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Research and Innovations Communication Strategy under way

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Makerere University held her first consultative meeting to discuss the Research and Innovations Communication Strategy (RICS) on 13th July 2015 at the College of Engineering, Design Art and Technology conference hall. The RICS document aims at addressing a key challenge on how to effectively communicate research outputs from Makerere University to both national and international audiences. The draft document was prepared by the Makerere University Department of Journalism and Communication with Dr. William Tayeebwa as the lead consultant, Marjorie K. Niyitegeka as a Consultant and other team members from this department. The Department won the tender after a competitive bidding process; with sponsorship from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).Some of the members in a group discussion at the meeting.

Among the hindrances/constraints to research output pointed out in the RICS document include; apathy by researchers who do not feel obliged to share their research and innovation outputs with Makerere University, competing research dissemination activities, inadequate funds for research dissemination and absence of a Communication Officer at the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT). Nonetheless, the University prides in a coveted brand which continues to attract research funding, increase in research by both staff and students and presence of a research management structure within DRGT.

The RICS document streamlines the officers in charge of communicating the university’s research and innovation output. These include the Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Deans, Principals, Deputy Principals, Researchers and Innovators. It proposes various channels of communication ranging from traditional to online platforms including social media. For purposes of monitoring the efficiency of all these, the document advocates for a monitoring and evaluation mechanism involving both internal and external checks and balances.

 

 According to the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza, “the ultimate benefit of research lies not only in the generation of new knowledge but also in its uptake through the translation of knowledge into technologies, interventions and strategies effectively and appropriately delivered to the end-users. In order to reach this objective, we intend to pursue the entire research process within the context of contemporary knowledge, good ethics, effective policy, adequate resources and international cooperation.”

Dr. Tayeebwa explained that RICS is a result of a consultative process with different stakeholders including Principals, deputy principals, researchers, DRGT, Communication Officers and the directorate of ICT Support. It draws input from the Research and Innovations Policy 2008, the University Research Agenda 2013-18, the ICT Policy and Master Plan 2010-2014 and the Communication Policy 2013.

“Universities are expected to change their role from simply knowledge generation to a more proactive role of generating knowledge that contributes to development. This is because the 21st century is now based on a knowledge economy, where policies and development agenda are informed by knowledge. The knowledge economy implies also that the economies are private sector led and hence Makerere needs to partner with the private sector regarding the graduates it produces as well as the research it conducts. It is heartwarming to note that the University has a vast amount of research outputs that could be shared with other stakeholders nationally and internationally,” added Prof. Buyinza.

During the consultative workshop, participants divided into five groups, discussed the RICS document in detail and provided input. In their proposals, participants suggested that the University holds a Research Week every Semester in order to promote research and innovation output.

 "The ideas provided during this workshop have greatly enriched the draft strategy. I must however emphasize that it is important to ensure that funding is available to implement the dissemination activities. The Mak Public Relations and Communications team is ready to perform the tasks within their mandate for the successful implementation of the strategy to internal and external stakeholders," said Ms. Ritah Namisango, the Senior PRO of Makerere University in her vote of thanks.

Mrs. Niyitegeka explained that the consultants will take two weeks to incorporate the proposed amendments and share the document with the wider university community. The consultative meeting was attended by College Principals and their deputies, Researchers, Mak PR office, Communication officers, Web Administrators, the University Librarian, DICTS, DRGT and the Department of Journalism and Communication.

Story by  Marion Alina

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4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors

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URBRA’s Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa (2nd L) assisted by Ag. University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (L) hands over a plaque of recognition to Outgoing Trustee-Ms. Dorothy Nannozi Kabanda (2nd R) as Incoming Trustee-Ms. Franco Angida Mugyema (R) applauds during the MURBS Board Handover on 26th March 2021.

In February 2018, the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) launched the Departmental Ambassadors Programme. MURBS hopes to use this Ambassadors Programme to engage more directly with its membership and enhance member education. MURBS further perceives this Programme as a means to mitigate succession planning risks.

MURBS Fund Value continues to grow, and as at 31st March 2021, it stood at Ushs 235.5bn as compared to Ushs 209.6bn as at 30th June 2020. Given this growth, there is increased need for prospective Trustees, who are well equipped with relevant knowledge and skills, and with practical exposure to the management and governance of MURBS.

Eligibility

  1. Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
  2. Must be an Active Member of the Scheme (currently contributing to the Scheme) and appear on the Official Register of the MURBS Active Membership as at 30th April 2021.
  3. Must be willing to commit time to trainings and other ambassadorial activities organised by the Scheme.

Mode of training for 4th Cohort of Ambassadors

Training for this (4th) Cohort of Ambassadors is envisaged to be conducted over the zoom online platform only, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Scheme does not envisage any face-to-face interactions.

Tenure of Office & Termination or Withdrawal

There is no tenure of office for the Departmental Ambassador. As long as a member is willing to continue serving as an Ambassador, and the Ambassador continues to satisfy the eligibility criteria above, she or he will remain a MURBS Ambassador.

How to Apply

Interested members should complete the MURBS Departmental Ambassador Application Form 01-0218. The completed Form together with the requested attachments should be sent to info[at]murbs.mak.ac.ug and copy to wilber.naigambi[at]mak.ac.ug no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 14th June 2021. We discourage hand delivery of applications.

Confirmation/Approval Process

MURBS shall acknowledge receipt of each application received within 12 hours and will respond to the applicants to confirm the status of their application in writing (by e-mail). Upon approval of the application, the name of the approved Ambassador together with the Department and School/Unit will be updated on the list of the MURBS Departmental Ambassadors in the Group 4 category and published on the MURBS website.

NOTE: There is no limit as to the number of ambassadors that MURBS can have in a department.

Please see Downloads for the detailed call and application form.

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Chair Council Communication on Closure of Makerere University

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An older photo of the Main Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda as seen from across the Freedom Square. Date taken: 22nd October 2012.

7th June 2021

All Members of Staff
All Students and Stakeholders
Makerere University

RE: CLOSURE OF MAKERERE UNIVERSITY

Following the address to the Nation by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, on 6th June 2021, this is to inform you that the University will be closed with effect from today 7th June 2021 for 42days.

During the closure, the University shall observe a 30% physical presence of staff while other faculty and administrative staff shall continue to work online.

Management will inform staff and students on the implementation of teaching, learning, and research activities online. Construction activities shall continue as per the President’s directives and with strict adherence to the COVID-19 SOPs.

Yours sincerely,

Lorna Magara (Mrs.)
Chairperson, Makerere University Council

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RUFORUM: Transforming Higher Education Videos and Links

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Delegates brainstorm during the 15th RUFORUM AGM held at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana from 2-6 December, 2019. Photo credit: RUFORUM

Video Series developed by Julieta Mazzola, EARTH University.

English

  1. What is Community Engagement?  Video 1 of 3.  https://youtu.be/etv2-W1U3O0
  2. Different Forms of University Engagement with the Community. Video 2 of 3. https://youtu.be/73h2p8P0BLw
  3. Student learning through Community Engagement. Video 3 of 3. https://youtu.be/Ule3P1-tjC4

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