600 Fake Degrees Awarded at Makerere's January Graduation Top story

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In short
Uganda Radio Network has learnt that the 600 students were not cleared by their respective colleges for graduation, due to a number of factors; which include among others, accumulating retakes. As a result, these students bribed their way to the graduation list.

Makerere University authorities are investigating circumstances under which 600 of the 12,000 students that graduated last month made it to the graduation list without meeting the minimum academic requirements.

Uganda Radio Network has learnt that the 600 students were not cleared by their respective colleges for graduation, due to a number of factors; which include among others, accumulating retakes. As a result, these students bribed their way to the graduation list.

An investigation was instituted by the Deputy Vice Chancellor-Academic Affairs Prof Okello Ogwang after some lecturers complained of not approving students who featured on the final graduation list. Reliable sources told URN that up to 600 cases have been queried. Atleast 300 of these are from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences(CHUSS), according to the source.

The probe will be looking out for; who handles the results at what level, how examination marks are entered into the system, and the circumstances under which results change. It is also expected to review the list of cases of irregularities, the list of students who retook courses, students discontinued and those that appealed for remarking, whose requests were granted.

The college principals on the spot include Humanities, Computing and Information Sciences, Engineering, Design, Art and Technology. The Probe has also put the college of education and external studies on standby for the degree mill that has taken strong root at Uganda's hitherto best University.

At the time of filing this report, an investigation team headed by Dr. Venny Nakazibwe  was locked up in a meeting at the College of  Humanities and Social Sciences(CHUSS), probing how the over 300 students of the college graduated without meeting the minimum requirements.

A number of correspondences, copies of which URN has obtained indicate that the Probe Chairperson Dr Nakazibwe has for instance demanded to know from Prof Edward Kirumira, the CHUSS Principal, the circumstances under which the results were altered.

"We need college or school minutes that verified semester II 2013/ 2014 results and the graduation lists as required by senate at its special meeting held in November 2014," the letter to the head of humanities reads in part.

With much unease, Prof Okello-Ogwang confirmed the scandal. He however said the committee was put up after realizing a need to review how results and exams are conducted.

"I have asked the committee to visit all the colleges and find out the challenges they face such that we come up with the short term, midterm and may be long term way of handling.  We don't have all the facts, that's why we have a committee going around," Prof Okello-Ogwang said.

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Another senior don at the university told Uganda Radio Network on condition of anonymity that many of the results are doctored by secretaries in exchange for hefty bribes. Students part with between Ugx 2 - 4m to have their results altered in order to graduate.

"A college secretary doesn't earn more than shs 500,000 but it surprises that they drive cars worth over shs 80million and you wonder where they get all this money.