Report: Mbarara University Lacks 78% of Required Academic Staff

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In short
The Auditor General report released last month indicates that the university has staff establishment of 2,497 positions but only 535 are filled leaving a total of 1,956 positions vacant. This represents 78.3 of the total staff establishment.

Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) lacks 78.3 percent of required academic staff, a report by Auditor General has revealed.
  
The Auditor General report for 2016/2017 financial year released last month indicates that the university has staff establishment of 2,497 positions but only 535 are filled leaving a total of 1,956 positions vacant. This represents 78.3 of the total staff establishment.
  
"Out of the staff establishment of 2,497, only 535 positions were filled leaving 1,956 (78.3%) vacancies. In a sample of six faculties staffing gaps at both professor and associate professor level of 94% and 83% respectively of the approved establishment were noted," the reports says.
  
The report further says a number of departments had zero number of the required core staff. "Lack of key academic staff hinders the achievement of planned standards of education. Staffing gaps were attributed to the limited wage allocation," the report says. 
  
According to the report, management explained that submissions have been made to the Ministry of Finance requesting for an additional wage allocation in the 2018/2019 Budget to address the critical staffing gaps. 
 
But in the Budget Framework paper for the financial year 2018/2019, the Ministry of Finance recommended a number of austerity measures including freezing all new recruitment except those on replacement basis. The ministry also recommends indefinite halt to the operationalisation of the 13 new districts and 200 town councils approved by Parliament. It further pushes to stop Government grant aiding of private schools, universities and hospitals coupled with a comprehensive restructuring of Government.
 
The austerity measures are aimed at helping government to mobilise financial resources needed for harmonising and enhancing salaries of public servants.
 
Student Debtors
  
The audit report further shows that MUST has failed to collect a total of Uganda shillings 488 million as fees from students. "This was contrary to the University fees policy which requires students to have nil school fees balance before sitting for exams. Analysis of a sample of individual student ledger cards revealed debts dating as far back as 2011. Uncollected student fees curtail the University's cash flow and subsequently hinder implementation of planned activities," the report says.
  
The university officials told the Auditor General that a revised fees policy has been approved by university council. The policy which will be implemented starting this academic year is expected to reduce fees defaulting.
 

 

About the author

Blanshe Musinguzi
Musinguzi Blanshe is a politics-cum-business journalist. He joined Uganda Radio Network in February 2017. Previously, he worked at Daily Monitor and Red Pepper Publications Limited. He is keenly interested in data journalism.