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NCHE to stop using the word "expired" in reference to unreviewed courses

In anticipation of a review process that is likely to put an end to weeks of national angst, the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has agreed to do away with the word "expired" from the classification of academic programmes at universities and tertiary institutions.

Prof Elly Katunguka

During a meeting conducted on Monday, June 5 2023 the Council, which was presided over by Prof. Eli Katunguka, the Vice Chancellor of Kyambogo University, reportedly made the decision.

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However, it is still unclear whether the council agreed to change the academic programmes' status to "due for review" rather than "expired," as vice chancellors had earlier urged.

After the University of Bristol in the UK and other universities in Europe and the United States rejected some Ugandan graduates' applications on the grounds that their first degrees were in programmes listed as expired on the NCHE website, the nation was thrown into panic last month, and graduates questioned the validity of their academic credentials.

Prior to this, NCHE considered an academic programme expired after exceeding the period in which it must have undergone review.

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Statistics obtained from the NCHE earlier indicated that about 1,470 academic programmes in institutions of higher learning had expired.

NCHE website indicated that affected universities and tertiary institutes were both public and private, but the most affected were the biggest.

Both graduate and undergraduate academic programmes were affected, with some having expired as far back as a decade ago.

Makerere University and her sister university, Makerere University Business School, were the most affected, as both of them have a combined total of more than 100 academic programmes that have expired.

In a memo to all university staff, the Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabus Nawangwe, said there had been laxity partly on their side and that of NCHE due to delays in the review of some programmes by departments, schools, and colleges, and occasionally at the Senate level for re-accreditation as required by law.

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"On the side of the NCHE, there have been delays in processing programmes for accreditation and also delays in updating their website," he said.

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