Financial resourcing mechanisms and the management of private universities in Uganda: a case study of Uganda Martyrs’ University- Nkozi.
Mulindwa, F. Henry
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This study sought to identify the different sources of funds for private universities and the ways employed by the same universities to obtain the same funds from the sources. It also wanted to examine the management implications involved. The research area was Uganda Martyrs’ University (UMU), Nkozi, as a Case Study, which study was conducted following the following objectives: 1. To identify sources and ways of sourcing for financial resources. 2. To examine the implications to management that are involved. A Descriptive Survey research design was used in carrying out the study, and a methodological triangulation of qualitative and quantitative approaches employed. Data was collected using questionnaires, interviews, documents analysis, and direct observation as instruments. The findings revealed tuition to be the major source of funding for UMU, and it was not adequate to enable the University carry out its programs efficiently and effectively. Other sources were: donations, grant proposals, University commercial activities, fundraising drives and alumni giving. It was also found out that the majority of students were unable to pay their tuition in full in time. The major sponsors of students were Corporations and private businesspersons. These private funding agents, being the main source of financial resources, affected the way the University was being managed. The main fundraiser for the University was the Vice Chancellor. The Trustees, were least considered as fundraisers for the University. This means the Vice Chancellor was a powerful stakeholder whose influence was reflected in the way the institution was run. There were management implications identified as being derived from the financial resourcing mechanisms employed by UMU. Results showed that most students had been attracted to UMU because of what they considered good learning environment and facilities coupled with a better chance of employability. They also considered the education provided worth the fees they paid. Results further exhibited that students were being involved in the way they were being managed and were satisfied with the way the University was being run. The implication to management was that students were treated more as colleagues given the fact that they were the major source of funding. The predominant management style was found to be aristocratic where a few people, who matter more than others, were involved in decision making. At UMU it seemed that those more involved in fundraising for the University had a higher stake than others less active did. In conclusion, the survival of UMU, and indeed any other private university in Uganda, will depend largely on how such a university fits itself into the liberalized funding environment and how it can strategically source for resources without jeopardizing the purpose for which it was founded. Recommendations were finally made that to raise more funds and to avoid dependence on a few sources, UMU should diversify funding possibilities. The public relations office should also devise ways to take the university to the public to create interest so that the public can gain from the university at the same time contributing toward the needs of the institution. In order to keep focussed on university mission, management should carefully deal with the different stakeholders such that none of them may have the power to derail the university in case some stakeholders happen to have interests conflicting with those of the university.
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