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Record Number of Students Qualify for University Admission in Uganda

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First Lady Janet Museveni recieves UACE results from UNEB
PHOTO — UNEB


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The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) recently announced the results for the 2023 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) examination, revealing a significant increase in the number of students meeting the criteria for university admission.

A total of 80,643 students successfully fulfilled the requirements for admission into university degree programs. This marked a noteworthy achievement for the education sector, with a record-breaking 73.7 percent of qualified candidates becoming eligible for university enrollment.

The criteria for university admission in Uganda typically include obtaining at least two principal passes in prescribed subjects at the same sitting during the UACE exams. Among the 108,492 candidates who sat for the exams, nearly 99.1 percent met the qualifications for UACE certification, reflecting a high level of academic attainment among students.

The surge in university-qualified candidates is indicative of a growing trend in Uganda’s education landscape. This year’s figure almost mirrors the total student enrollment in public universities recorded in 2019, which stood at approximately 90,300 students.

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The successful candidates now face the prospect of seeking admission into over 64 universities and degree-awarding institutions across the country. However, only around 4,000 students are expected to receive government-funded scholarships, distributed across various categories including national merit, district quota, and sports and special needs schemes. The remaining individuals will need to explore alternative avenues for covering their educational expenses.

During the examination release, it was noted that candidates exhibited improved performance compared to previous years, with nearly half of the students achieving the highest level of three principal passes. This positive trend underscores the dedication and hard work of both students and educators in Uganda’s education system.

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Subject-wise, history emerged as the most passed subject, with an impressive 93.6 percent of candidates obtaining a principal pass. Notably, substantial improvements were observed in other subjects such as Entrepreneurship Education, Christian Religious Education, and Geography, among others.

Despite these achievements, challenges persist in certain areas. Core science subjects continue to exhibit a performance level below the desired standard, with concerns raised regarding practical skills development among candidates. Additionally, candidates in humanities subjects face difficulties in comprehending and applying question instructions, indicating a need for enhanced examination preparation strategies.

The Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Kataaha Museveni, expressed satisfaction with the overall performance of candidates, particularly highlighting the increased participation of female students. She emphasized the importance of exploring alternative tertiary education options beyond traditional university pathways, encouraging students to consider technical training colleges and health training institutions.

This shift in perspective reflects a broader recognition of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as a viable career path.

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