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Vice Chancellors Caught ‘Pants Down’ Over Expired Programs

Universities and other tertiary institutions have been caught off guard regarding expired programs, according to Prof. John Robert Ikoja-Odongo, the vice chancellor of Soroti University.

The recent controversy arose when the University of Bristol in England rejected an application for a graduate program on the grounds that her undergraduate Biomedical Lab Technology degree program at Makerere University had expired.

This incident has caused concern and anxiety among students, alumni, and administrators in both public and private educational institutions nationwide.

A recent statement issued by National Council for Higher Education NCHE emphasizes that institutions are mandated to resubmit their programs every five years (for masters, bachelors, and diplomas) and every ten years for PhDs.

According to the available information, over 1,470, have expired in both public and private academic institutions over the past five years.

At Gulu University more than 50 courses including Bachelors of Public Administration, Bachelor of Development Studies, and Bachelors of Arts Education, Bachelors of Science in Agriculture, Master of Medicine and Bachelors of Public Health were listed as expired.

Available information indicates that the National Council for Higher Education requires regular re-assessment and review of programs every five years for masters, bachelors, and diplomas, and every ten years for PhDs.

The re-assessment process evaluates various factors, including the program’s relevance to the market and the nation, compliance with minimum standards, the quality of graduates, and adherence to the program’s design and content.

It is important to note that this re-accreditation procedure adheres to both national and internationally accepted standards.

However, Prof. George Openyjuru Ladder, the Gulu University Vice Chancellor has down played the controversy.

Meanwhile, The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa, has directed the Minister of Education and Sports to present a statement on the issue of expired programs in different universities. He issued the directive during the plenary sitting on Tuesday in response to concerns about universities offering courses that are considered expired.

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