On 26th February 2018, the Directorate of ICT Support (DICTS) at Makerere University organised a Social Media for Higher Education Workshop to sensitize staff and students on how they can utilise social media and other digital media platforms to champion the institution’s brand amongst its stakeholders around the world.
Officially opened by the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe who was represented by the Director of DICTS Eng. Kitumba Frank, the workshop also focused on discussing the important ways of how Makerere University, can embrace the professional usage of social media tools to improve its online brand as well as harmonising social media as a learning tool.
During the interactive sessions, experts in social media management, communication, Public relations, digital marketing and digital PR and ICT intelligences from both government institutions and private sector, the researchers in academia shared ideas on how the staff and student can exploit their personal social media platforms to promote, protect and market Makerere University as a brand with the aim of increasing its visibility.
In a speech read by Eng. Kitumba, The Vice Chancellor appreciated the move by the Directorate of ICT Support (DICTS) to sensitize the University community on proper representation of Makerere University as a brand online. He urged staff and students to own the University reputation and promote its work in research, innovations and other developments wherever they are.
“Social media is increasingly becoming a key online marketing tool for institutions the world over, therefore we need to ensure that Makerere University is very vibrant on social media as we embark on the move to unlock its potential,” he said.
Social Media has evolved exponentially into a powerful social engagement, business intelligence and educational tool that should be embraced by all in this information driven age. Today, companies use social media for predictive data analytics whose findings can be used for business forecasting, improving business sales and retaining customers.
Higher education institutions the world over are equally embracing social media as a research marketing tool that is able to drive user traffic to their web-portals, improve their visibility and rank as well as market their research products to a wider audience.
“Social media tools are useful for gathering, collating, accessing, managing, sharing and disseminating your work and research findings. The effective use of social media tools can also enable you to manage your online presence, develop your reputation, maximize your impact and build networks,” Prof. Nawangwe mentioned.
According to the Director, DICTS Eng. Kitumba Frank, Makerere University joined the trend of using social media with the aim of promoting its brand, protecting its image and increasing the opportunities of reaching out to its stakeholders. To achieve this wonderful milestone, the institution has been able to harmonise the existing online platform and ICT tools together with social media platforms to easily reach out to its stakeholders.
Mr. Kitumba also revealed that the University is developing a tool that will increase the staff and students interactivity on Makerere University social platforms. He therefore encouraged them to be very vibrant online and ensure that they positively represent the great brand and legacy Makerere owns.
“We are ensuring that the institution moves with the trend. We have managed to harmonise the existing tools with the social media platforms to ensure increase our interaction with the users and also market our research, innovations and other developments in academics,” he said.
Samuel Paul Mugabi, the End-User Manager at DICTS said that Social media has evolved overtime and it is more than a casual linkup. According to him, the Makerere University has therefore recognized the changing trend and adopted the service delivery model where the IT Service Management has been streamlined to fit the social media trend and online interactivity among end users.
“We have improved the quality and consistency of the IT support experience for students, faculty and staff using various electronic touch points such as email, phones, CRM and Help-Desk tools. As the end user unit, we are in the process of repackaging data to fit our users’ interest and ensure that the message produced, effectively communicates across all the university platforms. We are working hand in hand with the Makerere University Public Relations Office to ensure that Makerere University maintains its relevancy through its digital platforms,” he explained.
Engaging the audience on the importance of institutional branding, the Brand and Marketing Officer of Makerere University Mr. Agaba Issa Magabo said that branding helps institution to attract Government support for institutional plans, to continue attracting partnerships from both local and international agencies and to maintain the confidence of alumni especially the would-be donors that their alma mater still “rocks”.
“If you are to attract local and international finances, you must behave in a certain unique, uniform and authentic way that will catch the funder’s eyes and then entrust you with his money. This means you need to have an authentic brand that is popular and respected,” he said.
He cautioned staff and students who misrepresent and misuse the university brand saying that it does not only affect the university as an institution but also tarnishes their names.“For many years Makerere University has been branded as an institution of strikes, this has strongly tarnished its image and reputation. The negative reports in the media have done more harm than good to the institution’s image and has inflicted a big damage on its market. But remember this is our institution, which needs our protection. Let us enjoy its legacy through building and maintaining its brand that it has held for centuries as we build for the future,” he said.
