemba (Iganga LC5 chairperson), Prof John Asibo Opuda (National Council for Higher Education executive director) and the Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary, Mr Alex Kakooza.
According to Dr Muyingo, the team is expected to find out why the university was closed and make recommendations to re-operationalise it.
Busoga University, affiliated to Busoga Diocese under the Church of Uganda, was founded in 1999.
The President directed the Minister of Education, Ms Janet Museveni, also First Lady, in January that government takes over two struggling private universities; Mountains of the Moon and Busoga University.
In his letter, Mr Museveni explained that because of high demand for university education, the government has created public universities in Teso, Bukedi, Kabale, West Nile, Lango, Ankole, and Acholi and that there are plans to extend to other sub-regions such as Masaka, Karamoja, Bugisu, Bunyoro, Mubende and Sebei.
Last year, Prof Opuda revoked the operational licence for the Iganga-based institution for failure to recruit qualified staff, accused of teaching unaccredited courses and graduating students who did not meet the requirements.
NCHE officials picked up the matter following a complaint from a whistle-blower and the education attaché at the South Sudan embassy Mr Lual Akol Nhial, questioning the manner in which more than 1,000 South Sudanese were admitted to Busoga University and graduated in two months.
On confirmation, and after a series of investigations on the institution's affiliation with Star University College in Juba, the licence was cancelled.
Dr Muyingo said Shs3 billion has been allocated for the preparatory stages for the duo to be added on the existing public universities; Makerere, Gulu, Busitema, Kabale, Kyambogo, Mbarara, Muni and Soroti.
Although the President's directive to turn Mountains of the Moon and Busoga private universities into public institutions came in January, the NCHE website already indicates that Mountains of the Moon is already among the recognised public universities.
Prof Opuda however, yesterday explained that unlike Busoga, Mountains of the Moon was already a chartered institution.
"We completed all the processes long ago. It is just remaining with public funding," Prof Opuda said in an interview.