Determining the Unit Cost of Higher Education:
Olweny, Mark R. O.
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While the growth in private universities in Africa has met a pent-up demand for university education and are meeting and fulfilling a social function, the economic realities of operating a university cannot be ignored. It is therefore no surprise that within two decades of their founding, private universities are now faced with the reality of the interstices of global economic forces, national societal functions and, for many, ideological mandates that now compel them to rethink the models that the institutions were founded upon. Increasingly, private universities are discovering the dependency complications related to a reliance on a single income source, which is on the whole unsustainable, as they are operating in an environment characterized by much uncertainty. There is a need for private universities to know how to generate additional income to fund not only their operations, but also to ensure an annualised profit as a buffer against any inevitable fluctuations. This paper provides an overview of the cost of associated with teaching in the Faculty of the Built Environment at the Uganda Martyrs University. While the faculty offers a twenty-first century curriculum with an innovative teaching pedagogy, the faculty faces a challenge in using a higher education program financing model that does not acknowledge varying educational pedagogies, as is necessary in a professional program. Under the current model, the faculty is unable to achieve parity in its budget. The proposed model is based on an appreciation of the different inputs in architecture education, and while they are debatable, it does provide a starting point for dialogue of teaching inputs. The paper concludes by giving some proposals that may be useful to help manage expenditure in individual faculties.