How University Education in Uganda Can Be Improved To Prepare Economically Productive Graduates

Catherine Nabayego

Lecturer in the East African School of Higher Education Studies and Development, College of Education and External Studies, Makerere University in Uganda

Nicholas Itaaga

Lecturer in the Department of Educational Foundations and Curriculum Studies School of Education College of Education and External Studies Makerere University in Uganda

Keywords: Economics of education, Informal training, University education.


Every country invests in university education to develop and empower its citizens with the high-level capacity needed to practically work and transform their surrounding environmental resources into productive employment after graduation. The high and growing rate of graduate unemployment in Uganda implies, however, that most of the university education graduates are not practical enough to turn their local environmental resources into gainful work and effective contribution to national development; it shows a glaring conflict between the internal and external efficiency in university education in Uganda. It is argued in this paper that the failure of most graduates to be practical would not have occurred had the management of Uganda’s university education made effective use of the activity-based informal training when preparing their products (graduates). Consequently, the paper examines the level at which this type of training is used in Uganda’s university education with a view of proposing a way forward. It is based on a study conducted in 2013 using a representative sample of universities selected from central Uganda. The findings indicate that the level of interactive learning is very low involving only the use of activities selected and controlled by lecturers. Students’ self-directed and proactive learning using environment-based activities is negligible in almost all the selected universities, to the detriment of the students’ future roles and responsibilities at the place of work. Based on these findings, the paper recommends promotion of activity-based mode of learning as a way of ensuring that universities in Uganda prepare more productive graduates, hence reconciling the conflict between internal and external efficiency of university education in Uganda.


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