The management committee that was appointed to supervise Busoga University before its closure 6 years ago have confirmed that the university is set to reopen in August this year.
Prof. John Tabuti, chairman of the six-member committee, stated that there is a strong likelihood that the university will reopen during the 2023/2024 academic year.
Prof. Tabuti stated during a weekend interview, “The task force has already reviewed the programmes that existed at the university at the time it was closed, which aligned with the niche of technological innovation and value chain management.”
“We have selected academic programmes in agricultural sciences, health, theology, education, and business management, and have begun the process of developing engineering programmes and infrastructure core policies, such as the human resources manual, admissions policy, open learning policy, and distance learning policy,” he added.
Prof. Tabuti added that they are presently working on the bills of quantities for the repair of the university buildings in Iganga, Kamuli, Bugiri, and Jinja, after which they will issue a repair contract and complete the work by June.
State Minister for Higher Education John Chrysostom Muyingo had previously cited land as one of the factors delaying the operational process. However, Professor Tabuti stated that the university has seven parcels of land and that all land-related issues have been resolved.
“In January, the trustees of Busoga University Limited and the Church of Uganda signed land transfer forms to the Ministry of Education and Sports. Three of the seven sites have been submitted to the Department of Education and Sports.
“Of the remaining four plots, one title has been submitted to Jinja Municipality for renewal of the lease, and the remaining three are with Bank of Baroda, with whom we have reached an agreement regarding the process of their release,” he added.
Prof. Tabuti anticipates that all land titles held by the Bank of Baroda will be transferred to the Ministry of Education and Sports by the end of this month.
Prof. Tabuti stated that students who did not graduate by the time the university closed will graduate as soon as the university reopens.
Mr Muyingo, who is also the chairman of the transition committee, stated in a separate interview that he is still awaiting the task force committee’s report before determining the next course of action.
Prof. Tabuti stated that he will receive the report in June.
The university was founded in 1999 and is affiliated with the Busoga Diocese of the Ugandan Church. The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) revoked its licence in 2017, citing the institution’s alleged lack of qualified staff, the teaching of uncredited courses, and awarding of fraudulent degrees to more than 1,000 students. The university was subsequently transferred to the Ministry of Education and Sports to expedite its reopening as a public institution, per President Museveni’s directive in 2018. Once operational, it will join Mountains of Moon University in Fort Portal, which reached a similar milestone on July 1, 2022.