Reiterating the need to manage content when communicating a powerful brand, the Makerere University Senior Public Relations Officer Ms. Ritah Namisango urged students and staff to always make a background check on the content they post about the institution. According to her, relevant and valuable content will always attract, engage and drive the audiences to follow the institution’s work hence creating traffic on the platforms. She appealed to staff and students to always defend and protect the institution’s image when interacting with their personal social media platforms.
“Our actions should support our institution. We should represent Makerere University positively as a good brand. Change starts with YOU. Be the change that you want to see. Communicate responsibly especially on social media.” she stated.
In a presentation on ‘how the media has improved our professional call a case study of WhatsApp, Dr. Paul Birevu Muyinda, said that social media tools such as WhatsApp have potentials to provide cooperation, increase social interaction, interest and motivation, sense of belonging, academic success, student-student and student-teacher interaction. The tools also support learning anytime and anywhere, provide peer support, feedback, and allow for sharing of information in education.
He however, noted that despite their relevancy, many tutors have met challenges while using social media to reach out to their students. “Concerns towards privacy and security, losing attention, getting beyond the limits in personal relations, use of slang language, and negative effects on academic life arising from excessive use of social media have been cited while tutors try to reach out to students via social media,” he stated.
Mr. Mathias Ssemanda a Digital Marketing Specialist said digital Marketing varies greatly depending on institutions interests and values. According to him, higher education institutions are often caught in the crosshairs of upholding history and tradition and moving forward into the future with students. This makes it vital that their social media marketing efforts comprise part of a larger strategy focused on the overall institutional brand.
Ssemanda said that as social networks continue to advance and meld into aspects of everyday life, the academic world is determining the way in which these digital tools can work to educational advantage in correlation with conventional methods.
“The intended core of social media is communication, providing great opportunities for those within the education industry to connect, share and learn. Digital marketing builds and maintains the customer relationship through online activities. When well-managed, digital marketing can put the consumer in control, provides convenience, drives the brand loyalty, reduces the selling cycle and captures customers that are searching on the Internet for answers,” he said.
Taking the audience through social media threats, risks and security, the Director Cyber-Crime Unit in the Uganda Police Mr. Haguma Jimmy said many people have become victims of social media threats and crime in Uganda. According to Mr. Haguma, over the years the Uganda Police has registered several cases of cybercrime such as cyber rape, conmen online, destruction of relevant information by security threats, illegal hackers among others.
Article and photos by: Proscovia Nabatte, Mak-Public Relations Office
Mak Commissions CoVAB@50 Celebrations, Awards Certificates
The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) on Thursday 17th June, 2021 commenced celebrations to mark 50 Years of Veterinary Higher Education, Science, Technology, Innovation and Services (HESTIS) in Uganda. The blended event held at the Industrial Livestock Research, Incubation and Skilling (ILRIS) Center at Nakyesasa, Namulonge as well as online was presided over by the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma and First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports (MoES), Hon. Janet Museveni both represented by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.
The event, held as part of Makerere University Centenary Celebrations (1922-2022) was a moment of celebration for 1,930 skilled livestock agribusiness entrepreneurs who were awarded certificates in recognition of completion of their respective courses. Owing to the strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) instituted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to curb the spread of COVID-19, the students from Incubation Hubs in Atiak, Butaleja, Mubende, Nakyesasa, Sheema and Wakiso were awarded their certificates virtually.
In her remarks read by Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Hon. Janet Museveni thanked Makerere University for supporting grassroots level development through groundbreaking innovations under the Africa Institute for Strategic Services and Development-Skills for Production Enterprise Development and Accreditation (AFRISA-SPEDA) model.
“I am extremely pleased that Makerere University, through those innovative approaches, has developed and launched the alternative approach to building human capital and transferring knowledge to enterprises in communities.
“I would like to encourage all those involved in skills development to adopt methodologies that transform those trainees that go through these programs in ways that enable them also transform the societies they live in” read the Minister’s remarks.
She further noted that commissioning of the CoVAB@50 celebrations was both timely and rewarding. “The commissioning of the college innovations indeed has made meaning. This is a true path to growth of an Academic and Development College of the University, and we congratulate you again.”
Addressing the congregation as Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe congratulated CoVAB alumna and incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI) under the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero upon her recent appointment. “We thank His Excellency the President for identifying you. Science is in good hands.”
Prof. Nawangwe urged Dr. Musenero to address the structures of managing research and innovation in Uganda, “including the role of the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and the apparent need to establish a Research Council for Uganda.”
