At least 67 students in the civil engineering department at Muteesa I Royal University are set to miss out on this year’s graduation slated for February 10, after National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) questioned their certificates.
According to Mr Alex Kagume, the deputy executive director NCHE, the civil engineering course offered at the university has not yet been accredited by the council.
“The council is still assessing the course. The university cannot go on to award degrees of an unaccredited course,” Dr Kagume said in a telephone interview yesterday.
One of the affected students who spoke to Daily Monitor on condition of anonymity said the university administration, on short notice, informed them that the course has ‘some issues’ to be sorted out and therefore they will not graduate.
The communication from the university management annoyed the students and some attempted to stage a demonstration, but later resolved to hold talks with the university leadership to find a solution to the problem.
“Since we learnt about this issue on January 20, we have had several meetings with top university administrators, but they are fooling us around. We were enrolled and told the course is accredited. Why then do they say that we will not graduate?” a furious student asked.
The student added that they had cleared all the necessary requirements for the graduation ceremony and are now wondering what to tell their parents.
“We have been studying for four years, they could have obtained it (accreditation) within that period,” another student complained.
When contacted, Prof Arthur Sserwanga, the university vice chancellor declined to comment on the matter saying he needed to first consult with fellow administrators and members on the university council.
“Currently, I don’t have facts. ….The university has made arrangements to meet the minister (of Education) and officials from NCHE,” Prof Sserwanga said.
Mr Frank Sebbowa, the chairperson university council, said: “We are working around the clock to avail solutions to the situation.” He added: “We held a meeting with them and agreed that their graduation as a department, be postponed to June as we sort out these issues.”
However, Daily Monitor has learnt that the meeting referred to was shunned by majority of the affected students after learning that the university had no plan to sort out the issues before the set graduation date.