Differentiation of Higher Education Institutions in Uganda and their Philosophies: Is it Diversion or Inclusion?
Oryema, Dan E.
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This article discusses university diversions from their original purposes in order to achieve economic independence and sustainability. While these institutions are social systems that reconcile contradictory functions, they have long relied on marketing and branding to attract quality students, funding, and partnerships, in order to endure differentiation. Nonetheless, the majority of institutions have diverted from their original purpose, while others are struggling to distinguish themselves as unique; still others are unable to define their purpose, identify their culture, and also fail to align their inputs with their outcomes. In effect, those institutions that have attempted to uphold differentiation have simply duplicated what already exists in other institutions, albeit with different visions and mission statements. Nonetheless, while the lost differential was initially perceived as a disadvantage, it has proven to be a boon in terms of inclusiveness. The article concludes that the skills’ gaps in the areas of science and technology, as well as the drive to achieve social economic development through regional balance, resulted in the establishment of additional scienceoriented public universities, but with inadequate funding, which necessitated the inclusion of more marketable programs to supplement government funding. The article recommends that, the government should always conduct situational analyses, assess needs, and devise financial mobilization strategies in order for Ugandan universities to maintain their philosophies.