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Makerere’s Doctoral Completion Rates Improve



“By the power of the authority vested in me, I confer upon you the Degree of the Doctor of Philosopy of Makerere University,” declares the Chancellor as he confers a Doctoral Degree upon a successful candidate, on completion of his/her study.

“By the power of the authority vested in me, I confer upon you the Degree of the Doctor of Philosopy of Makerere University,” declares the Chancellor as he confers a Doctoral Degree upon a successful candidate, on completion of his/her study.

To the casual observer, this doctoral award process is all too repetitive and laborious, considering that the Masters and Bachelors awards are done en mass! Unknown to them however, this unique award practice is just the tip of the iceberg, the icing on the cake that has taken over five and in some cases seven years of careful planning, meticulous research, laborious poring over countless theses, books and stacks of references, and finally fervent and on occasion argumentative defence of your work before a panel of experts.

Makerere produces the highest number of PhDs in the region, with this year’s tally alone coming 57. However, this figure could have even been higher, had more candidates managed to complete in time. This Dr. Bruno Ocaya, School of Statistics and Planning, College of Business Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere Universitywas the focus of the 8th PhD Dissemination series featuring Mr. Robert Wamala from the School of Statistics and Planning, College of Business and Management Sciences. Mr Wamala’s paper; Likelihood of Completion and Extended Candidature of a PhD: A Five-year Analysis of Studies at Makerere University was based on data from 295 doctoral students at Makerere University in the enrolment cohorts from 2000 to 2005.

In his remarks, Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah the Academic Registrar, noted the importance of dissemination, as an avenue of public information, so as to help turn research into policy and hence help increase Makerere University’s visibility and relevance to the community.

Dr. Bruno Ocaya , Senior Lecturer-School of Statistics and Planning and Mr. Wamala’s supervisor, commended him for his persistent research, whose data is now being used to teach fellow graduate students, unlike in the past where data from institutions outside Uganda was used.

Mr Robert Wamala, School of Statistics and Planning, Makerere UniversityMr. Robert Wamala started off his presentation by objecting to the assertion that Makerere’s doctoral completion rates had declined over the last 5years, as his research had proved otherwise. He then observed that whereas academic scholarships made life easier for candidates at Makerere, extended candidature was more common among science-based, financially supported candidates. And while a high Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is every undergraduate student’s dream, Mr. Wamala observed that this CGPA was not a strong determinant of timely completion. Candidates with relatively low CGPA on enrollment had the same completion times and sometimes even better ones than their counterparts who had higher CGPAs.

He further noted that completion rates are not purely affected by factors within the PhD study but also prior factors such as age; younger candidates had better completion times, and nationality; international students register better completion times than their Ugandan counterparts. Factors during, such as financial support as noted earlier, were only found to actually increase completion time and extend candidature.

Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi, Deputy Director, Research and Graduate Training, Makerere UniversityPer capita expenditure per student in any country is vital for the promotion of research in Universities. Whereas it was observed that Uganda’s per capita expenditure per student paled in comparison to her South African counterparts, Makerere University’s doctoral completion rates were higher than some South African institutions and her attrition rates fared favourably with other International Universities.

The discussant of the day Dr. Xavier Mugisha a Senior Research Fellow at the Economic Policy Research Centre commended Mr. Wamala for his great presentation, “Robert has done great work, and as far as his paper is concerned, I found it flawless.”

He further congratulated Makerere University on her completion rates considering the support received, but challenged the institution to perform even better. He noted that the institution has a good catchment area with academics that have a drive to succeed and excel. He further noted that with good remuneration, Makerere could easily register the highest doctoral completion rates in Africa.

Professor Buyinza Mukadasi, Deputy Director, Research and Graduate Training (DRGT), Makerere University and the day’s Chief Guest thanked Mr. Wamala for his elaborate presentation and acknowledged that the Directorate would surely benefit from the paper. He reiterated the directorate’s vision to make Makerere the leader in research and graduate training in the region, by ensuring even better completion rates.

Student interaction with peers and faculty is an enhancer of graduate training, and Prof. Buyinza pledged that the Directorate would promote these interactions, as enabling pillars of PhD completion.


