The increased lawlessness in Popondetta town has forced the University of Natural Resources & Environment (UNRE) to stop accepting female students to its Popondetta campus.
The only female students at the campus now are continuing second and third year students.
They are expected to be the last batch of female students until police and provincial government authorities address the law and order issues in Popondetta town.
This decision was reached by the university council in its 50th meeting in September 2011 after 15 men armed with guns and bush knives held up 16 female students in their dormitory in April the same year.
After stealing mobile phones, computers and other personal effects of the students the armed men tried to drag a female student out of the dormitory with them.
Quick response from male students saved her from being taken away by the armed men.
Vice chancellor Prof Philip Siaguru, who spoke on behalf of university chancellor Margaret Elias, said council, which views the safety of staff and students as paramount, resolved that no female students be accepted to the campus as from 2012 until the law and order situation in Popondetta is resolved.
Prof Siaguru said the university has had several meetings with provincial authorities and police in the province about the attacks on students and staff over the years but there has been no improvement so far.
“The police are faced with handicaps of their own such as no vehicles and no fuel for the ones they do have, and everyday the situation worsens,” he said.
“As a responsible body, council could not sit by and put the safety of the campus community, particularly female students, who are the most vulnerable group, at risk at the campus if the lawlessness and harassment of staff and students continued.
“If the residents of Popondetta do not respect the university and leave it alone, then they don’t deserve to have a higher learning institution.
"We will close shop."
Should this happen, the campus will be used as a research field station for the University.
The UNRE council will review the situation in July this year.