Academics have expressed concerns over the region’s University continuous poor ranking in student enrollment compared to other regions.
The experts made the observation during a stakeholders’ meeting to validate the draft East African qualification framework for higher education that kicked off in Kampala, Uganda yesterday.
The two-day workshop is organised by the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA).
“As we speak today, East Africa has the lowest enrolment rate of students not only in Africa, but the whole world. This is really worrying,” said Mohammed Kerre, a development consultant.
“It is hard for the region to increase industrialisation and build knowledge-based economies with very few students enrolling for university education,” he added.
For this trend to be reversed, Kerre advised East African governments to significantly increase investment in education and strike a balance between enhancing basic education and higher education.
“There should be options like admitting students with diplomas to universities and building more universities to meet demand,” said Prof. Opuda Asibo, the Executive Director of Uganda’s National Council for Higher Education (NCHE).
Prof. Mayunga Nkunya, the IUCEA Executive Secretary, said the qualification framework only aims at harmonising and not standardising the education systems of regional universities.
“This will be a reference point for our universities on whether what they are doing complies with the set regulations,” he said.
The Executive Director of the Rwanda National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Dr Innocent Mugisha, said regional qualification framework need full political backing to succeed.