PhD Abstract-Mr. Robert Wamala: doc(24KB), pdf(11KB)

8th PhD Dissemination Series Programme: pdf(23KB)

8th PhD Dissemination Attrition and Completion Rates: pdf(27KB)

8th PhD Dissemination Attrition and Completion Rates Table: pdf(46KB), Public Relations Office

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Advert: Mature Age Entry Scheme – Private Sponsorship 2024/2025



Students sit for an exam in the pre-COVID era, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites applications for the Undergraduate
Programmes under the Mature Age Entry Scheme only for Private Sponsorship for
2024/2025 Academic Year.
Non-Refundable Application fee of Shs. 50,000/= for Ugandans OR $75 Equivalent for
Internationals, plus bank charge should be paid in any of the banks used by Uganda
Revenye Authority after generating a Payment Reference Number (PRN).

  • Apply using the Institution’s Applications Portal URL:https: //
  • Application is for candidates who passed the Mature Age Entry Examinations of December 17, 2022 and February 24, 2024 only.
  • Any candidate who passed the examinations in mentioned above and was not admitted on Government/ Private sponsorship for December 17, 2022 sitting, and for Government sponsorship for February 24, 2024 sitting, is eligible to apply for admission on Private Sponsorship for 2024 /2025 Academic Year.

The closing date for applying will be Friday 26th July, 2024.

Further details can be accessed by following this link.

Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza

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Diploma/Degree Holders Admission Lists 2024/25



Main Library, Makerere University. Photo taken on 29th February 2016.

The Office of Academic Registrar, Makerere University has released lists of Diploma/Degree Holder applicants admitted under Private/Self Sponsorship for the academic year 2024/25. Please note that admission is subject to verification of academic documents by the awarding institutions.

The admission list is displayed here below:

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African Futures Research Leadership Program: Cohort 5 – Call for Scholars



Participants at the initial AAP convening participate in design-thinking exercises to help imagine the future of partnerships between MSU and Africa. Photo: AAP

The Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) is seeking applicants for the fifth cohort of the AAP African Futures Research Leadership Program. This competitive visiting scholar program supports early career researchers from the AAP consortium to work for one year under the mentorship of faculty members from MSU and their home institution, focusing on building skills in research for impact, writing scholarly and/or policy publications, disseminating of research results, and developing grant proposals for external support. Scholars will also participate in a structured professional development program while building bridges and lasting connections with MSU contacts and across their cohort. 

The main objective of the African Futures program is to strengthen the capacity of a cadre of African researchers to return to their home institutions and become scientific leaders in their community, establish long-term partnerships with MSU faculty, co-create innovative solutions to Africa’s challenges, and in turn become trainers of the next generation of researchers. This program aims to address the gender gap in Africa, where only 30% of researchers are women, so scholars selected for the program will be women, or men who can demonstrate they are committed to support efforts towards gender equity in higher education institutions in Africa. The research areas that the scholars will engage in during the program should be aligned to AAP’s research priority areas

The AAP Management Team requests applications from early career researchers to participate in the next cohort, with work to begin virtually in February 2025. Scholars will spend September – December 2025 at MSU for the in-person portion of the program, followed by another period of virtual collaboration, ending in early 2026. The scholar and mentor team will receive a small grant for research and professional development activities including conference attendance and publication. Scholars will also receive a stipend during their time at MSU, visa application support, and round-trip travel from their home institution.


  • Citizen of an African country 
  • Completion of a PhD degree within the last 10 years 
  • Employed as an Academic Staff member at one of the AAP African consortium universities including Egerton University, Makerere University, University of Dar es Salaam, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Botswana, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University Cheikh Anta Diop, University of Arts and Humanities, Bamako, United States International University-Africa, and University of Pretoria 
  • Have documented approval of leave or sabbatical to participate in the program for the in-person period 
  • Have a mentor at their home institution that will serve as a collaborator and mentor
  • Research must be in one of the AAP priority areas
  • Applicants may only submit one proposal to AAP in this round of funding. Prior scholars are not eligible to apply. 

To learn more about the program, including how to apply, click below

Learn more

Applications to be an African Futures scholar are due August 18, 2024

Additional program dates:

  • Program start date (virtual): February 2025
  • In-person program: Sept – Dec 2025
  • Program end date: February 2026

Please contact Jose Jackson-Malete at or +1 517-353-6989 with any questions.

Source: AAP

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