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Mak Sida Annual Review Meeting Reveals Good Progress

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Over the last 15 years of collaboration, the Swedish Government has invested US$ 73.3 million in Graduate Training and the scientific environments of five public Universities in Uganda, with the main recipient being Makerere University (Mak). The latest phase of collaboration (2015-2020) will contribute US$ 32million to training over 240 students over the five year period.

These figures formed a good basis for this year’s Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) Annual Review Meeting’s theme “Investing in Research and Innovating for Society”.  Launched on 10th October 2016 in the Main Hall, the meeting also marked the first official visit to Makerere University by the new Swedish Ambassador to Uganda H.E. Per Lindgärde.
Ambassador Lindgärde who arrived in the country only a week prior to the Annual Review Meeting thanked Makerere University for the warm reception accorded to him.
H.E. Amb. Per Lindgärde (2nd R), Dr. Gity Behravan (R), Vice Chancellor-Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu (2nd L) and Director DRGT-Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza (L) listen to presentations during the Sida Annual Review Meeting
“The Annual Review Meeting brings together Ugandan and Swedish partners to assess the past year. I understand that some of you are new to the program, while others have much experience from previous collaboration phases. But what you all have in common is that you have been successful in the competition to get a project approved for this collaboration,” commended Ambassador Lindgärde.

He further drew attention to the uniqueness of the Swedish funding to research collaboration, noting that “The Swedish strategy is based on funding institution building, post-graduate education, and research in one single effort. No part can function without the others. It is a holistic approach” shared the Ambassador.

The Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) and Head of the Mak-Sida Intuitional Collaboration Programme, Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza thanked the Swedish Government for the dedicated support to Mak which has led to the training of 325 academics since 2000. Prof. Buyinza took note of two shifts that have since taken place in the new collaboration period.
Dr. Gity Behravan (R) reacts to one of the presentations as Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza (L) listens intently
“Firstly, whilst the program previously was only based on sandwich students, 105 PhD students are now locally trained. Only 20 PhDs are going to be on sandwich, based on capacity need.” He observed that this was indeed a great testimony of the strengthened research capacity achieved by Mak over the 15 years of collaboration.

“Secondly, local training will take place in multidisciplinary teams, based on multidisciplinary themes. The previous model of primarily singular PhD projects has thus been shifted, as per Mak’s research policy,” shared Prof. Buyinza. He however noted that translating scientific findings into the language that policy makers can easily understand remains a challenge, which the new collaboration period will seek to address.

In his welcome remarks, the Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba Ssentamu thanked the H.E. Amb. Per Lindgärde, the First Secretary and Senior Research Advisor, Dr. Gity Behravan as well as Swedish and Ugandan partners for taking time off their schedules to attend the meeting.
Some of the Swedish Partners that attended the Annual Review Meeting listen to the day's proceedings
“This Annual Review Meeting symbolises the nature and character of the relationship between Makerere University and the Royal Government and People of Sweden. It is an opportunity to take stock of our performance within our agreement for joint research cooperation,” remarked the Vice Chancellor.

Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu appreciated the fundamental role played by Swedish Government support in strengthening the University’s capacity to deliver her core functions. “This support has indeed greatly contributed to our visibility and status. I wish therefore, on behalf of Makerere University, to extend our sincere gratitude to the Royal Government of Sweden for this continued support,” underscored the Vice Chancellor.

In her remarks, Dr. Gity Behravan stressed that support to Mak is in line with the institutional Research Agenda which is also generated from Uganda’s National Development Plan (NDP). This, she said, will strengthen all efforts of knowledge production and use. She therefore called upon all presenters at the Annual Review Meeting to take note of the importance of highlighting the research results that can be used in knowledge generation to improve focus areas as outlined in the 2014-2018 Sida bilateral cooperation strategy for Uganda. These include; strengthening of democracy and human rights, better maternal and child health, increased employment and reduced violence against women.
One of the presenters Dr. Jamil Ssenku (L) answers questions from the audience. Second Right is MUST Vice Chancellor-Prof. Celestino Obua and Right is Deputy Director DRGT-Prof. David Owiny
Emphasizing the need to communicate research findings, Dr. Behravan noted that “today’s research is tomorrow’s welfare and this needs to be better known and seen and felt.” She restated the Swedish Government’s appreciation of the link between research and development and expressed hope that the Ugandan Government commitment to University research and research training would be demonstrated by an increased share of the national budget.

The Government of Uganda under the new cabinet has introduced a Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. Representing the line Minister Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye at the Annual Review Meeting, the Executive Director, Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), Prof. Charles Kwesiga reassured all gathered of the Government’s full support through the new fully fledged ministry.

A Science Day is one of the activities that traditionally constitute the Sida Annual Review Meeting. This year’s presentations included: Could secondary metabolites from cruciferous vegetables serve as a source of industrial chemicals in Uganda? by Assoc. Prof. Steven Nyanzi; Using Mathematical Models for Policy Making by Dr. Betty Nanyonga Kivumbi; and Nutri-medicinal plants used in the management of HIV/AIDS opportunistic infections by Dr. Savina Asimwe.
Director DRGT Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza meets some of the PhD student beneficiaries under the current phase of funding
Other presentations were: What is the place for transdisciplinary Research in our University Setting by Dr. Kenneth Arinaitwe; Mathematical Modeling for Infectious and Non-infectious Diseases by Dr. John Kitayimbwa; and Bioactivity, Toxicity and Phytochemistry of selected plant species by Ms. Adia Mohammed Madina. Two other presentations were delivered by Mr. Alex Tumwesigye on One-Dimensional Dynamical Systems and Commutativity Commuting Elements in Non-Commutative Algebras, and Dr. Jamil Ssenku on Potential for phtoremediation of acid mine waste degraded sites by selected tree species in Kasese District.

The Annual Review Meeting was attended by the Leadership, Staff and Students of; Busitema University, Gulu University, Kyambogo University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST).

Article by Public Relations Office

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

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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

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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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Supplementary Admissions to Bachelor of Laws Under Private Sponsorship 2022/23

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Mak-Undergraduate-Admissions-2021-2022

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University, informs applicants wishing to be admitted to Bachelor of Laws Private for 2022/2023 Academic year but failed to submit their application online to submit their applications from Friday 23rd to Friday 30th September, 2022 at a non-refundable fee of 50,000/= (Fifty thousand shillings only).

The applicants MUST have passed the Pre-entry Examinations for Bachelor of Laws.

Diploma/Degree holders should submit certified copies of their academic transcript to Room
315 Level 3, Senate Building.

Applicants who have already been admitted need not apply.

For any additional information, contact Undergraduate Admissions Offices 301/303 for A’Level Applicants and Office 315 for Diploma/Degree holders.

ALFRED MASIKYE NAMOAH
AG. ACADEMIC REGISTRAR
Date: 22nd September, 2022

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