Institutional mergers in higher education: A case of Kyambogo University curriculum
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The study sought to investigate how institutional mergers in higher education affected curricula and was carried out in Kyambogo University, Kampala. The research objectives were two; to examine the effect of merging academic functions on the curriculum of Kyambogo University; and to find out how merging administrative functions affected the curriculum of Kyambogo University. A cross-sectional design with majorly qualitative research methods was used to collect data from respondents who witnessed the merging process. The study found out that academic merging had positive effects on the curriculum of the Institution, for instance, the undertaking of Kyambogo University to develop new study courses in consultation with the National Council of Higher Education, manage and offer certifications and the expansion of study curriculum to include degree and postgraduate programmes. However, administrative merging had negative effects on the curriculum because some staff did not have the necessary competence needed at University level which presented problems of integration for harmonious curriculum. The researcher recommended that in future if merging institutions is to be successful, the concerned stakeholders like Government through the Ministry of Education and Sports and other partners should reform the curriculum of merging institutions through designing more practical courses in science, technology and vocational studies to equip students with hands-on experience in order to re-orient it into a more practical content such that the graduates can be equipped with more practical skills that meet the job market demands of a modern world. For the success of future mergers, policy makers should engage extensive consultations to obtain wider consensus of concerned stakeholders like staff who should be brought on board. Extensive consultations and wider consensus shall guarantee a perceived legitimacy of the merger policy, acceptance and meet less resistance from stakeholders. This coupled with increased funding and facilitation will ensure the improvement of the curriculum. The study suggested that future researchers may need to investigate the issue of funding in relation to success of educational mergers and the resulting curricula.