Baryamureeba: NCHE Must Rank Universities

cheap geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>In 1988 and 1989 Uganda Islamic University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology were established.

Today Uganda has 6 public universities and 29 private universities and more universities both public and private are in the process of being established. There are at least 60 private tertiary institutions and several public tertiary institutions covering different sectors.

As a result of this growth in the higher education sector the ranking of these institutions nationally has become not only necessary but also a requirement so that the different stakeholders including students and employers can make informed decisions.

World over, bodies responsible for accreditation of higher education institutions also conduct periodic rankings within their jurisdiction.

Specifically Section 5 of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 as amended empowers the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) to promote and develop the processing and dissemination of information on higher education for the benefit of the people; and to collect, examine and publish information relating to the different institutions of Higher Education.


As a starting point, the NCHE should require all universities to produce discipline specific self-assessment reports. Then this should be followed by external assessors. The NCHE developed quality assessment indicators and these should serve as a guide.

In the developed world like Europe and USA it is easy to know the top 5 law schools, business schools, engineering schools, medical schools etc.

Now in Uganda with many universities offering law, mass communication, computer science, business administration where should parents take their children? What guides them when making choices between Universities? In this modern day and age we cannot depend on hearsay.

Webometrics (web rankings) cannot replace national level rankings that should be based on real and essential data such as quality of staff, quality of laboratories, staff: student ratio, student: space ratio, library collections, publications, delivery methods, level of ICT integration in the teaching and learning process, assessment methods used, views of the employers and alumni, community engagement etc. Web rankings rarely measure all these.

So the law is on our side, let us demand the NCHE to do its work. Using scientific data, the NCHE should guide students, parents and employers.

A University cannot be known for everything. In UK if you want to study tropical medicine, you go to Landon School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and if you want to study computer science you go to Imperial College London.

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