Makerere University is stuck with 121,393 uncollected transcripts and certificates belonging to students who graduated from the institution as early as 1954, this publication has established.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Prof Umar Kakumba, said the university has run out of space to keep the unclaimed documents that it intends to put on display to allow the owners to pick them.
“We import materials to make these transcripts and certificates expensively. It does not make sense if the owners do not pick them,” he said in an interview last Thursday.
Monitor has established that of the 121,393, 118,695 are certificates, while 2,698 are transcripts.
A total of 88,032 certificates belong to students who graduated from Makerere University between 1954 and 2016.
Another 6,655 certificates belong to the cohort of 2017, 9,046 are for the group that graduated in 2018, 9,995 are for those in 2019 while 4,957 belong to those who graduated in 2020.
Of the 2,698 uncollected transcripts, 1,348 are for those who graduated in 2021 while 1,350 are for those who graduated in 2020.
The university is yet to compile a list of uncollected transcripts for learners who graduated in 2021 and 2022.
According to Wikipedia, a degree certificate is a document that specifies which degree programme the student has graduated in while a transcript lists the course units, the exams attempted, as well as grades the student acquired in that particular course.
A source who did not want to be named to speak freely told this reporter that the university is working on a policy that will impose a surcharge fee on the owners of the academic documents who delay to pick them.
“The policy has not yet been finalized but it will require students to pay a fine if they take more than two years without picking them,” the source said.
The source added that many certificates remain unclaimed because the university issues only one certificate in a lifetime, so the owners want the university to keep their papers safe.
“Many students prefer keeping their certificates with us because they are safe. The university policy calls for printing of a certificate once in a lifetime. Transcripts can be printed many times,” the source said.
Meanwhile, Prof Kakumba said some students get employed using testimonials (results uploaded before one graduates) and are confirmed at their places of work, hence they become reluctant to pick their substantive documents.
It is against the above reasons that the university has organised a two-week public fair to exhibit and issue the uncollected documents to the owners. The Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, in an October 11 circular, directed all the college registrars to print and issue any backlog cohort of transcript and certificates.
“During this two-week public fair, all pending transcripts and certificates must be printed and issued to their owners,” Prof Nawangwe said.
The exhibition begins on November 5. Students are required to obtain clearance from a number of offices such as that of the academic registrar, library, university hospital, university bursar and halls of residence before picking up their documents.