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49 Mak students receive MasterCard Foundation Scholarships



On Saturday 12th September 2015, anyone who dared to enter the Makerere University Senate Building Conference Hall in the afternoon hours, could not help but sense the exuberance that exuded from the 49 academically bright, but economically disadvantaged first year students who assembled to receive their Letters of Award. Appropriately named The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme at Makerere University, the scholarship was nothing short of music to the ears of this beaming group of freshmen and women.

The MasterCard Scholars programme at Makerere University started in the 2014/2015 academic year, with the 1st Cohort comprising 49 students who are currently in their second year of study. The 2nd Cohort also comprises 49 students admitted to Makerere University this academic year (2015/2016) to pursue different academic programmes.

Makerere University signed a contract worth approximately US$20.9million with the MasterCard Foundation to sponsor 1,000 academically bright but economically disadvantaged youth from Africa to study at Makerere University for the period 2013 to 2023. The contract was signed by Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu and Peggy Woo, Chief Financial Officer of MasterCard Foundation.

Upon arrival at the Award Ceremony, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu was treated to a standing ovation by the MasterCard Scholars, complete beaming smiles and some tears of gratitude. It was indeed a great and memorable day in the lives of the MasterCard Foundation Scholars at Makerere University!

The Programme Coordinator of the MCF Scholar Programme at Mak, Dr. Florence Nakayiwa officially introduced the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu and invited him to address the enthusiastic audience.

Blending with the warm audience, Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu recalled his student days and quickly shared his love for Makerere University with the MasterCard Scholars.

“I am an old student of St. Mary’s College Kisubi (SMACK). Indeed Makerere University was my first choice university. I attained my first degree and PhD from here and I am now the Vice Chancellor of this great institution. Makerere University has nurtured very many prominent alumni including Presidents who have served this country, Kenya, Tanzania and Africa in general, and Vice Chancellors- namely John Ddumba-Ssentamu. Makerere University has nurtured me to be the person that I am today and I am very proud to be associated with it,” he said.

The Vice Chancellor officially welcomed the new MCF Scholars to Makerere University, and congratulated them upon being selected for the scholarship programme.

Dr. Florence Nakayiwa-Director PDD (4th L), Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu (5th L) and Dean of Students, Mr. Cyriaco Kabagambe pose with fresh MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Awardees, 12th September 2015, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

“I welcome our new Cohort of Scholars who have been admitted to different programmes for the academic year 2015/2016. I congratulate you upon being selected to join Makerere University. I congratulate the second year Scholars upon the achievements this far. As MasterCard Foundation Scholars, you have a rare gift of resources, both financial and moral, at your disposal. The MasterCard Foundation Scholars programme will give you a wholesome experience that will open pathways to a bright future,” he said.

In appreciation of the comprehensive and extremely generous package provided under the MCF Scholarship, the Vice Chancellor emphasized the need for excellence.

“Dear Scholars, you have been given everything to enable you excel. Both Makerere University and our partner, The MasterCard Foundation, expect continued academic excellence from you. We are training you to be the next generation of achievers and leaders who will be committed to service and giving back to the community,” he said.

He advised both the 1st and 2nd Cohort of MCF Scholars to: Be grateful everyday for having received this comprehensive scholarship; be prayerful; associate with people who will add value to their life both academically and socially; participate in the leadership and take on leadership opportunities at the University. He also stressed that anyone who wishes to transform this nation, should start now-while still at Makerere University.

After sharing words of wisdom, the Vice Chancellor presented Award letters to the 2nd Cohort of the MCF Scholars at Makerere University amidst applause from the congregation comprising their colleagues from the 1st Cohort of Scholars, the MasterCard Foundation Project Implementation team, and invited guests.

The following members of staff witnessed the remarkable award ceremony where beaming smiles, jubilation and tears of gratitude as the MCF Scholars received their Letters of Award were commonplace: The Dean of Students, Mr. Cyriaco Kabagambe; the Academic Registrar, Mr. Alfred Masikye-Namoah; the Deputy Principal of the College of Education and External Studies, Dr. Anthony Mugagga; the Manager-Counselling and Guidance Centre, Mr. Henry Nsubuga; and the Senior Public Relations Officer, Ms Ritah Namisango.

The Vice Chancellor thanked Dr. Florence Nakayiwa together with her Project Implementation team namely  Ms. Jolly Okumu, Mr. John Osuna, Mr. Tito Okumu, Ms Harriet Nakiryowa and Ms Sharon Nabukalu for organizing the Award Ceremony. He also commended the University Management and the Steering Committee for supporting the programme’s implementation.

The Vice Chancellor reiterated his dedication to the success of the MCF Scholars Programme at Makerere University. “I commit myself to supporting the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme to be able to achieve both the vision and mission of Makerere University and that of the Programme,” he said.

Written by:  Ritah Namisango, Mak Public Relations Office
Photos by:   John Osuna, MCF Project Implementation Team

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Notice: Makerere Disability Scheme 2022/23 Medical Review Exercise



One of the PWD graduands at the 69th Graduation during the Session held on 17th January 2019.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites persons with disability who applied for admission to public universities under the disability entry scheme for 2022/2023 Academic Year to appear for medical/review exercise at Makerere Unive, Senate Building, Level Two (2) in the Telepresence Centre.

NOTE: Only those who have the minimum entry requirements of at least two principal passes at A’ Level or its equivalent and at least five (5) passes at O’ Level or its equivalent will be interviewed.

 Only candidates who sat ‘a’ level in 2020, 2019 and 2018 are eligible for admission.

