The management of the liberalisation of higher education and its implications to the quality of university education in Uganda
Ssegawa, Dalton Elijah
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This study was motivated by the irony of reportedly depreciating university education quality despite higher education liberalisation, which was purposed and hoped to enhance quality in university education, more or less unconditionally. Subsequently, the researcher set out to investigate the management of the liberalisation of higher education and its implications to the quality of university education in Uganda. Open system approach to operational management theory, which plausibly articulates a direct relationship between system management and the quality of system output, enabled hypothesis of a direct relationship between, on one hand, the management of the liberalisation of university proprietorship, students’ access to university education and university academic study programmes, comprising in higher education policy (UOTIA), university funding policy and NCHE; and the quality of university education, conceptualised as comprising in: university funding, infrastructure and equipment, staff, students, research and relevance and graduate versatility and labour market adaptability, on the other hand. The data collected— from eleven universities, the MOES, NCHE and PCSS, following a cross sectional survey design— supported the alternative hypotheses, meaning that there has been a significant relationship between the management of the liberalisation of higher education and the quality of university education in Uganda. The study finds that the liberalisation of higher education in a policy vacuum enabled the entry into university education of proprietors that are incapable of university level quality assurance let alone introduction of modes of access to university education in which quality assurance is not satisfactory. Subsequently, the study concludes that neither the UOTIA; government university education funding policy; nor NCHE have ensured that the liberalisation of higher education is kept from impinging on the quality of university education. Subsequently, the study strongly recommends amendment of the UOTIA so as to streamline the powers of the NCHE and rights of universities and their proprietors; performance and unit based funding that is attached to purpose and remitted promptly; subsidisation of private universities; attachment of government student sponsorship to students rather than (public) universities; and adequate funding and staffing of the NCHE.