For three days (23rd to 25th May 2018), members of Makerere University Management, Principals, Deputy Principals, Deans, researchers, staff from the Department of the Academic Registrar, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) and Public Relations Office convened at Royal Suites Bugolobi in a retreat aimed at reviewing policies and guidelines on graduate training. The retreat also sought to further align graduate training processes with the IUCEA and NCHE guidelines and recommend reviewed proposals to the Board of Research and Graduate Training.
Expected to end in June 2018, the review process will culminate in the production of the Makerere University Graduate Prospectus and an improved Graduate Handbook. It will also generate ideas and strategies aimed at strengthening graduate training and research at Makerere University.
“Graduate Training should form the pillar as we continue to advance the case for a research-led University. I am glad that we have convened here for three days to receive valuable input from stakeholders who drive the agenda at the University. The University has embarked on developing a Strategic Plan for the next 10 years (2019/20-2029/30) and Graduate Training and Research should be top on the agenda,” remarked Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza, Director DRGT.
Officially opening the retreat, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang emphasized the need to improve the research culture at the University. He implored the participants to propose ideas where both the supervisors and students are committed to completion of PhDs within the stipulated years. “The review process should put in place mechanisms where each party namely the University authorities, supervisors and students is fully committed to playing his/her role.”
Providing a broad overview of Graduate Training at Makerere University, DRGT Deputy Director (Administration), Dr. David Owiny indicated that the review process accords all stakeholders the opportunity to come up with strategies of increasing the number of graduate students at Makerere University to at least 20%.
“In 2014/2015, the Makerere University Fact book indicated that 635 members of staff had attained PhDs and I am sure that the numbers of staff with PhDs has continued to rise. If each member of staff with PhD supervised One (1) student, Makerere University will be in position to graduate over 300 PhDs in a year,” revealed Dr. Owiny.
To set the pace, the Facilitator, Dr. Paul Kibwika invited Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi to present an overview of Policies and Guidelines of Graduate Training at Makerere University. She highlighted the policies that needed revision or rethinking, those that were difficult to implement, and some that had never been implemented. Mrs. Mushengyezi ended the informative presentation on an optimistic note.
“With the review of graduate training policies and enforcement of existing ones, we shall see graduate students completing on time and increased numbers of graduate applicants. Makerere University will then realize her dream of being a research-led University.”
During the retreat, participants pitched for the regularisation of crosscutting courses in the University. “Crosscutting courses should be mandatory. All students enrolled on the PhD programme should study these courses and Colleges should review their PhD Curricula to include crosscutting courses.”
Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza applauded the participants for realising that crosscutting courses such as Research Methods, Information Competence and Scholarly Writing equipped PhD students with the required knowledge and skills that significantly contribute to their competence. The Director disclosed that he had received a number of testimonies affirming this from those who had participated in the crosscutting courses.
Dr. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Deputy Principal, College of Education and External Studies (CEES) informed the participants that he was one of the beneficiaries of crosscutting courses. “I tell you, you are empowered to do things differently,” he rallied.
Providing a solution to the scenario where only 40 out of 200 PhD student applicants are considered for the crosscutting courses, Dr. Muyinda appealed to DRGT to work with the Department of Open Distance and Distance Learning, CEES, to embrace e-learning so that the courses are put online. “With this approach, more applicants will be considered.”
Participants also advocated for strengthening of Doctoral Committees so that these eventually evolve into research teams at the respective units. Owing to the important role they play, consensus was reached that Doctoral Committees should be strongly encouraged and acknowledged in Theses/Dissertations.
Some of the pertinent recommendations arising out of discussions included: timely remuneration of external and internal examiners; upholding the supremacy of the external examiner; training staff in customer care; and expediting approved appointments in the Academic Registrar’s Department so as to dedicate special registrars to the management of graduate students.
During the retreat, participants listened to experiences on graduate training and supervision presented by Dr. Andrew E. State from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) while Dr. Stephen Wandera presented the CARTA model focusing on building vibrant, viable and sustainable multidisciplinary research hubs at African universities. Dr. Wandera’s presentation also covered creating networks of locally-trained internationally recognised scholars as well as enhancing the capacity of African universities to lead globally competitive research and training programs. Dr. Daudi Jjingo who represented Prof. Tonny Oyana-Principal, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), provided tips on how to enhance the quality of Graduate Training.
Mr. Richard Byarugaba, the Head of Examinations and Transcripts Division who represented the Academic Registrar, Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah commended DRGT for organising the retreat and appealed to the members to discuss the modalities of funding graduate programmes. He noted that graduate programmes are privately sponsored, which affects concentration as well as the completion rate of students. He also advised the University authorities to conduct a fresh per unit cost analysis of training a graduate student.
The participants were grouped into critical thinking sessions focused on increasing the number of applicants at graduate level, financing Graduate Training, enhancing teaching and learning, thesis examinations and publications as well as institutionalization and internationalization of graduate training and research.
Cognizant of the required outputs, the participants constituted a Committee consisting of nine (9) members to synthesize the ideas raised during the retreat within a period of three (3) weeks. The Members include: Dr. Kakungulu Mayambala, Dr. Paul Kibwika, Dr. Yazidhi Bamutaze, Dr. Susan Kiwanuka, Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi, Dr. Vincent Bagire, Dr. Stephen Wandera, Mr. Patrick Feni and Dr. Ivan Muzira.
On receipt of the Report from the Committee, DRGT will organize a half-day engagement with stakeholders to review the proceedings.
Closing the retreat, the Convener, Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza said: “Personally, I feel empowered because I am carrying a voice from you stakeholders who have participated in this three day retreat, organized by DRGT with funding from Makerere University supplemented by CARTA. I thank my colleague, Dr. Owiny for ensuring that we access funds from CARTA. I also applaud the Facilitator-Dr. Paul Kibwika for the excellent moderation.”
Article by Public Relations Office
Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution
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.
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.
”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.
“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.
“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.
Supplementary Admissions to Bachelor of Laws Under Private Sponsorship 2022/23
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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