THE EXERCISE WILL BE CONDUCTED ON 3rd, 4th and 5th October, 2022 respectively from 9.00 A.M – 1.00 P.M each day.


(i) If you fail to appear on any of the given days above, there will be no other chance for you.

(ii) Applicants with Government Scholarship for the previous years are not eligible for admission



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Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution



Left to Right: Prof. Gunnar Köhlin, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Amb. Maria Håkansson, Commissioner Julius Mafumbo and Prof. Edward Bbaale posing for a group photo before the opening ceremony on 22nd September 2022: Photo by EfD-Mak Centre.

The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday 22nd September, 2022 participated in the opening of the EfD Annual meeting hosted by Makerere University at Speke Resort Munyonyo where he appealed to government to implement the ban on kaveera and address other environmental issues.

The opening ceremony moderated by the EfD Global Hub Manager Gunnar Köhlin and was graced by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment represented by the Commissioner for Water, Mr. Julius Mafumbo and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Maria Håkansson.

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Prof. Nawangwe urges Makerere University community to support the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative



By Bernard Buteera

Makerere University has launched a two million dollar E-learning Project, dubbed The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative.  

The launch was held on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at Makerere University, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium. It attracted over 200 participants, who included members of University Management, College Principals, School Deans, Academic and Administrative staff, students and the general university community.

While addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), congratulated Makerere University for winning such a huge grant, which will go a long way in transforming the eLearning infrastructure at Makerere University.

“I am happy to be joining you in launching a project that is at the heart of National Council for Higher Education. Online learning is at the heart of the Council, not only because of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the world is now a digital world.” Prof. Okwakol remarked.

Prof. Okwakol thanked Mastercard Foundation and other development partners who have continued to support initiatives that help transform higher institutions of learning in Uganda.

“I sincerely thank the Mastercard Foundation and other partners who have continued to support higher education in Uganda, especially in the area of research and online learning. Globally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly disrupted education systems forcing learners and some schools to shift to virtual learning to curb the spread of the pandemic.” Prof. Okwakol pointed out.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe urged the university community, especially the academic staff to take advantage of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning initiative to develop e-content across all Colleges of the University, to enhance capacity for eLearning at Makerere University.

[L -R] Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative and Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program.

”I appeal to the Colleges to embrace this project and have as many courses adopt this pedagogy development system, even though students will continue with face-to face and phyisical learning, they should be allowed the option of online learning. The platforms that are going to be built, will give our students an opportunity to interact with international students, scholars, teachers and with each other.” Prof. Nawangwe applealed.

The Vice Chancellor, further called upon all other development partners to emulate Mastercard Foundation in supporting Makerere University and other universities on the entire African continent in strengthening digital literacy, so that Africa is not left behind.

”In 2018 I attended a conference on E-learning in Beijing China, where a critical question was asked; Will Africa be left behind again? This was in reference to many advancements that were taking place in the western world, in which Africa had been left behind.” The Vice Chancellor reminded the audience.

Prof. Nawangwe further emphaised the importance of e-learning as one of the critical modes of teaching and learning in the 21st first century.   

”Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot over emphasise the importance we attach to e-learning the 21st Century, that is why we took a decision to elevate the Department of Open and Distance Learning into an Institute of Open and Distance E-learning with an intention of having e-learning extended to other Colleges of the university.” Prof. Nawangwe pointed out.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, and Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, rallied the University community to support the implementation of the project in the University.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative could not have come in at a better time than post COVID19 era. A pandemic, which exposed our systems and methods of teaching and learning. You all recall, when were hit by the pandemic, with lockdowns and closures of institutions of learning, we all went into a panicky mode on how were going to cope with online learning. I therefore call upon every member of the university to give this project the support it deserves.

Prof. Kakumba reminded the audience the importance and relevancy of online learning at Makerere University and other universities in Uganda.

“The online method of learning is best suited for everyone. This digital revolution has led to remarkable changes in how the content is accessed, consumed, discussed, and shared. Office goers and stay home mothers can take up online educational courses too, at the time that suits them. Depending on their availability and comfort, many people choose to learn at weekends or evenings.” Prof. Kakumba remarked.

Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative, informed the audience the importance of the project and the expected outcomes for the University.

One of the Champions of e-learning trained by Arizona State University, Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda receiving a certificate from Chief Guest.

“The Mastercard Foundation e- Learning Initiative is a Project funded by Mastercard Foundation aimed at addressing the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic that constrained access and continuity of teaching, learning, research and community engagement activities at Makerere University” Prof. Muyinda pointed out.

Prof. Muyinda further thanked the team that he worked with in putting up the proposal in a very short time that yielded such an important grant for the University.

“I thank the team that spent sleepless nights putting together the proposal that resulted into this project. I must report that Makerere University is privileged to be having the most highly qualified persons in online instruction design and online pedagogy at the IODeL and beyond. It is now up to Makerere University in particular and the Country in general to make use of these persons to transform the terrain of online, blended distance and e-learning education.” Prof. Muyinda remarked.

Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, informed the audience, that the E-learning initiative was one of the many partnerships between Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University geared at supporting the young people to succeed on the African continent.

Members of University Management, staff and students present.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program continues to recognize that in order to enable young people across Africa to succeed, there is need to; Address systemic barriers in Higher education, Strengthen the capacity of Institutions that serve the Young People, and Support innovative solutions across critical sectors.” Prof. Namaalwa remarked.

The colourful launch ended with a panel discussion in which panelists digested the importance and opportunities for open distance and eLearning in higher institutions of learning.

Bernard Buteera is the Communications Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.

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