Higher education science and technology (HEST) project


  • Reference: P-UG-IAD-001
  • Approval date: 21/11/2012
  • Start date: 18/11/2013
  • Appraisal Date: 11/05/2012
  • Status: OngoingOnGo
  • Implementing Agency: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
  • Location: COUNTRY-WIDE


The project has the following four components:

Component I: Improving and expanding access in HEST in six public universities and two degree awarding institutions.

This component will expand equitable access to science and technology training and research. It will finance the review of the current Higher Education Strategic Plan (HESP) to year 2020. It will also enhance access to HEST through rehabilitation and expansion of STI learning facilities, specialized laboratories, technology workshops and improvement of ICT connectivity and equipment leading to increased access and quality of training in these programmes; and equipping the improved facilities to optimum performance in their functions. Review of the current HESP 2003-2015 will enable prioritization of STI. ICT broadband backbone and networks together with relevant equipment will also need to be supported to widen learning methods. Common facilities including laboratories, lecture spaces, technology workshops, e-learning centres, virtualized libraries, faculty offices, and demonstration or production units will be constructed, rehabilitated or expanded. The project would support the mainstreaming of ICT in learning to improve systems and widen learning methods. STI departments will be equipped with fully equipped ICT labs that enhance learning beyond the campus. It will also address energy supply systems in the institutions, and the stabilization/alternatives needed to attain stable learning. Environmental management including adequate water and sanitation, waste handling and greening of the critical learning system will be addressed. Gender mainstreaming will also be addressed.

Component II: Building capacity in public HEST institutions

The component will consist of postgraduate training of HEST faculty staff in the newly established public universities. Training at local and regional levels will focus on STI staff and critical areas of institutional management, governance, public-private partnerships development models, maintenance and sustainability. Sensitization on other emerging education management models for Africa based on ICT will also be supported. The component will in addition strengthen the capacity of NCHE with monitoring, and data management skills.

Component III: Improving Quality and Relevance of HEST in Public Institutions

The component will strengthen applied research and innovation in STI. It will support relevant networks with industry and other worldwide institutions of excellence in their fields. Publications on innovations and research will also be supported. Practical training/supervision of student in industry in country and regionally will be supported for certain STI programmes. It will encourage and support establishment/ strengthening of production and entrepreneurship incubation centres at universities, which would enhance practical training. Researchers and lecturers would also be supported to establish consultancy teams to enable them to apply their research directly with the productive sectors. Limited scholarships for gifted poor scholars to participate in strategic areas of STI at university, with a minimum of 40% being women will also be supported. Inter-university linkages will be supported nationally, regionally and internationally mainly through ICT systems. As detailed in Annex 5, focus will be on networks that increase links with the North, and on South to South basis. As part of an impact evaluation exercise, the project will survey alternatives for distant learning which will enhance enrolment without increment in spatial requirements especially for training of STI teachers.

Component IV: Project Management and Coordination

This component will finance project management coordination and evaluation. These include, among other items, coordination needed for implementing the overall project, audit as well as monitoring and evaluation. An impact evaluation will also be included to assess the effectiveness of the approaches used in the program in terms of quality and relevance to the job market.

Project cost and financing plan.

The project total cost is estimated at UA77.78 million. The ADF funding amounts to UA70.00 million with a GoU counterpart of UA7.78 million. Direct funding from various partners to target institutions amounts to UA45.0 million. Other recurrent resources of Universities amount to UA25.0 million per year. Efforts to raise more funding from other partners are being explored.

Implementation arrangement / Coordination

The project will be implemented within the existing institutional arrangement in the MoES. As stipulated in the ESSP 2007-2015 that all projects and interventions funded by EDPs be coordinated through the EPPAD. The EPPAD has gained major experience through four past ADF supported projects and coordination of other EDP projects. The EPPAD will work in collaboration with the HEDR which directly supervises the universities in this role. The current coordination secretariat in EPPAD for the ADF funded Education IV will be strengthened to implement the activities in conjunction with the implementation structures at the institutions. A Project Steering Committee comprising representatives from wide range of relevant stakeholders including the target universities would be established to provide policy oversight. See Annex 4 for PSC details.

Procurement and financial management arrangements: Procurement and financial management (including reporting and auditing) will be according to the Bank's applicable rules. The MoES as the executing agency has gained adequate experience in AfDB procedures, hence procurement and monitoring would be handled effectively. Audit would be conducted by the Government Auditor General. Actual details will be ascertained at appraisal.

Environmental Management: The project is listed as Category II. All facilities will be designed with environmental considerations to minimize use of high carbon content products. It would also encourage and support training programmes in areas of biodiversity preservation and global warming reduction. A detailed ESMP will be undertaken at appraisal and posted on the Bank's website as required. Improved water and waste management will be supported to improve institutional environmental conditions. Facilities sustainability will be guaranteed by the institutions. Part of the internally generated resources which account for more than 80% of the operational resources would be used for maintenance as the project would provide the essential infrastructure, ICT and equipment normally provided for through these internally generated resources.


To improve equitable access, quality and relevance of skills training and research in order to lead to employment creation and self-employment through business creation.


