The Accreditation Process and Challenges of Private Religious Based Universities in Uganda
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The quantitative growth in Ugandan higher education subsector has created many challenges including a drop in quality in education delivery. Today, there are 34 universities in Uganda (up from 26 in 2006) with over 185,000 students (up from 137,190), representing an overall growth rate of more than 15% in the last 5 years. Given this rapid expansion of higher education, some form of regulation is necessary to assure quality. Ugandan government established the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) as a regulatory agency to set standards and regulations to ensure that all public and private tertiary education institutions in Uganda create, sustain and improve the relevance and quality of higher education for all qualified Ugandans and to meet the local, national and global higher education challenges of the 21st century. In addition to sustaining and improving the relevance and quality of higher education, these religious based universities have a special mission of evangelism and discipleship and view all admissions and appointments as opportunities for ministry and service. This however, may not go well with the peer assessors and the Accrediting Agencies. Currently there are more than six recognised faith based universities in Uganda. Out of the seven fully accredited universities in Uganda, five are faith based and only two are secular. There are different views about the philosophies of these faith-based universities. Some people seem to suggest that they pay more attention to evangelism and discipleship than in provision of higher education. While others view this type of institutions as a very good model to provide good morals and education that can transform the society in a positive way. At the same time, the regulatory framework in the country must provide for an all-inclusive environment for all to participate in higher education which may pose a big challenge to these faith based institutions. This article therefore, discusses the accreditation process in Uganda and challenges of private religious based Universities in Uganda in regards to accreditation.