Give more funds to public universities, says Minister Muyingo

KAMPALA, February 24, 2024 – The Ministry of Education and Sports has reechoed the need for increased funding for various activities in public universities including staffing, infrastructure development, and research, among others.

According to the State Minister for Higher Education, John Chrysostom Muyingo, universities including Makerere, Mbarara, Muni, Soroti, Gulu, Busitema, Lira, Kyambogo and Kabale, among others require additional funds in the new budget for financial year 2024/2025. Uganda has 13 public universities.

“Provision of this extra funding will go a long way in improving the operations of the universities and enable them compete favourably both nationally and globally,” said Muyingo.

Minister Muyingo, accompanied by the State Minister for Finance, Amos Lugoloobi, made the call while appearing before parliament’s Committee on Education and Sports last Thursday.

The Committee Chairperson, John Ntamuhira, reiterated the call by tasking the minister to prioritise Shs89 billion within the next budget [2024/2025], to cater for among other things, salary enhancement of staff at public universities.

“As a chairperson the committee, l have made commitments on these finances but we shall engage the ministers for Education and Finance to ensure your issues are harmonised,” said Ntamuhira.

Lugoloobi acknowledged the need to support national institutions of higher learning so as to effectively accommodate the increasing student population.

“The number of youth entering university keeps growing at a high rate, that is why there is pressure on resources needed to support the sector. The ministry will critically analyse how to avail the much needed financing,” said Lugoloobi.

He added that more time will be needed to harmonise resources to support the request for additional funding, and committed to present a report with final estimates to the committee within a month.

“We need to rethink our approach to look at the policies within the programme and the resources required. We need to support these universities to perform because the population is increasing,” Lugoloobi said.

Michael Timuzugu, theKajara County legislator said adequate support to the universities would go a long way in grooming a quality population the can improve the national economy.

The Kotido Municipality MP,  Ismail Lomwar asked the minister to present an update to the committee on the presidential pledges made to public universities.

“How l would wish we get the extracts of presidential pledges on all public universities because we do not know how much money has been pledged and how much has already been paid out,” said Lomwar.

The committee tasked the minister to meet the leadership of the public universities to chart a way forward on the funding requests.

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