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PUJAB urged to include certificate graduates for scholarships

PUJAB urged to include certificate graduates for scholarships

PUJAB urged to include certificate graduates for scholarships

Prof Mary Okwakol, executive director of the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has asked the Public Universities Joint Admissions Board (PUJAB) to include slots for Higher Education Access Certificate (HEAC) graduates when granting scholarships to university students.  
 
Okwakol was speaking on Friday at the launch of the new seven-year partnership between the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) and the MasterCard Foundation, held at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel.

Okwakol said that it would be good if PUJAB included slots just like it does for the diploma and degree scheme, and entry scheme, among others, to help young people access education, and as well feel the importance of HEAP.

She further urged the government to take an interest in the HEAC program, noting its role as an alternative pathway for Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) students who do not meet the requirements for higher institution enrollment.

HEAC, introduced in 2015, serves as a fourth route to higher education, offering opportunities to UACE candidates who fall short of grades needed for diploma or degree programs at higher institutions of learning in the Ugandan education system. In Uganda, universities currently admit A-level students with at least two principal passes for undergraduate programs, with diplomas being another entry route.

However, the admission criteria vary for each course, with limited flexibility for students shifting between arts and sciences. The program is also intended for students from countries whose secondary school qualifications are not considered equivalent to UACE but permit admission into higher education in those countries.
 
Such students, instead of being required to sit for A-levels, are subjected to a foundational program of one year, after which they can join degree and diploma programs in Uganda. Since its inception, at least 19 universities, both public and private, including Lira University and Busitema, have adopted and implemented the HEAC program.

Martha Muhwezi, executive director of FAWE revealed that since the HEAC program's launch in Uganda on July 25, 2019, FAWE Uganda supported 60 pioneer students during the 2019/2020 academic year at Busitema University.

Many of these students subsequently enrolled in degree programs, and 14 out of the 60 HEAC pioneers have already graduated with bachelor's degrees in Science Education, Arts, and Agricultural Mechanization and Irrigation Engineering. Muhwezi also said that one of their biggest goal in the partnership will be persuading more universities to embrace the program.

Timothy Musoke Sejjoba, commissioner of University Education and Training at the ministry of Education, who represented state minister for Higher Education Dr John Chrysestom Muyingo congratulated the program's pioneers and encouraged them to continue reflecting on their success in society to enhance the program's credibility and respect.

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