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Uganda: Govt appoints taskforce to make Moon varsity public

Kampala. The government has appointed a taskforce that will oversee Mountains of the Moon transit from a private to a public institution in the next two years.

Dr Pius Coxwell Achang, the Institutional and Programme Accreditation head at National Council for Higher Education, will chair the taskforce performing the duties of the vice chancellor.

He will be deputised by Prof John M. Kasenene while Dr Edmond Kagambe, the current institution’s deputy vice chancellor-in-charge of academics, will act as the university secretary. Ms Grace Kazooba Nyakahuma will retain her position as the academic registrar.

Key tasks
The State Minister for Higher Education, Dr John Chrysostom Muyingo, in a January 25 letter asked the members to coordinate the development of the institution’s strategic plan for the proposed public university,

come up with a name, coordinate the restructuring of the administrative and academic units to meet the National Development Plan strategy and evaluate the human resource for possible appointment as staff in the public institution.

“The taskforce will do anything deemed necessary to ensure that adequate arrangements are made for the smooth transition of Mountains of the Moon University to a public university in keeping with the provision of the Universities and other Tertiary Institution Act,” reads the letter.
Well received

Dr Kagambe welcomed the government’s gesture to operationalise a public institution within the Rwenzori Sub-region, which he said will support their communal needs for an improved wellbeing.
“This is a great opportunity for the Toro-Rwenzori region.

The conversion of a private university to a public university will enhance the capacity of the university to address the current challenges of low income and associated bottlenecks adequately through teaching, research and engagement to improve their knowledge,” Dr Kagambe said in an interview.

Tuition
He added that the university’s lowest fees is Shs1.9 million annually for a course in Education while the highest fees is Shs2.5 million in the health sciences and hopes this will see their population double in the next five years.

He said the transition into a public institution will not interfere with their charges because they were agreed upon after a research that established the unit cost for each of their courses.

While Dr Kagambe admits that the community applied to government to take over the private institution, he denies it was not because they didn’t have the funds to run the institution.

“We don’t have debts. We have been paying our staff; that is why you don’t hear strikes. But our region didn’t have any public university and the community felt it should also benefit from the national cake,” Dr Kagambe said.

Dr Achang was not available for a comment as he was reportedly out of the country.

By Daily Monitor

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