As Makerere University continues to perfect her status as a research-led university, supervision of graduate students has been identified as a key contributor and therefore given priority in terms of capacity building initiatives. It is in this spirit that the Quality Assurance Directorate (QAD) and the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) with support from Sida have organized a three-day training workshop to share best practices with supervisors of graduate students at Makerere University.
Speaking at the launch of the workshop yesterday Wednesday, 6th May 2015, the Director Quality Assurance, Dr. Vincent Ssembatya welcomed all participants and facilitators to the workshop and noted that Makerere ought to understand and appreciate the attributes of being a research-led university and constantly attune her activities and processes accordingly.
“We have interpreted being research-led as producing more than 50PhDs at graduation and attaining 30% graduate student enrolment. However, the Higher Education Summit in Dakar has identified Makerere University as one of the flagship universities in Africa which should have 50% of the enrollment as graduate students. This means we are going to be pushed even further and supervision is going to become a big enterprise” noted Dr. Ssembatya.
The workshop is therefore aimed at creating a platform for supervisors to interact with facilitators from the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) so as to help preempt hurdles in the path of graduate students, share best practices and put in place measures to implement them across the various academic units. The Sida-funded workshop will bring together 35 supervisors from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), College of Health Sciences (CHS) and the College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) to receive training and make recommendations on how to boost graduate completion rates.
Makerere University currently has approximately 700 registered PhD students and annually graduates 70 PhDs, which represents only 10% of the population compared the international average of 20%. The cause of the low completion rates has been attributed to the poor relationship between the supervisor and student among other factors, hence the need for interventional pedagogical graduate student support training sessions to help boost graduation figures to at least 120 PhDs per year.
The first facilitator of the Day and Dean-School of Education, Dr. Betty Ezati who shared on the workshop expectations noted that it was important to provide a point of reflection on how well supervisors had performed and where positive performance had been registered, identify ways of making it even better, and eventually adopt systematic ways of training in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). She noted that the workshop was also an avenue to share experiences between senior supervisors with longer experience and their junior colleagues with lesser experience. Continuous professional development that facilitates both academic and professional growth was another expectation shared by Dr. Ezati “There is a need to integrate the problem-based learning model as practiced by the College of Health Sciences into teaching practices across other colleges in order to create an environment where both students and lecturers are lifelong learners benefitting from each others’ experiences.”
Facilitating the “Purpose of Graduate Learning” session, Prof. Charles Opolot Okurut contemplated whether last century’s graduates are equipping 21st Century students with relevant skills, especially in the face of rapid technological evolution. He then proceeded to share the aims and goals of graduate training as: to prepare graduates for a lifetime of gainful employment; to produce graduates who will become productive citizens; to provide specialised knowledge, skills and independent experiences; to gain competence in the use of analytical skills such as critical thinking; to remain competitive in the job market, among others.
Prof. Opolot then shared the following as necessary skills for the 21st Century: the ability to shift jobs and careers more frequently combined with adaptability in acquiring new job skills; Science and Mathematics skills as well as fluency in information and communication technologies; the ability to continuously engage in lifelong learning so as to update both education and job skills; ability to conduct experiments and present results using suitable techniques; ability to learn a set of novel literacy skills based on new media, among others. He however shared low completion rates, academic writing and inability to balance time as key challenges that continue to affect graduate training.
The training which will close on Friday 8th May 2015 with a certificate of participation award ceremony also received feedback from participants key among which included;
• The need to identify different strengths of students and use them to improve their learning experiences
• Creation of a regular non-academic platform where students can freely interact with supervisors as a way of building rapport
• Maximum utilization of systems in place such as the graduate tracking tool www.gradtrack.mak.ac.ug to help improve completion rates
• Refining training methods to indicate competencies so that student assessments measure the ability to demonstrate applied knowledge
• Rewarding good supervisors with a percentage of the student’s tuition as well as reconsidering the policy that stipulates applicants for promotions need to be first authors of all publication presented for vetting
• Instituting a policy on regular graduate seminars so that students receive peer reviews of their research and address most queries prior to the final defence
• Redesign graduate programmes to cater for students who cannot afford to resign from their jobs to pursue further studies so as to boost completion rates
• Equip supervisors with skills to secure funding for their less privileged students that drop out due to lack of funding
Article by Public Relations Office
Innovations using low cost locally available materials for point of use water treatment system unveiled
The College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) conducted a Research Dissemination of two studies aimed at the Development of Materials for point of use water treatment systems.
The investigations were conducted by a team of researchers comprised of P. W. Olupot, H. M. Kalibbala, E. Menya, G.M. Wangi, J. Jjagwe, J. Wakatuntu, M. Turyasingura, R. Walozi, C. Kanyesigye and R. N. Kulabako.
The dissemination event held on Wednesday 29th November 2023 follows the successful completion of two MakRIF supported Research projects namely; Development of rice husk based granular activated carbon for point-of-use water treatment systems and Development of zeolite-based nanocomposite filters for drinking water treatment.
Apac District gains from CEDAT’s Research on Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model and Efficacious patient management system
The School of Engineering at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) shared findings of research that was conducted in Apac Districts through two projects namely Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model (RCBM) and Efficacious patient management system (EPMS).
The findings of the research sponsored by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University research and Innovation Fund(MakRIF) were disseminated during a dissemination seminar held in the College on Friday 24th November 2023, where it was revealed that Apac the host District greatly benefited from the services that not only led to the increased uptake of internet services but also gained through other socio economic areas.
Application Forms for Admission to Public Universities 2024/2025
The Academic Registrar, Makerere University informs all Head Teachers of A ‘Level schools that application forms for admission to public universities for senior six candidates (UACE 2023) for the 2024/2025 academic year will be ready for collection from the university from Monday 4th December, 2023.
The application forms should be collected from the Office of the Academic Registrar, Senate Building, Level 3, Makerere University.
Issuing of the application forms will start on Monday, 4th December 2023 on payment of a non-refundable application fee of Uganda Shs. 52,000/=(fifty two thousand Uganda shillings only) per application form.
You are advised to get a pay reference number (PRN) using the ACMIS system (http://pay.mak.ac.ug) to enable you pay the application fees in any bank used by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).
The forms are for Ugandans only.
Please note that only Head Teachers or their authorized representatives will be served.
The closing date for submitting the completed application forms will be Wednesday 31st January, 2024.
Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi
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