EXCLUSIVE: Makerere Probe Discovers 16,000 ‘Ghost’ Students

A report on the management of Makerere University has unearthed several anomalies, among them the discovery of 16,000 students who were not recorded during the head count exercise.

The revelation comes after a nine-member committee, appointed on November 14, 2016 at the height of demonstrations that led to the closure of Makerere University, handed over the report to President Museveni on Friday.

The report indicates that although the committee members were given a student list of 46,128 names, only 29,889 students were captured during the headcount, leaving 16,239 students unaccounted for.

“There is a risk that some of these students may not actually be genuine students of the university,” the report reads, adding that by the time of compilation of the report in April, the university management had not explained why the students had not appeared for the headcount.

The report also found that more 409 employees who were verified in the headcount were missing from the staff register presented by the university leadership. The report also revealed cases of duplicated names on staff registers of several colleges.

The committee also observed that from the above analysis, and from the observations on payroll management, it is evident that the university management does not have a clean comprehensive staff register and payroll.

However, the university Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, on Sunday said some students on external programmes were not captured by the headcount.

The report revelations are a critical indictment of management of the country’s oldest higher institution of learning that has over the years been plagued by strikes and instances of management, among others.


In March, sections of the media reported that authorities at the university were investigating reports that a syndicate of dishonest officials assisted undisclosed number of students secure admission using fake academic papers.15 students suspected to have used forged diploma academic transcripts to gain admission to the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Pharmacy were asked to appear before the ad hoc committee to defend their transcripts before the university could take a decision

In September, the university announced plans to investigate the genuineness of both marks and class of degrees issued from 2011 with a view to recalling those illegally awarded.

The report highlights key issues at Makerere University that need to be addressed and suggests recommendations.

The issues include the deficient national higher education strategy, struc-tures and systems, inadequate governance leadership and management as well as weak structures for engagement of students, staff and other key stakeholders.

Others are the inadequate deployment of Information Technology, unsustainable funding model for higher education in Uganda, inadequate management accountability and deteriorating quality of teaching and learning as well as student discontent and triggers of strikes, among others.


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