The Department of Business Studies (formerly known as the Department of Business Education) was established in 1975 as a result of a Decree issued by the Government of Uganda to train teachers in Business Education, at Diploma Level, who were to teach in the Secondary Schools after qualifying. This was following a gap, in the management of Businesses, created as a result of the expulsion of the Asian business community from the country. There was immediate need for Business Education so as to equip Ugandans with business skills that could enable them manage the businesses left behind by the Asians. The first enrolment was about seven (07) students. These were mainly O’Level leavers who had done and passed at least some commercial subjects at O’Level. Because of their background, the course was designed to take three years. The first year was to prepare the students to reach an A’Level standard. Later on the admission requirement was changed to A’Level with at least one principle pass for sciences and two principle passes for arts. The courses taught were mainly those in the Secondary School Curriculum relating to Business Subjects and those related to professional subjects.
With the increasing A’Level leavers and mushrooming schools, enrolment continued to increase steadily but controlled. This was partly because all the students were government sponsored and partly due to the limited equipment needed for the training.
Growth /Turning Point of the Department
In 1988, the first Bachelor’s Degree students (16) were admitted to train, for two academic years, as graduate teachers with specialization in Business Education as a double main. This was a year later after the transition of the National Teachers’ College into an Institute of Teacher Education, Kyambogo, which became popularly known as ITEK. Together with other students, they were awarded Bachelor of Education Degree of Makerere University.
From 1992, as a result of liberalization, the Government permitted the Public Universities and other tertiary institutions of learning to admit private students, who qualify but could not be funded by the Government, to sponsor themselves. This policy also allowed for the establishment of the non-traditional courses, i.e. courses outside Education, to be introduced in the Department. The then Department of Business Education started offering courses such as Diploma in Accountancy, Diploma in Business Administration, Diploma in Stores Management, Diploma in Supplies Management and Diploma in Secretarial Science, leading to the award of the Diploma of Institute of Teacher Education, Kyambogo. As a result of offering these courses besides Education, the name of the Department had to change from Department of Business Education to Department of Business Studies.
In 1997, two certificate programmes were introduced and these also boosted the number of students in the Department. These were Certificate in Secretarial Science and Certificate in Accountancy. Both were examined by the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) and later awarded by the Institute of Teacher Education, Kyambogo (ITEK).
With the birth of Kyambogo University in 2001, the Department of Business Studies initiated three -year Degree programmes besides the Bachelor of Education Degree. The initial programmes were Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance, popularly known as BAF; Bachelor of Management Science, popularly known as BMS; Bachelor of Administrative and Secretarial Science, popularly known as, BAS. One year later (2002), the Bachelor of Procurement and Logistics Management, popularly known BPLM, and Bachelor of Vocational Studies in Business Studies with Education were introduced. The Department of Business Studies was the first to introduce these courses at the Degree level in Uganda.
In response to the changing demand in the society and university requirements, the Department reviewed the Diploma Programmes in 2003. As a result, the Diploma Programmes were organized in a semester system and Diploma in Purchasing & Supplies Management was merged with the Diploma in Stores Management which formed the present Diploma in Procurement and Logistics Management.
In 2005, the Bachelor of Vocational Studies in Business Studies with Education was reviewed and the name changed to Bachelor of Business Studies with Education since vocational studies was envisaged to become a separate Institute of its own.
As the Department grew and expanded it got caught up with the problems of development; one which was shortage of space. As a temporary measure, the two certificate programmes together with the Diploma in Education, Secondary, were shelved so as to create room for the other programmes. Three master degree programmes are in the offing.
In 2006/2007, a new programme known as Bachelor of Business Studies was introduced and was expected to take off in the same academic year. The few who were admitted to the programme changed to Bachelor of Business Studies with Education since the number could not match the critical mass.
Over the three-year period, 2003/2004 – 2006/2007, the Department embarked on staff development, curriculum design and development. Under the NPT project, the Department has designed and is developing two courses at masters’ level: Master of Science in Supply Chain Management, Master of Business Administration. Alongside these; the Department developed a Master of Science in Organization and Public Policy Management.
As indicated in the historical background, the Department has continued to grow from year to year. As it grows in size, in terms of programmes and students enrollment, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage as a single unit under a faculty. Currently the Department is divided into four sections. The sections have become too big to remain as sections. These sections need to be upgraded to the status of Departments. However, turning these sections into departments is also crucial in enabling staff within the departments to specialize into the core areas since specialization is crucial in promotion of research activities in a university.
On the other hand turning the Department into a School would further improve its standing alongside other Business Schools in and outside the country. It would for example, be possible to use the acquired image to source donor funding to further develop the infrastructure and the staff as opposed to the current status where we are completely submerged into a bigger unit. It is against this background that the Department of Business Studies proposed to be upgraded to the status of a School of Management and Entrepreneurship. This was established in August 2008.
The School of Management and Entrepreneurship currently has a total number of students of about 4,435 by September 2013. For administrative purpose, the school adopted the structure that existed under the Department of Business Studies as below: