Busoga University has been caught up in an academic fraud scandal over the manner in which more than 1,000 South Sudanese were admitted on courses and went on to graduate in a space of just two months.
Because of this, the National Council for Higher Education(NCHE) has revoked the University’s teaching licence.
The NCHE opened investigations into the matter after Lual Akol Nhial, the South Sudan education attache` asked the body to review the admission of these students — most of whom are government officials and generals in the army — to analyse their continuous semester results, coursework and assignments and tuition fee payments of the past three years.
The official also asked the Council to investigate the connection of Busoga University in Uganda with Star University College in Juba and review the attendance lists during lectures and study programmes of Busoga University. He also called for sanctions on students who did not qualify to graduate.
Aside the South Sudanese, over 50 Nigerian nationals graduated in the same manner.
According to The East African, which first unearthed the scandal in a November 26, 2016 publication, Prof John Opuda-Asibo the NCHE director said “there are usually powerful people behind these admissions.”
In return the university received financial reward, while for the students, the promise of academic papers that would keep them in key positions in government made it a worthwhile investment.
For the two-month course and academic papers, sources indicate that Busoga University bagged more than $1 million as each student paid over the odds, forking out $1,000 in tuition fees — way higher than the average of $300 per semester, for most programmes in Ugandan universities.
The students who were transferred from Star University College in Juba to Busoga University in July this year, by end of September, Busoga University had them on the list of graduands to be awarded various academic qualifications.
Rather unsuprisingly, most of the students are generals in the South Sudan army occupying high offices and needed a immediate academic papers to remain in these positions.
They also lacked the minimum criteria for admission like an advanced level certificate or its equivalent.