11 June 2019

Uganda: Makerere University Scraps External Examiners Over Cash

Kampala — Makerere University has suspended external examinations indefinitely due to financial constraints.

A June 7 letter from Mr Charles Barugahare, the university secretary, stated that the decision was agreed upon after a central management finance committee that sat on May 29 found a shortfall of more than Shs4b.

"Management agreed that in view of the financial constraints, external examinations should be deferred until management provides further guidance," the letter reads in part.

Prof Umar Kakumba, the acting Vice Chancellor, told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview yesterday that the move would not affect graduate students who require external examiners before being awarded their degrees.

He said the decision would affect departments that have been inviting professors from other universities.

"The university has been spending a lot of money in air tickets to fly in professors from outside the country to come to Makerere to do quality assurance. We are suspending it for this financial year," Prof Kakumba said.

He also said the university has 30 schools and each has at least two to three departments, indicating that the institution has been spending on more than 100 external examiners.

Suspension 'suicidal'

However, Dr Edward Mvavu, the deputy chairperson of Makerere University Academic Staff, said the move would affect the standard of the quality of exams and trainings.

"Suspending external examiners is suicidal. The university should have suspended leadership allowance given to top managers rather than suspending external examiners," Dr Mvavu said.

"We are not training students for only Makerere, but for the world, so when you have other people from other institutions to come and look at the examination we are setting, they can evaluate and advise on how to improve on the quality of our exams we are giving out to students," he added.

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