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Uganda and Sweden sign five-year USD 32million research collaboration agreement

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It was a historic moment as the invited guests, Vice Chancellors of public Universities in Uganda, researchers and the media witnessed the signing of the General Agreement between Sweden and the Government of Uganda on research collaboration; the Specific Agreement on Research Collaboration between Sweden and Makerere University; and an agreement on Swedish University Coordination between Sida and Uppsala University/International Science Programme.

The 32 million USD five year (2015-2020) agreement signed on Tuesday 3rd November 2015 will significantly contribute to the transformation of Uganda through supporting the higher education sector, multi-disciplinary research, training of 337 academic staff and institutional development.Vice Chancellor Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Prof. Celestino Obua (L) and Assoc. Prof. Neema Abooki from the College of Education and External Studies, Makerere University.

Addressing the congregation, H.E Urban Andersson, the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda who signed on behalf of the Swedish Government said: “This day will mark the beginning of a new five year period, bringing our cooperation into year 2020. The new agreement included five Ugandan Universities namely Makerere, Busitema, Kyambogo, Gulu and Mbarara as well as Eleven Swedish universities.”

The following Vice Chancellors witnessed the colourful signing ceremony: Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu-Makerere University; Prof. Celestino Obua-Mbarara University of Science and Technology; Prof. Katunguka Rwakishaya- Kyambogo University; Prof. J.H. Nyeko Pen-Mogi-Gulu University and Dr. Kucel, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) – Busitema University.

“The work of researchers gathered here today, with their Swedish counterparts, shall advance and transform Uganda and Sweden in terms of Science and innovation,” said the Ambassador.

Taking stock of the important research results from the 15 year (2000-2015) research implementation period, H.E Andersson pointed out some of the milestones, which included: a method to detect multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, control of African swine fever, transforming organic waste to energy, road safety control, cervical cancer management, and significant strides in malaria vaccine research.

The Ambassador explained that the 2015-2020 implementation phase comprises teams of Ugandan and Swedish researchers who jointly worked on proposals, which after a competitive selection process culminated into 17 multi-disciplinary projects.Prof. Eli Katunguuka- Rwakishaya, Vice Chancellor Kyambogo University talks to Assoc. Prof. David Owiny, the Deputy Director (Training) Directorate of Research and Graduate Training, Makerere University. Dr. Susanne Spets, Counsellor  Head of Development Cooperation at the Swedish Embassy is seen in the background

“What we see is a rich and promising portfolio which will necessarily open new frontiers, ignite debate, and increase knowledge. Researchers will dwell into subjects such as governance, social protection, climate change, infectious diseases, food security, communication technology, gender, religion and ethics,” he remarked.
At the signing ceremony, His Excellency also emphasized the importance of research, capacity building and institutional support.

“We all agree that a society that does not produce its own intellectuals cannot be independent. But to have a critical mass of intellectuals is not enough. Researchers need an environment in which to operate. Labs and libraries need to be equipped, time for research and outlets for dissemination are key for long-term sustainable research achievements. This is the reason why Swedish research funding has the component of institutional support, which is organically linked to support for graduate training,” he said.

Hon. Matia Kasaija, Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development who signed on behalf of the Government of Uganda commended the Swedish Government for supporting higher education in Uganda, health, water and sanitation, ICT and gender mainstreaming. Hon. Kasaija reiterated the contribution of research, science and technology to the transformation of the economy.

“Without research, innovation and technology, you have no Country/University to talk about. It is through support and investment in research, ICT, information, training of academicians that the Ugandan economy will continue to grow. I therefore thank the Swedish Government for supporting initiatives that will bring about the required transformation,” said the Hon. Minister.Professor Buyinza Mukadasi Director, Research and Graduate Training, Makerere University and Prof. Leif Abrahamsson from Uppsala University, Sweden.
Toasting to the years ahead, the congregation reflected on the 2015-2020 multi-disciplinary approach to research focused on the realization of the following specific objectives:

  • Improving the institutional and research infrastructure to support a robust environment for research and innovations at Makerere University by 2020,
  • Strengthening local PhD training in public universities in Uganda,
  • Increasing the generation and dissemination of knowledge and research outputs,
  • Increasing capacity for knowledge translation and innovations,
  • Increasing partnerships and regional synergies for knowledge generation and sharing,
  • Improving the coordination and management of research and knowledge uptake,
  • Increasing cooperation with partner public universities.

The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu who signed the Specific Research Agreement said that the 2015-2020 phase would include 17 teams/projects comprising researchers and scholars from both Uganda and Sweden, whose work will be based on mutual understanding of their shared vision of strengthening research and training as central forces towards socio-economic development.

“In this new phase, we will work with the public universities in Uganda and several Swedish institutions towards building a body of experts that will contextualize problems and create knowledge to suit our different contexts. In total, 125 PhDs, 147 Masters’ students and 65 post-doctoral fellows will be supported,” he said.
In a very special way, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University applauded Ambassador Andersson and the team at the Swedish Embassy namely, Dr. Katri Pohjolainen Yap and Dr. Susanne Spets, and Professor Buyinza Mukadasi, the Director of Research and Graduate-Makerere University/Coordinator of the Mak-Sida Bilateral programme for their dedication during the two years of preparations that climaxed with the 2015-2020 research collaboration agreement.Members of Management from the different institutions and the Swedish Embassy pose for a photo with Minister Hon. Matia Kasaija.

Professor Ddumba-Ssentamu thanked the Government and People of Sweden for supporting research at Makerere University during the last 15 years (2000-2015).
“During the 15-year period, we have successfully trained 210 PhDs, 95 Masters Graduates and 20 post-doctoral fellows. The Swedish Government has supported learning and research at Makerere University to a tune of US$73million, which comprises a great proportion of research funding at the University. Sida support has played a fundamental role in strengthening our capacity to deliver our core functions-teaching and learning, research and innovations, partnerships and networking,” he said.
Prof. Leif Abrahamsson who signed on behalf of the Swedish Universities urged partners to ensure smooth communication in the research collaboration and coordination.

Story by:   Ritah Namisango, Mak Public Relations Office

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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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