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Uganda: Public universities to admit 52,000 on private

Mbarara University of Science and Technology

Public universities will admit about 46,880 private students this academic year, basing on the Government’s planned estimate. Makerere plans to enroll about 33,200 private students, Kyambogo about 15,000, Gulu 2,650 and Mbarara University of Science and Technology 1,031 students. Busitema will admit about 480 students.

These are some of the indicative figures captured under the budget framework paper for all the public universities in the country. Makerere has already confirmed its number of admissions and the process has kicked off already. Last year, Makerere and Kyambogo alone admitted about 28,000 students on private sponsorship. Makerere University alone admitted about 20,500 students on the private scheme.

Makerere’s capacity to admit more private students has gone up this year, with the creation of upcountry campuses. Makerere deputy academic registrar Charles Ssentongo told New Vision online that MUBS’ degree course students will still be admitted under Makerere University.

“The process to make MUBS autonomous has not yet been finalised. It is the same reason why we will handle their admissions this year, as it has been in the past,” Ssentongo told. Makerere has already kicked off admissions for private students this year, and the process will close on June 11, this year.

But all universities’ admissions will depend on the students’ ability to meet the entry points set by various universities. This implies that the planned number may slightly be reduced or increased in the respective public universities. Apart from the 2,600 students admitted on merit or Government sponsorship, and an additional 1,000 students yet to be admitted on quota and affirmative action; all public universities will admit private students.

Makerere has already called applications for students willing to apply on private entry. Other public universities are also expected to start receiving applications from private students this week. Private universities have already started admitting students.

Much as public universities are estimating to admit about 76,000 students, of all the 102,296 candidates who sat for examinations, only about 66,000 got the required two principle passes for one to be admitted to any university in Uganda.

It should be noted that the number of candidates who attained the required points to join universities this year also increased compared to the previous year when there were only 61,820 candidates with the required two principle passes.

However, there are 30 universities in the country, including the privately owned universities. This means that they will have to share the available 66,000 students amongst themselves; on top of those who missed admission in the previous years.

There will also be students on Mature and diploma entry, on top of those from foreign universities, who will beef up admission in all the private and public universities on private entry. As a result, this year, the cut-offs to private universities are likely to be lowered in almost all public universities in the country.

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