On 29th November 2013, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Professor John Ddumba-Ssentamu hosted a delegation from Uppsala University, Sweden led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Eva Akesson. The two institutions held a dialogue aimed at expanding the existing collaboration to university-wide institutional model that will encompass the undergraduate, master, postgraduate and research programmes.
This dialogue started in December 2012 when the Vice Chancellor, Professor John Ddumba-Ssentamu led a delegation that visited Uppsala University. Thus the return visit from Uppsala University symbolised the readiness by both institutions to take this collaboration to a whole new strategic direction.
Professor Ddumba-Ssentamu, welcomed Professor Eva Akesson to Makerere University together with her delegation comprising Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson, Professor of Global Health (Below); Dr Peter Sundin-Analytical Chemist and Head of the International Science Program (Right); and Ulrica Ouline- Regional Manager Africa/Asia at the International Office.
He informed the guests that Makerere University was established in 1922 and has continued to grow with over 30,000 state and privately-sponsored students pursuing a wide range of disciplines at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The Vice Chancellor noted that the University boasts of a highly qualified and dedicated staff focused on the realization of the Makerere University vision-To be the leading institution for academic excellence and innovations in Africa. He applauded the researchers at Makerere University for keeping the Makerere banner up, and as such, Makerere University was ranked the fourth best university in Africa in the July 2013 webometric university ranking. He also saluted the Government and People of Sweden for supporting the Makerere University Research Agenda under the MAK-Sida Phase III Bilateral Research Grant (2010-2014).
Cognizant of the internationalization agenda stipulated in the Makerere University Strategic Plan, Professor John Ddumba-Ssentamu informed the meeting comprising Members of Makerere University Management, Principals, Deans and Heads of Administrative Units that he looked forward to a fruitful discussion aimed at cementing the already existing collaborations and staff exchange programmes in the various academic disciplines at both universities.
“I am glad that most of the academicians gathered here have partnered with Uppsala University on different programmes. We have learnt vital lessons to help us strengthen the institutionalized approach we would like to embrace. Today’s discussion will also bring on board other disciplines/fields in this University. We look forward to collaboration between Uppsala University and the College of Business and Management Sciences as well as the School of Law,” said Professor Ddumba-Ssentamu.
The Vice Chancellor Uppsala University, Professor Eva Akesson (Pictured Below Left showing off her gift from VC Prof. J. Ddumba-Ssentamu) said both universities shared a lot- the vision of being the best university and the value of academic excellence. Established in 1477, Uppsala University is the First University in Sweden. It is a comprehensive university, one of the top 100 in the world, has a student population of 40,000 and runs an international Science Programme with universities in the world.
“Uppsala and Makerere have a collaboration that goes way back in different disciplines. We can take another step to deepen our relationships. We do hope that today will formalize the steps for a more comprehensive collaboration between Makerere University and Uppsala University that will lead to signing a Memorandum of Understanding. If we ask for partnership with Uppsala University on the different programmes, we hope that Makerere University will partner with us,” she said.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor John Ddumba-Ssentamu then opened the floor for discussion:
Mr. Goddy Muhumuza, Senior Legal Officer: I was at Uppsala for a month’s training on property Rights. I loved the visit to your veterinary farm. It was a good experience at Uppsala.
Dr. John Mango, Deputy Principal, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) (Below Left): CoNAS has since the year 2000 been collaborating with Uppsala University in the areas of pesticides, bio-chemistry. This is outside the MAK-Sida collaboration. Our collaboration has yielded successes in the Department of Mathematics and the International Science Programme at Uppsala University.
Professor David Kabasa, Principal, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-Security (CoVAB) (Above Centre): This collaboration should focus on the transformation of society with a multi-disciplinary approach from universities, fields, community, public and private partners among others. Through this problem solving approach, we can work together to transform society in Uganda and the region.
Dr. Paul Muyinda Birevu, Head, Department of Open and Distance Learning, College of Education and External Studies (CEES) (Above Right) advocated for collaboration between both universities, as a means of strengthening the capacity on e-learning and pedagogy.