Project Rationale

The project aims at producing more skills in science and technology to respond to increased demand from the labor market and active development of a knowledge based economy. According to the NDP 2010-2015, student enrolment in higher and tertiary education increased by 13% from 2010-2011, and from 96,826 students (43% women) in 2006 to 136,041 students in 2011 (31% women). 60% of these students are enrolled in the five public universities, while 40% are in the 27 private universities. The Ugandan HE institutions' enrolment comprises 91% local students while 9% are foreign. The rapid growth in student enrolment has not been matched with improvements in infrastructure, equipment or staffing. GoU funding to HE has been averaging 10 to 12% of the education budget over the last five years, against requests of at least 20%. In the same period GOU resources per student have only increased for the newer universities, while for the older institutions like MU a decline of 1% from UGX 9.96 million per student to UGX 9.88 million from 2007 to 2011.

Funding of facilities with ICT equipment and scientific facilities has been limited. Therefore, access to ICT facilities is limited, with student access to a computer in the public universities at 7:1 in Makerere University 23:1 in MUST, 34:1 in GU. KYU and BU have no computers. Science and technology is concentrated in the public universities with only two private universities hosting a limited number of science based courses. Less than 30% of students are enrolled in science and technology, yet it is estimated that the country needs at least 40% of its training of capacity in STI in order to have a significant impact on the economy . Jobs are concentrated in the primary and service sectors. Skills to turn-around the primary sectors and service sectors into high labour demand sectors are therefore critical. As agriculture and manufacturing are poorly developed, these could be the take-off sectors for country. There is a need for more technology and science graduates at tertiary level to improve productivity and create jobs in these sectors.

The project is in line with the Bank's 2008 HEST Strategy, the 2008-2012 MTS and updates, and the Human Development Strategy under development. This project would target improvement and expansion of university and tertiary education to make it responsive to the demand for more focused skill production as required by the market. It will upgrade and rehabilitate existing facilities in six public universities and two strategic degree awarding institutions. It will develop partnerships with the private sector, and create and enhance networks for research and development, which will make the HEST sector in Uganda well linked to other centres of excellence regionally and internationally. The project will make higher education more relevant to skills development and employment creation thereby reducing the current youth unemployment standing at more than 32% of the 392,000 who leave the education system annually. Further, labour market figures show that demand for post-secondary employment stands at more than 80,000 per annum, university graduates constituting at least 30% of this number. Those who will find formal jobs are limited due to their weak training which lacks relevant skills required by the economy. The rest will be engaged in the informal sector or remain unemployed. Hence the need to make higher education relevant for the economy and focus on job creation requires no further reiteration. See Annex 3 for further labour dynamics details.

PRSP and CSP priorities, key development issue(s) project is aiming to address: The project is also in line with both the Bank's CSP for Uganda and the Government's NDP. The Bank's CSP 2010-2015 is closely aligned with the NDP 2010-2015, and is anchored on two pillars:

(i) Infrastructure development; and

(ii) Improving skills for poverty reduction. This project will target improvement and expansion of university and tertiary education to make it responsive to the demand for more focused skill production as required by the market. Technology, science and innovation (STI) would be emphasized because the demand for such capacity is glaring.

Why the Bank Group should intervene The Bank has a unique experience and leverage to assist Uganda in expanding and reorienting its HEST institutions to respond to skills development needs. The project fits with all the pillars of the HEST Strategy (2008), Pillar II of the MTS (2008-2012), and the ICT Operations Strategy (2008). The previous four education operations of the Bank have all been/ satisfactorily implemented. Uganda considers AfDB as a very reliable partner in its support to the education sector, and hence the request for the Bank to intervene in the HEST sector. Presently, committed assistance from other EDPs to HEST targets scholarships and research. Specialized scientific and technology infrastructure has also been supported in Makerere University through the Netherlands, Norwegian governments, JICA and the Pfizer Corporation of USA, while the World Bank and Belgian Government are supporting the BTVET Strategy development. Except for Makerere University which has research and capacity enhancement links with other partners (currently valued at USD45.0 million), the other universities have no research links yet and depend on GoU and internally generated funds for all operations and facilities improvement. The ADF funding will therefore lead to major improvements in the public universities.


Proposed Development Objectives (including crosscutting issues) and Project Objectives

The project goal is to contribute to building Uganda's human capital skills development - particularly in education, science and technology - so as to help spur job economic growth and development. The project objective is to improve equitable access, quality and relevance of skills training and research in order to lead to employment creation and self-employment through business creation.

It will expand Higher education Science and Technology through rehabilitation and expansion of 6 public universities and 2 degree awarding strategic institutions.

Expected/designed crosscutting focus/benefits: Affirmative action to improve the participation of female students in STI, will be supported. Currently universities in Uganda give women an advantage of 1.5 points over men for admission to university. These affirmative action and others would be supported to increase intake in STI programmes where enrolment is less than 30% for women. For staff development and for the gifted students, a minimum ratio of at least 40% for women candidates will be maintained in scholarships. The newer universities would be encouraged to enter into partnerships with the private sector to develop and operate student hostels, with women and the disabled persons being prioritized.

Key contacts

MOCHACHE Jason Mosomi - OSHD2


Finance source Amount
ADFUAC 67,000,000
GovernmentUAC 7,780,000
TotalUAC 74,780,000