Kampala International University (KIU) is Uganda’s second-best university and the 55 in Africa, according to the latest World University rankings by uniRank.
According to the rankings released in September 2021, Kampala International University KIU has maintained the top spot as a leading private university in Uganda rubbing shoulders with Makerere University and overtaking Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Kyambogo University, and Gulu University.
Makerere University which is ranked the top University in Uganda has dropped to 18th position in continental rankings from the 14 position. Uganda Christian University is 72nd in Africa and 3rd in Uganda while Mbarara University of Science and Technology is 175 and 4th in Uganda.
Kyambogo is ranked 193rd on the continent but it has dropped to the 5th position in Uganda.
Kampala International University’s Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mouhamad Mpezamihigo has always maintained that the ranking is proof of significant quality enhancements and great innovation in the delivery of university education.
“KIU is always very innovative in the way it explores the heights. Even in difficult times such as is the case with this season of the Covid-19 Pandemic, we have kept afloat and applied various digital technologies to continue serving our clients, the students being the most critical,” Dr. Mpezamihigo said after previous rankings.
He added: “I thank all our staff and students plus the immense support we derive from government, non-government organizations, and other partners and collaborators with whose support we were able to achieve this great landmark in the history of the University. Keep waiting for more is yet to come, the sky is not even the limit for KIU”.
KIU is a private university in Uganda chartered by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE). According to the council’s website, KIU has been a recognized university since 2001 and it received the charter on March 1, 2010.
Repeated ‘fake degrees’ saga, again
Education authorities in Uganda a few years ago sealed the fate of 66 university students who had been awarded Ph.D. degree certificates by KIU.
After scrutinizing the degrees, a four-member task force constituted by the National Commission for Higher Education concluded that the 22 degrees awarded by Kampala International University were worthless.
The task force concluded that the university had not lived up to the standards and had even allowed some supervisors with no Ph.D. to supervise students.
The controversial degrees were awarded between 2011 and 2012 after acquiring a charter and the verdict was published in a paid-up advertisement published in a regional weekly.
“The 22 dissertations were found to be unworthy by NCHE because of serious academic and professional deficiencies,” it stated.
According to the NCHE, another 36 dissertations had been found to have major academic and professional deficiencies which called for major revisions before they could be recognized by the accreditation body.
The taskforce chairman of Opuda Asubo had been quoted by a section of Press earlier explaining that the task force found seven supervisors without PhDs while others had papers from non-recognized universities.
Asubo had told New Vision on March 27 that many supervisors had questionable experience and lacked expertise in the areas of supervision.
Further, the NCHE also found eight more dissertations that required only minor corrections before they could be recognized.
Caused a storm
The task force recommended the eight candidates need two to three months to correct their errors, while 36 needed between six months to one year to improve their work before awards.
As for the 22, the task force recommended they start their programmes in a year or two.
KIU has a heavy presence in Kenya and Tanzania, where thousands of students have either crossed to Uganda or studied in some of its campuses in both countries to upgrade their education.
In 2014, KIU caused another storm in academic circles after it emerged it had awarded 40 students Ph.D. degrees.
This development caused consternation in learning circles where experts were concerned by such a high number of Ph.D. holders in a relatively short period.
When the quality of the PhD certificates was doubted, KIU fired the first salvo claiming NCHE did not have the powers to cancel or award degrees.
In a paid-up advertisement published on the April6-13 of The East African, the university contended that NCHE had established standards for evaluating, monitoring, teaching and examination of PhD programes in Uganda.
To cure this anomaly and correct the inconsistencies the university claimed NCHE had accepted to appoint four independent assessors.
The assessors who were to be appointed in consultation with KIU were to ensure “inconsistencies are addressed and this may form the basis for establishing required PhD standards for the country.”