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Supervision Holds Key to Cementing Mak Research-led Status

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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.

Director-QAD, Dr. Vincent Ssembatya (L) addresses supervisors and faciliators as Mr. George Henry Tusiime (R) listens during the Supervisors' Training Workshop launch on 6th May 2015, Piato, Kampala Uganda“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.

Dean-School of Education, CEES, Dr. Betty Ezati facilitates the opening session during the training workshopThe 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. Charles Opolot Okurut-CEES facilitated on the Purpose of Graduate Learning, Supervisors' Training Workshop, 6th May 2015, Piato, Kampala UgandaProf. 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

 

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

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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: //apply.mak.ac.ug
  • 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
ACADEMIC REGISTRAR

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Diploma/Degree Holders Admission Lists 2024/25

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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

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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.

Eligibility

  • 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 jacks184@msu.edu or +1 517-353-6989 with any questions.

Source: AAP

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