This week, we helped Isaac Angoda apply for Higher Education Access Certificate (HEAC) at Gulu University. Until recently, there were only 3 pathways to access the degree study programme. This programme was first introduced at Busitema University in 2018, and was catering for only science programmes. This year, Isaac will among the pioneers of this certificate programme at Gulu University. We anticipate that this programme will improve enrollment in science programmes at universities by encouraging forward progression, since repeating UACE is not a simple thing. It will provide hope to thousands of students to pursue degree programmes at universities. However, the downside will be that enrollment for diploma programmes at National Teachers Colleges (NTCs) & UCC's will be much reduced.
What is HEAC?
Higher Education Access Certificate (HEAC) is the 4th Higher Education access route approved by National Council for Higher Education (NCHE). The HEAC is an intensive full-time programme, designed to bridge the knowledge gap of students who might not have assumed knowledge required for a professional course or who might not have been confident with their preparation for university and tertiary level education study. It is designed with the assumption that the applicant has some basic knowledge of the subjects for which he/she is being bridged. The programme is a preparation stage to enable access to university and tertiary education programmes. The programme runs for two semesters (one year) and focuses on preparation of candidates in specific subjects that provide specific and generic academic skills to succeed in the higher education system in the desired programmes. Upon successful completion of the programme, and depending on their performance, the candidates will be given the opportunity to access specific degree/diploma programmes of their choice in University and tertiary education system.
HEAC Study Programmes
- Higher Education Access Certificate in Biology and Agriculture.
- Higher Education Access Certificate in Biology and Chemistry.
- Higher Education Access Certificate in Mathematics and Chemistry.
- Higher Education Access Certificate in Physics and Mathematics.
- Higher Education Access Certificate in English Language and Literature in English.
Aim of the Programme
The overall aim of the HEAC Programme is to provide entry opportunity for candidates who performed dismally at UACE, do not have appropriate qualifications based on current national admission criteria for higher education and those with foreign qualifications but do not merit admission to programmes at higher institutions of learning in Ugandan Education System.
Eligibility / Target Group & Entry Requirements for HEAC programme
HEAC programme targets both Ugandan citizens and the global community. The targeted learners include:
- Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) holders with at least two subsidiary passes or its equivalent. At least one of the subsidiary passes shall be from a principal subject. For avoidance of doubt, a holder of UACE with only 1 Principal pass shall be deemed to have met the admission requirements. Candidates must have done, at UACE, subjects specified in HEAC programme.
- Vocational Qualifications at Level 2 or Level 3 of the Uganda Vocational Qualifications Framework (UVQF).
- Qualifications equivalent to Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) as shall be determined by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) in consultation with the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB).
- An ordinary certificate from an institution recognized by NCHE/UNEB.
- Students whose foreign secondary school qualifications are not considered equivalent to UACE but permit admission into Higher Education in the foreign country. Such students shall have passed at least five subjects with a minimum overall grade of C (equivalently a Ugandan grade 5). In addition, foreign students whose studies were not conducted in English shall show proof of proficiency in the English Language from English proficiency centres accredited by NCHE.