Institutional Autonomy: Implications for Teaching and Research in Public Universities in Uganda

Irene Etomaru, Margaret Stella Ujeyo, Aloyce Luhamya, Joseph Kimoga


This paper focused on examining the implications of institutional autonomy for teaching and research in public universities in Uganda. What constitutes university autonomy and what are its likely effects on establishing a balance between teaching and research in public universities in Uganda is the pertinent question raised in this paper. The paper argues that the university as an autonomous institution at the heart of societies produces, examines, appraises and hands down culture by research and teaching. Thus, research and teaching must be morally and intellectually independent of all political and economic interference. Literature reviewed through a constructivist epistemological lens revealed that much as official government documents pronounced institutional autonomy for public universities in Uganda, teaching and research seem to be influenced by external forces to a greater extent. Based on resource dependence theory, we conclude that pseudo autonomy constrains faculty independence in both teaching and research. We recommend that public universities in Uganda ought to revisit the professional work of the academics in the wake of increasing demands in order to balance between research and teaching.

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International Research in Higher Education  ISSN 2380-9183 (Print)  ISSN 2380-9205 (Online)

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