Assessing the Impact of Increased Enrolment of Students on Quality of Education in Private Universities in Uganda: A Case Study of St Lawrence University Kampala.
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KASIITA RAYMOND (2011-M092-20014) Assessing the Impact of Increased Enrolment of Students on Quality of Education in Private Universities in Uganda: A Case Study of St Lawrence University Kampala. The study set out to assess the impact of increased enrolment of students on the quality of education in private universities in Uganda. This research was guided by the following objectives: examining the causes of increased enrolment in private universities in Uganda, examining the structural and infrastructural preparedness of private universities in Uganda to handle increased enrolment and examining how increased enrolment has impacted the quality of education offered in private universities in Uganda. The study employed a descriptive research design which helped in involving a number of people and comparing their opinions. The study respondents included university academic staff, administrative staff, students, parents of current students of the university, National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) officials as well as those from the Ministry of Education and Sports. Non-random sampling was utilised in the sampling process and a sample size of 55 was used. Interviews, questionnaires and documentary analysis were used to collect data. The results were analysed into frequencies and percentages that were used for comparison of the different phenomenon. From the findings, it was concluded that increased enrolment of students in private universities has a significant impact on the quality of education in private universities. The findings revealed that the major causes of increased enrolment included: relatively low fees in private universities, failure to get desired courses in public universities by students, relatively accessible entry requirements in private universities, too many strikes in public universities and the relatively low student-lecturer ratio in private universities. Upon examining the structural and infrastructural preparedness of private universities to handle increased enrolments, the findings revealed the following in the case study of St Lawrence University: Many lecturers were competent though they were generally found to be under-qualified as per NCHE standards and some others tended not to finish their teaching loads. Administrative staff were also found to be largely competent though some did not attend satisfactorily to the students since they often turned up for work late and left early. Computer facilities were available but the internet was slow and the computers were having software that was not up-to-date. Lecture rooms and the furniture therein were found to be relatively fewer than the ever rising number of students. Library facilities were found to be not spacious enough and there were also few and limited number of books per title. Increased enrolment was found to have impacted on the quality of education in St Lawrence University in the following major ways: It led to 61 deeper research outcomes through bigger group discussions, it led to limited furniture for learners, it led to management overload due to increased enrolment not matched with recruitment of workers, it led to better running of the university and lastly, it was found to have led to an ease in dodging of lectures by students in big classes. Therefore, from the study it can be majorly concluded that increased enrolment in private universities has to a larger extent led to diminishment of the quality of education thereof. The study recommended that management should devise strategies to make sure that lecturers are all competent enough and they perform to the best of management‟s expectations. Administrative staff should be closely monitored by management so as to make sure that they carry out their roles towards the students aptly and competently. The state of the computer facilities should also be improved. The university should make an effort to set up more spacious lecture facilities coupled with sufficient furniture therein. The library facilities should be made bigger and more books should be placed there per title and in terms of variety. Key Words: Enrolment, Students, Quality, Education, Private Universities, St Lawrence University, Kampala