Public universities fail to collect sh50b in student fees, ,

A new report by the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on the education sector which was tabled on Thursday, January 19 2023 indicated that public universities failed to collect the projected sh50b in student fees in the financial year 2020/21.

The Committee report responds to the red flags raised by the Auditor General’s report for the financial year.

The report which was presented by the committee chairperson, Medard Lubega Sseggona, shows how five public universities failed to collect the projected sh52.6 b from students which affected the smooth running of the education centers.

The report indicates that this was attributed to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which did not allow the institutions to collect fees and other payables, while many students were forced to drop out.

The committee in their recommendation urged the affected universities to institute measures to collect all outstanding receivables (fees) from the students and subsequently, inform parliament of the steps taken in collecting the fees in the next six months.

The committee notes the challenges with which public universities and schools have had to operate during COVID-19 pandemic. However, the increase in the receivables indicates a low recovery rate of outstanding student school fees, and there is a possibility of failing to recover all the amounts due,” Sseggona said.

He added that whereas COVID-19 has since been managed and the environment has changed to allow possible collection efforts, there is no evidence that universities are making progress.

The report of the Auditor General revealed that Makerere University Business School (MUBS) had accumulated receivables to a tune of sh21.7b, while Kyambogo University failed to collect sh23.2b in school fees. Mbarara University Science and Technology (MUST) and Uganda Institute of Information and Communication Technology (UICT) failed to collect sh4.2b and sh384m respectively, while Kabale University failed to collect sh3.1b.

The House expressed concerns over the recurring challenges facing the education sector that among others include long outstanding payables, mischarges, and off-budget financing.

We shall make sure we get a Treasury Memorandum from the finance ministry on the actions taken on issues raised [by the committee]. There are some recurrent issues such as issues of payroll, mischarges, and receivables that should not exist in our education sector as of now. We need to become strict to ensure that they are resolved,” Speaker Anita Among said.

Kalungu West County Member of Parliament Joseph Ssewungu tasked the line ministries and agencies to take seriously the recommendations of the committee and implement them thoroughly.

,Pulse Uganda,

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