Omaswa Report Proposes Major Reforms in Uganda’s Higher Education

Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda receives the 'Omaswa'
report from the head of the task force Prof. Francis Omaswa as
Minister of Higher Education, Hon. Stevens Tickodri (R) looks on

‘A new report suggests that public universities in Uganda should find alternative ways of funding to supplement the financing from government as a way of transforming higher education.

The ‘Omaswa’ report challenges these institutions to undertake viable investments in real estate, buy more about business and commercial units as well as fundraising and support from alumni that will help sustain their administration among other recommendations.

The report further highlights the potential of research grants in collaborative projects from which universities can benefit financially and boost their income.

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The ‘Omaswa’ report was released on Tuesday and officially handed over to government through Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda.

It was conceived back in 2011 following a strike by Makerere University staffs that were aggrieved by the meager salaries, job grading and other structural concerns.

Consequently, a meeting chaired by then Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi was held and Makerere University council and tasked to engage experts and carry out a structural review. In November 2011 Prof. Wana Etyem the Chairperson of the university council appointed a 10 member taskforce headed by Prof. Francis Omaswa to spearhead the review process.

The team made consultations with stakeholders across the spectrum both locally and international universities to establish best practice.

“The report provides an opportunity to improve the rankings of Uganda’s universities to match international standards. In addition, the implementation of our recommendations will position these learning institutions as drivers of change,” said Prof. Omaswa during the release of the report.

The Omaswa report proposes that the administration of public universities be strengthened as well as the university council which is the top organ.

Prof. Omaswa told journalists; “Our universities have very many members that sit on the council. This number should be reduced to atleast 13 or replaced by highly experienced and dignified individuals
who can ably advise the university as it is done in the best universities we visited.”

Other recommendations include increased financing to universities by government, appointment of university heads based on merit instead of electing them as well as increasing staff remuneration to match the range in East Africa.

Uganda spends the least (0.3 percent of GDP) to higher education compared to regional counterparts Kenya and Tanzania that are at 1 percent of GDP, according to Prof. Omaswa.

Prime Minister Rugunda said that a white paper on the report will be drafted and presented to Cabinet which will then make a decision before it is tabled in parliament. He asked all universities and other
stakeholders to fully utilize the report.


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