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. The Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom was incorporated by Trust Deed under the law of the Republic of Uganda on 11 June 2007.
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). He is the Chairperson of the “Forum for Kings and Cultural Leaders of Uganda” under Rule 113(3) of the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Uganda.
His Majesty is the Royal Patron of European-American University and granted the University’s Royal Charter in exercise of his Royal Prerogative to establish such institutions.
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.
Since its foundation, the University has been under spiritual direction, initially having been established by the Society for Humanistic Potential. Today it is an educational institution of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, a worldwide traditional Christian communion based in Florida, USA, and is accredited by the Anglican Association of Colleges of Schools, the educational arm of the Apostolic Episcopal Church and the Catholicate of the West. European-American University is classified as a Pontifical University because it is under episcopal direction. The University operates jointly with The Western Orthodox University, Florida, USA, which provides seminary training. Admission to the University’s programmes is open to all regardless of their beliefs.
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 religious 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 and religious seminaries, 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)