Private sector participation and the quality of academic programs in Makerere University
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of the private sector participation on the quality of academic programs in Makerere University. This study was instigated by the presence of the private sector participation in Makerere University and the claims by the media about the continued fall of students’ grades and quality of graduates in Makerere University. Today majority of the governments in developing countries are under great pressure to restrain public spending on higher education. The structural adjustment programs favored by the International Monitoring Fund (IMF) and World Bank emphasize reduction in public expenditure, largely because of budget deficits and external debts. It was this state of affairs that prompted many countries to search for alternative sources other than the public treasury. It is against this background that the private sector has been seen emerging in running of the public universities. The study used a qualitative approach and specifically employed an exploratory design. The study’s objectives were to examine the influence of private sector participation in Makerere as a public University on (1) planning, (2) curriculum development, (3) and financing. It was carried out by administering interviews to purposively selected administrators, who included Personnel from the Department of Planning and Development, the Chief Executive Director of the Makerere University Private Sector Forum, and the Faculty Deans, and Heads of Department from the selected Faculties. The influence of the private sector participation on the quality of academic programs in Makerere University was discovered to have improved the quality of academic programs in the University. The local industry was discovered to have not been actively involved much of the support to Makerere University is from the foreign bodies. To encourage the private sector to fully participate in the university affair, much more effort is needed by the university to persuade the private sector and clear policies should be put in place to guide both parties. Participation should be clearly spelt out through harmonization of university policies which would eventually change the attitude towards the practice. Generally, more studies in private sector participation in public university education are vital.