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VUB Rector-Prof. Pauwels Visits Mak, Looks Forward to Collaboration

  • In General
  • 20 Apr 2018 - 1:00pm
  • By Mark Wamai
  • 462
The Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) receives souvenirs from Rector VUB-Prof. Dr. Caroline Pauwels (L) after the courtesy call on 19th April 2018, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

The Vrije University Brussels (VUB) Rector-Prof. Dr. Caroline Pauwels, accompanied by a delegation of VUB Staff and Alumni on Thursday, 19th April 2018 paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and Members of Management. The delegation’s visit to Uganda also took them to Kyambogo University (KYU) and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST).

Following a brief session of introductions, Prof. Nawangwe welcomed Prof. Pauwels and her delegation to Makerere University and thanked VUB for offering postgraduate training to Makerere Staff and alumni. “I can tell that Molecular Biology is an outstanding discipline in VUB as mentioned by most of the alumni here, and I am very happy that you have called on us at Makerere University.”

The Vice Chancellor further noted that Makerere University is currently formulating the 2019/20 – 2029/30 strategic plan as the institution marks its 96th year of existence, wherein the university seeks to further prioritise research. “Whereas we have always considered ourselves to be a research-led university, we think that we can do more, and always look forward to new collaborations with institutions such as VUB” added Prof. Nawangwe.

In her remarks, Prof. Pauwels thanked Prof. Nawangwe for the warm welcome and couldn’t hold back her emotion at seeing so many VUB alumni in the room. VUB alumni present currently work with institutions such as the; College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB), National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Uganda and Gulu University (GU) among others.

R-L: Prof. Fred Masagazi Masaazi, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Dr. Caroline Pauwels and a VUB official during the courtesy call

“Although VUB will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in two years, the original French-speaking institution from which it was split was founded in 1834. We may not be as comprehensive as Makerere University, since we do not have Veterinary Medicine and other disciplines, but we are keen on research and innovations and strongly believe that research holds the answer to the common challenges that Europe and Africa both face” added Prof. Pauwels.

Contributing to the discussion, the Principal, College of Education and External Studies (CEES)-Prof. Fred Masagazi Masaazi noted that “without research, we cannot move our people forward. Makerere University is therefore privileged to contribute to the work that VUB is already doing in this respect.”

Prof. Pauwels conceded that VUB desires to understand Africa better and increasing staff and student exchanges as well as joint research could serve as a good starting point. “The Belgian Flemish Government and the European Commission both offer a number of scholarships to students from African countries and we encourage universities to take advantage of these” she added.

In conclusion, the Vice Chancellor once again thanked Prof. Pauwels and her delegation for visiting Makerere University and concurred that the two institutions have a lot of common ground to embark on mutually beneficial collaboration.

“If your intention is to study Africa, I must say that you are in the right place. Uganda by virtue of the diverse ethnicities that make up its population offers a very good starting point and I invite you to start right here” offered Prof. Nawangwe.

Prof. Nawangwe later on handed over an assortment of Makerere University souvenirs to Prof. Pauwels and her delegation.

Article by Public Relations Office

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