Public Universities are moving away from the Academic Information Management System (AIMS) to the Academic Management Information System (ACMIS), saying it will give them move control over student information.
AIMS is an integrated information system designed to meet the needs of educational institutions with a focus on computerizing student information management, fees collection and maintenance of student records as well as generation of daily and periodic reports.
The system has been operational in Makerere, Kyambogo, Busitema, Muni, Gulu, Kabale, Soroti, Lira, Uganda Management Institute –UMI, Makerere University Business School –MUBS and Mbarara University of Science and Technology –MUST, all public institutions.
Reuben Twinomujuni, the senior Public Relations Officer at Kyambogo University explains that, unlike AIMS that is managed by private developers, ACMIS will give them control over their own data.
He says that given that universities will operate with on-campus servers from the system, the internet will be faster and all queries will be easily rectified on their own. ACMIS according to Twinomujuni was developed by the university information technology department unlike AIMS, which was owned by Zeenode Limited, an IT company contracted by the government on behalf of public universities.
Whereas the universities had tolerated the lack of access, the universities also note that the system was extremely slow and would often shut down. This according to Twinomujuni led to delayed upload of student marks, errors in reflection of tuition payment and mishaps in the registration processes among others.
Last month, Makerere University got to the brim of its frustration with the system when it completely shut the institution claiming that its license had expired. A source on the technical team that prefers anonymity notes that this action founded the university’s disinterest in continuing with the system.
Last week, Samuel Paul Mugabi, the Director ICT support at Makerere University announced to students that their website portals would be inaccessible to them until further notice when the data has been successfully transferred to the new system, ACMIS.
“The above incidents, are a result of Makerere University management officially disengaging Zeenode Uganda Ltd on the continued use of the AIMS system at Makerere University” reads his message to students.
In the meantime, the university Directorate ICT support is to conduct a change management-training program in the next two weeks to bring the entire university community on board, according to Mugabi.
The government undertook the integration of the Academic Information Management System –AIMS with the Uganda Revenue Authority’s revenue collection system in 2019 for transparency and accountability of tuition payment at Makerere University. By this time, other public universities were already operating with the system.