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Press conference held on 20th February 2024 , Press release

YMCA Comprehensive Institute (YCI), a leading Private Other Degree Awarding Institution (ODAI), vocational and technical institution in Uganda, is thrilled to announce its official recognition as the first chartered Private Other Degree Awarding Institution (ODAI) in Uganda. This prestigious status, officially granted on January 11, 2024, by the President of Uganda H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, elevates YCI to the same level as public universities and signifies its unwavering commitment to academic excellence, rigorous standards, and impactful programs.

YMCA Comprehensive Institute boasts a diverse and accredited academic portfolio, offering over 35 programs at degree, diploma, and certificate levels. These programs empower students from Uganda, East Africa and beyond, and beyond, fostering a truly international learning environment. With over 100,000 graduates since 1966 to date, YCI’s impact transcends borders and shapes lives across the continent.”

Background: A Vision Rooted in Service and Skill Development:

Aerial view of Wandegeya – Buganda Road plot 37-41

Established in 1986, with now two campuses, one located in the outcasts of Kampala city on Buganda Road plot 37-41, Wandegeya in central Uganda and another located at Buwambo-Matugga on Bombo Road in Nassana, Municipality-Wakiso District. YCI has consistently championed the empowerment of individuals through high-quality vocational and technical training. Particularly focused on individuals who may have faced hurdles to traditional education, YCI offers certificate, diploma, and degree programs in high-demand fields. This approach has played a crucial role in bridging the skills gap and fostering self-sufficiency in Uganda and neighboring countries.

Aerial View of Buwambo campus on Matugga- Bombo Road in Nassana, Municipality-Wakiso District

Charter Journey:

The road to obtaining a charter for YMCA Comprehensive Institute has been a meticulous and thorough process. The Institute began its formal pursuit on 1st July 2019 with an application to NCHE for the grant of a charter. The journey included a comprehensive defense of the application on 30th August 2019, followed by an NCHE Charter inspection in April 2022 and an administrative visit in May 2022 to verify the institute’s readiness for a charter but this journey started as early as 2011 and the institute had to go through these advancements to be able to even apply for the grant of the charter:

These advancements are:

  1. 19 Dec 2011: Classification and registration as a tertiary institution
  2. 19 Dec 2014: Provisional license as other Degree awarding institution (ODAI)
  3. 1st July 2019: Application to NCHE for grant of a charter
  4. 30th August 2019 – defense of the chatter application
  5. 27th-29th April 2022 – NCHE Charter inspection of YMCA
  6. 18th May 2022 NCHE Administrative visit for verify institute readiness or a charter
  7. 18th, July 2022 NCHE letter recommending grant of a charter to YMCA Comprehensive institute.
  8. 11th January 2024, officially granted a charter

Charter Requirements: – Context

YMCA Comprehensive Institute’s journey to securing a charter required meticulous adherence to the National Council for Higher Education’s (NCHE) stringent requirements. These encompassed comprehensive factors like dedicated academic, administrative, and support services, well-defined operational procedures and bylaws, a portfolio of accredited courses, well defined governance structures, qualified and experienced faculty, well-equipped facilities, and robust student and staff support systems. YCI successfully demonstrated its commitment to each of these criteria, ultimately earning the esteemed charter recognition.

Granting of Charter:

On January 29th, 2024, YMCA Comprehensive Institute reached a defining moment in its history. A letter from the NCHE Executive Director, Prof. Mary J.N Okwakol (reference NCHE/U/78), confirmed the President’s approval of our charter application on January 11th 2024. This prestigious recognition, soon to be published in the Uganda Gazette, marks a monumental achievement and a testament to our unwavering commitment to excellence.

Confirmation letter from NCHE to YCI for the grant of the charter
Signed Page of the Charter granted to YCI by H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni The President of the Uganda

“YMCA Comprehensive Institute has consistently demonstrated its leadership in vocational and technical education. The awarding of the charter recognizes their achievements and sets a strong example for other degree awarding institutions to follow.”

Dr. James Nkata during the YCI charter press conference at YCI wandegeya campus

“Receiving the charter is a testament to the unwavering dedication of our faculty, staff, and students. It validates our commitment to providing high-quality, industry-relevant vocational and technical education, and empowers us to further contribute to Uganda’s development by equipping individuals with the skills they need to thrive in the ever-evolving job market.”

Dr. Herbert Mukasa (PhD) during the YCI charter press conference at YCI wandegeya campus

“Receiving the charter is a momentous occasion not just for YCI, but for vocational education in Uganda. It signifies the recognition of our dedication to quality and validates our impact on transforming lives. This achievement motivates us to further elevate our standards, expand our reach, and empower future generations with even greater opportunities.”

Ms. Roselyne Birungi during the YCI charter press conference at YCI wandegeya campus

” The Board of Trustees extends its heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has played a role in this remarkable journey. From our dedicated faculty to our passionate students, each individual has contributed to this well-deserved recognition. The charter inspires us to continue fostering innovation, nurturing talent, and preparing future generations to be responsible and engaged citizens, actively contributing to Uganda’s social and economic development.”

YCI Board of trustees,

Vision and Aspirations:

Empowered by our charter, YMCA Comprehensive Institute remains steadfast in its mission. We go beyond equipping individuals with mere skills; we foster fully-fledged human capital, ready to thrive in the workforce and build self-sustaining lives. Our unwavering commitment lies in inspiring confidence, particularly among youth, by motivating them to pursue advanced vocational and practical skills that contribute meaningfully to their own development and the nation’s progress.


More than just recognition, the chartering of YMCA Comprehensive Institute is a national endorsement of our unwavering commitment to academic excellence and transformative vocational education. This is not a finish line, but a springboard propelling us forward to fulfill our mission: empowering youth and shaping the Ugandan landscape of skilled professionals. We stand deeply humbled and grateful for the contributions of all stakeholders, Board of Trustees, YCI Governing Council, management, staff, students, Alumni, NCHE and to everyone that impacted directly or indirectly who made this momentous achievement possible. This charter serves as a renewed commitment to serve our community with even greater dedication. We will continue to foster innovation, cultivate industry-aligned skills, and empower individuals to reach their full potential. Together, we can shape a brighter future for Uganda, building a stronger nation fueled by its skilled workforce.

Press conference today 20/02/2024 at YCI Wandegeya Campus