In the same breath he thanked the outgoing and pioneer Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumuwesigye, for his role in ensuring that the ministry is empowered to carry out its mandate.
The Chancellor congratulated CoVAB upon training the bulk of Veterinary Doctors in Uganda over the last 50 years and more recently, Laboratory Technologists at the highest level. He recognised Makerere University‘s obligation to contribute to the economic self-determination of Uganda and thanked CoVAB for conducting research that addresses hindrances to national development, especially in the livestock industry.
“The anti-tick vaccine is one of such innovations which will solve the huge problem of tick-borne diseases that have caused enormous losses to our farmers. There are many other problems on which the college is researching and we thank you for the enthusiasm” he added.
The Chancellor commended CoVAB for being the vanguard of transformation of the grassroots communities through the SPEDA model. “I urge Government to fund this important initiative so that it can more meaningfully contribute to solving the big problem of youth unemployment.”
In her remarks, Dr. Monica Musenero commended the Principal, CoVAB, Prof. John David Kabasa for fulfilling the College’s dream of enabling the masses who drop out of the education value chain as well as those who complete education but have no skills for livelihood, to attain certification in agribusiness entrepreneurship.
“Many people attain academic success and write papers, publish and they become professors but without demonstrable impact on their nation. You have shown by the thousands that you have touched nationwide that indeed you are a professor of national transformation. Congratulations,” remarked Dr. Musenero.
She therefore congratulated the teams at CoVAB and AFRISA upon successfully conceiving and executing a model that is non-traditional, informal, not easily understood and not documented in any textbooks.
As Minister, Dr. Musenero noted that witnessing thousands of individuals from across the country whose skills had been honed through a university programme receiving certificates gave her a lot of hope and material to embark on her tenure with. “I will be looking forward to harnessing these resources as we initiate work on the next leg of Science, Technology and Innovation in the country under the President’s Office.”
The invitation to the Principal, CoVAB to present students for the award of the ordinary diplomas, ordinary certificates and artisan certificates was given by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba. He congratulated the awardees upon successfully completing their respective courses and graduating with evidence on an enterprise.
Prof. Kabasa clarified that the approach used to train the day’s awardees was not simply a vocational skilling. “The combination of action research with knowledge transfer, skilling, plus assessment and accreditation processes done by organs like the DIT (Directorate of Industrial Training, MoES) has given us this result, for the University to provide true leadership and transformation of the community.”
Present at the celebrations were the Director, DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick and the Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES Madam Elizabeth Bateme who have worked through the Academic-Community-Public-Private-Partnership model to ensure that students graduate as entrepreneurs with micro enterprises.
Prior to presiding over the ceremony, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports officially commissioned the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre – Nakyesasa.
UNMA Advisory on Agriculture and Food Security Jun-Aug 2021
The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) on 7th June 2021 released the seasonal rainfall outlook for the June-July-August (JJA) 2021 period. Contained in the outlook were advisories to various strategic sectors of the economy.
Particularly, the advisory to the Agriculture and Food Security sector was;
- JJA season is often part of the normal dry season in the areas of South-western, western, parts of the eastern, and central Uganda. The farming communities in these areas are therefore advised to be vigilant during post-harvest handling by considering proper drying of the harvest on clean surfaces, use of tarpaulins and drying on racks;
- Preparation of good storage facilities of produce to avoid compromising on quality and safety;
- Channeling of the run-off water into the gardens in order to maximize on the soil moisture conservation;
- For those areas where near normal to above normal rainfall is expected (most parts of northern and eastern Uganda), farmers are encouraged to continue with regular weeding, pest and disease surveillance and control;
- Due to the expected enhanced rainfall in those areas, water logging and proliferation of fungal and bacterial crop diseases are likely to occur.
- Open drainage channels around household and gardens to reduce risks from stagnant water causing damage to root tuber crops;
- Flash floods and waterlogging are highly anticipated to occur in low lying areas expected to receive enhanced rainfall such as Katakwi and Kapelebyong. Therefore, communities are encouraged to keep watch over their crops, animals and property;
- In Karamoja sub-region, where wetter conditions are expected, the pastoral communities are advised to diversify into boosting the production of cereals (sorghum, millet, and maize), beans, and ground nuts and sustain pasture availability for livestock.
Please see Downloads for the detailed outlook.
4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors
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.
- Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
- 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.
- 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.
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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