Makerere University Business School in Nakawa has ignored a directive from their parent institution, Makerere University, asking them to increase tuition fees starting with the next academic year.
In a March 21, 2018, the MUK academic registrar Alfred Masikye Namoah wrote to the MUBS principal, Prof.Wasswa Balunywa directing that starting with the year 2018/2019, all tuition fees for Master and PHD programs be revised and charged not less than five million and seven million shillings respectively annually.
“This is to request you to revise the fees to be in line with the Makerere University Council and forward to my office the revised fees. Programmes similar to those offered by Makerere main campus should charge the same fees as has been the case,”Masikye wrote.
“This should be done as soon as possible and in any case, not later than Monday March 26.”
However, in response, the MUBS council led by Prof.Venansius Baryamureba has written back to Makerere informing them of their refusal to adhere to the directive on fees.
“Increase of tuition fees is a policy matter and the Universities other tertiary institutions act 2001 empowers councils of public universities or tertiary institutions to fix scales of fees and boarding charges and in this case MUBS fixes the fees for our own institution,”Baryamureeba says in a letter dated April 3 to the Makerere University Council chairperson.
“Whereas MUBS is a public tertiary institution by law affiliated to Makerere University, it is financially and administratively autonomous of the university (Makerere.”
The MUBS council chairperson argues that they are only affiliated to Makerere University for the conduct of course leading to the award of degrees by the university under standards provided for by the act ,statuses and regulations or as may be agreed upon by both institutions and leads to joint conduct of examinations leading to awards by Makerere University and not any other relationship.
“Therefore, the communication from Makerere University Council directing MUBS to revise tuition fees is unlawful and unfortunate.”
MUBS also contends that as a public institution, it goes through an extensive consultative process before revising fees including engaging various stakeholders including government, the public, students, alumni and staff .
They say they cannot just implement a directive they have not discussed with their various stakeholders.
“Experience has taught us that an abrupt increase of tuition fees at public universities has always led to strikes by students. Also MUBS has not been able to recruit the desired number of students on its graduate programs even at the current tuition fees,”Baryamureeba adds.
He adds that other public universities charge less than MUBS on similar programs stressing that they are not ready to price themselves out of the market.
“Public education must be inclusive but the proposed fees by Makerere University council are more likely to exclude majority of Ugandans who earn less than Shs 500,000 per month.”
They say they will not increase the fees unless they get a directive from government over the same.
The MUBS Public Relations Officer Simon Odoki confirmed the letter adding that increasing the fees would be giving an edge over their competitors in the market by taking over their students.
“The directive is not bidding to all their (Makerere University) affiliates,”Odoki told the Nile Post in a phone interview on Wednesday.
This is not the first time the two institutions of higher learning feud.
Last year ,Makerere University threatened not to graduate more than 4,000 MUBS students over alleged failure to remit more than Shs2.64 billion in functional fees prompting the Nakawa based institution’s Prof Wasswa Balunywa to compare their conduct to that of ‘a big brother’ syndrome of trying to bully the young ones.
The students were however later cleared to graduate.