The chances of Soroti University starting this August are slim.
This comes after National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), a body with mandate to accredit Universities and other higher learning institutions’ requisite disciplines [courses] delayed to accredit [SU] courses on time.
The 9th Public University was approved by the Parliament of Uganda and gazetted on 16 July, 2015 under Statutory Instrument 2015 No. 34.
According to the Soroti University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Robert Ikoja Odongo, if NCHE does not approve the requisite core science courses, the management won’t hesitate to postpone the opening of the University to next academic year.
The Soroti based Science and Technology University was expected to have its pioneer classes in August of 2016.
It [then] failed to admit students due to unfinished construction works the management.
Education and Sports Minister at that time, Jessica Alupo decided to postpone the starting to the succeeding academic year of 2017/2018. This never came to pass due to unfinished structures.
The University officials were now hoping to open the University for Admissions this coming month of August but NCHE has not accredited the Courses, leaving its opening in balance.
In January 2018, The National Council for Higher Education stopped the planned opening of Soroti University which was scheduled for January pending completion of all buildings under construction.
However, with at least 95% of the works now done, the University opening still hangs in balance.
Students with the hopes of joining the 9th Government Public University as pioneers will have no option to wait or apply to other science related Universities across the country.
Prof. Ikoja further says the opening of the University is not a rush activity, adding that it needs a lot of preparations and time.
He tells TND News reporter, confirming that the University is not opening as long as the list of the requisite courses have not been accredited.
The Science courses before NCHE for approval as per President Museveni’s directive include Medicine, Nursing and Computer Engineering.
“Opening a University does not mean it can only open in August, the University can open so long as the Council has accredited the courses. So without the accreditation we can even take another year. Let’s use our intellect,” Ikoja told journalists on Thursday evening at his office.
He added that, “For one to think that the University is starting this August must follow and understand the NCHE laws that prescribe that an institution must go through the National Council of Education to have the Courses Accredited and NCHE pronounces itself that an institution can advertise for admission. You cannot go to swim when you don’t have a jacket you have to prepare first.”
It must be understood that Soroti University received shs.12 billion for its opening this academic year.
Francis Xavier Lubanga during a recent meeting with MPs on education committee of Parliament told MPs the same message that the University was waiting for its courses to be accredited by NCHE and also that they [SU] management are not rushing to start the University if its core courses are not certified.