European-American University is incorporated and empowered as a University in the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara by a Royal Charter of Incorporation issued by H.M. the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara on 6 February 2012. Bunyoro-Kitara is one of the subnational kingdoms of the Republic of Uganda. H.M. The Omukama (King) of the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara and the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom itself were restored by the Amendment [No. 8] Act – Statute No. 8, Article 118 (1)- of 1993 enacted by the Parliament of Uganda. They are officially recognized and protected by the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda viz.: Chapter IV. –Article 37.-, Chapter XVI. -Article 246. (1) – (6)- of 1995 and by the Amendment [No. 2] Act -schedule V. -Article 178.8- of 2005 and by the Acts Supplement [No. 4] -Act 6. of 2011. Under Amendment (No. 2) Act 1995, His Majesty is the titular head of the regional government and assembly of Bunyoro-Kitara and opens, addresses and closes sessions of the assembly. His Majesty is assisted by his Principal Private Secretary, a Cabinet of twenty-one Ministers and a Orukurato (Parliament). His Majesty is the Royal Patron of European-American University.
Since 2016, European-American University has been a division of Western Orthodox University Ltd., registered in the Commonwealth of Dominica under the IBC Act 1996 with company number 12335. Today, European-American University awards degrees jointly with the Western Orthodox University acting under its Dominica incorporation. As a result, each degree is issued under dual authority: that of European-American University’s Royal Charter of Incorporation in Bunyoro-Kitara, and that of the Western Orthodox University’s incorporation in the Commonwealth of Dominica, which gives the University full authority to operate as a private international university, to accept students and to confer degrees.
The registered office of Western Orthodox University, Ltd., is 8, Copthall, Roseau Valley, 00152 Commonwealth of Dominica. Western Orthodox University Ltd. (Commonwealth of Dominica) awards degrees under the powers of its memorandum of association. Because European-American University is officially a part of the Western Orthodox University, it is covered by the various accreditations and recognitions that the Western Orthodox University holds.
In its own right, European-American University also holds a second African Royal Charter as listed below, and has further accreditations and recognitions.
Royal Charter from the Chief of Gomoa Nyanyano (Ghana)
In August 2010, as a mark of recognition and support for the University’s educational programmes in Ghana and throughout Africa, the University was awarded a Royal Charter from HRH Nana Dr. Obeng Wiabo V, the Chief of Gomoa Nyanyano, and Oshihene (Chairman of Lands) of Gomoa Akempim Traditional Area, Ghana. Ghana’s historic traditional monarchies are recognized under the Chieftaincy Act 1971. The Chief maintains his own Educational Trust Fund for his people, which undertakes development work and welcomes donations to that end.
The international context
The status of European-American University as a private international education provider sometimes causes some confusion as to how it should be categorized within the educational spectrum. The assumption that all degree-awarding bodies must be part of a national system of education is frequent, but incorrect. Some, like European-American University, are chartered by a subnational government (Bunyoro-Kitara) rather than by federal or national authorities. Moreover, private education providers are not always listed in official publications and databases of tertiary institutions.
One approach to the matter is provided by the European Area of Recognition (a consortium consisting of a number of national recognition bodies from European Union member states), whose European Area of Recognition Manual (European Area of Recognition Manual: Practical Guidelines for Fair Recognition of Qualifications; Nuffic, 2012) contains a chapter devoted to “Non-Recognised but Legitimate Institutions” (chapter 16, p. 69). This says,
“When an institution is not recognised in a national system, it is important to not simply dismiss it. An effort should be made to ascertain whether the institution can be considered to be a legitimate provider even though it is not officially recognised, in which case a fair and transparent assessment is still possible. ‘A Non-recognised but legitimate institution’ refers to institutions which are not formally recognised by the authorities officially responsible for the accreditation and recognition of institutions in a given system, but which may offer study programmes of comparable level to other formally recognised programmes. Such institutions may include government or military institutions, adult education centres or religious seminaries.”
This statement correctly recognizes that adult education centres, such as European-American University, may have their origins and maintain their operations independently from national systems of education, and goes on to say that some (as in the case of the University) may also be transnational education providers. It recommends an approach to recognition based on the gathering of information and research about the institution in question. Having given an example of the approach for dealing with a credential from a religious institution that is not accredited by the relevant quality assurance authority in the home country, it recommends that “An analysis of the qualification may lead to some form of recognition, on the basis of the course entry requirements, duration, structure, learning outcomes and any external quality assurance mechanisms which may apply. Details of research conducted and the decision made are then saved centrally to ensure consistency in future assessments.” (p. 70)
Another approach is offered by the Union Nacional de Educacion Superior Continua Organizada and its UNESCO Centre Central and South America. In its publication “International Handbook of Universities” 2018 edition, this organization devotes a section to Transnational Universities (in which it lists the Western Orthodox University), explaining,
“The term Transnational Universities describes universities that operate in multiple jurisdictions and are not part of a single national system of education, although they may be legally registered in one or more jurisdictions and are required to comply with relevant legislation governing the delivery of higher education in the countries where they operate. Such institutions include transnational consortiums of existing universities that offer programmes in their own right or as joint degrees between providers located in different nations, universities which are under religious rather than governmental direction and other providers of adult education, typically delivering programmes through distance or blended learning via the Internet and affiliated campus centres.”