Makerere University Cries Foul: Budget Cuts Threaten Quality Education

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Yusuf Kiranda, Secretary of Makerere University, has challenged the government’s decision to impose Shs25.9 billion in budget cuts on the university, claiming that the move will have an impact on the quality of services offered in 2024/25.

Kiranda made the remarks on May 8, 2024, while meeting with MPs on Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on university grounds, where he urged MPs to ensure that the decision is reversed because the majority of the items whose budgets were reduced are directly consumed by students.

His remarks were ahead of discussions on the December 2023 Auditor General’s report on Makerere University.

“Part of the funding for which the budget was cut was for services for which students pay tuition or functional fees like graduation, internships, and industrial training, and when the money is cut, it means we will not be able to give our students value for money for the fees they pay to us,” said Kiranda.

Kiranda further stated that the budget will also affect other activities, including utility bills like water, electricity, and internet. Unless these budget cuts are addressed and reversed, they can no longer guarantee the high-quality training that Makerere University is known for.

He also warned that if the decision on budget cuts isn’t reversed, the subsequent audits may report underperformance on the side of Makerere University due to having a significant part of the university’s budget taken away, noting that he is not aware of any other public university that has suffered budget cuts as Makerere University.

Kiranda emphasized that in 2023/24, Makerere University was allocated Shs372.186Bn, but the university’s budget is expected to drop to Shs353.99Bn in 2024/25, of which wages will cost Shs208.970Bn and non-wage She129.642Bn, while the development budget is to the tune of Shs15.372Bn.

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has been holding meetings with officials at Uganda Management Institute (UMI), Makerere University Business School (MUBS), and Kyambogo University, where these institutions responded to all audit queries raised in the December 2023 audit report.

The committee has previously been interfacing with the entities at Parliament; however, it has changed the approach, and  visited entities to avoid the excuse of not appearing before the committee.

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