About the Journal
It is my pleasure yet again to inform our stakeholders about the state of higher education in Uganda through the 2018/19 higher education publication. The total number of HEIs increased by four up from 233 in 2017/18 to 237 in 2018/19, Public Universities remained 9, Private Universities remained 44; Other Degree Awarding Institutions remained 10 and Other Tertiary Institutions increased by four from 172 to 176.
Generally, the statistics show note that in 2018/19 total student enrolment increased from 261,087 to 275,254 representing a significant increase of 5.43%. Universities still take the highest number of registered students at 192,346. There was a slight drop in GER in Uganda from 6.85% in 2017/18 to 6.81 in 2018/19 representing 0.58%. This can be explained by the prohibitively high cost of university education for many of Uganda’s poorest students since few are able to benefit from the government scholarship and students loan scheme. The GER for upper secondary education is twice that of tertiary education in Uganda. This means that there are many students completing upper secondary education who are eligible for higher education but do not have access to it. This is attributed to the high public spending on higher education with expenditure levels exceeding 100% of GDP per capita. Thus suggesting that public resources are highly concentrated in relatively few students.
In the year 2018/19, NCHE received a total of 1,206 programmes, reviewed 1,141 and accredited 335 representing 29.4%. However, the programmes accredited in 2018/19 were few compared to 2017/18 where 471 were accredited. For the programmes that were not accredit it was mainly due to failure by institutions to meet the required NCHE benchmarks and guidelines.
Research is one of the core mandates of Higher Education Institutions especially Universities, however HEIs are constrained by a number of challenges, but mainly lack of funding. Expenditure on research very small, for example according to the statistic of the 2018/19 budgets analysis, private universities spent only 2.7% on research and for public universities it remains at only 6.2%. There is therefore a need for government to create a national research fund to help in funding universities in the field of research and innovation.
I wish to thank the Directorate of ICT, Research and Innovation for working tirelessly to have this annual report published in time amidst all operational challenges.
In the same spirit, on behalf of NCHE, I wish to thank all higher education institutions that have always been cooperative in providing the relevant data and in time for the production of this report. It is the hope of NCHE that this report will remain relevant for policy decisions.
Professor Mary J. N. Okwakol Ph.D. Executive Director, NCHE