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At least 45.26% of the 285 UCU students who applied scored the pass mark of 50%, which is an improvement on last year’s 86 students. This has made the university maintain a second position, compared to 2009 when they were the best having taken 202 students that year.
“There has been an improvement, though the LDC pre-entry exams haven’t been in our favour in the past two years. But we are still a contender, given the fact that they we are still number two and had a number of students among the top performers in the exams,” says the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Dr. Pamela Tibihikirra.
In 2009, the university introduced pre-entry interviews, which are meant to check the quality of students admitted to the law course. It was realised that many students come with good grades obtained from a wide range of subjects that have no bearing to their preparation for their study of law.
Dr Tibihikirra explains that students who are currently doing the LDC pre-entry exams weren’t interviewed at UCU’s own pre-admission interviews. The first real test will be seen in 2013 because the first lot of students are now in their third year.
The January intake is also being phased out to give finalists enough time to prepare for the LDC pre-entry exams. The January students have always had about a week to prepare for the exams done in August since it was introduced two years ago. They finish their final exams at UCU in the same month they sit for pre-entry. With this new arrangement, all law students will finish in April and have time to prepare.
UCU is aiming at making the university the first choice for private universities since the best performing students on government scholarships are taken by Makerere. But despite that fact, Tibihikirra says those currently at LDC are doing well according to the reports she gets as a member of the management committee at LDC.
Of the total number of 879 lawyers from all universities who sat, only 423 excelled. The pre-entry exams were introduced last year by the Uganda Law Council to test the student’s knowledge of the core university law courses. This followed numerous complaints that most of the students who were admitted on the Bar course were half-baked, something that had contributed to massive failures at the LDC.
In this year’s admission Makerere had 220, followed by UCU, KIU with 30, and IUIU with 26, Dar es Salaam with 3, Uganda Pentecostal University (UPU) with 2 while Bangalore University, De Montfort University, Sheffield University and University of Wales, which sent one student each, all failed to get on the admission list.
Successful candidates will start their Bar course October 3.