Mak Evaluates Continuous Improvement Drive as Self Assessment Report 2017 is Disseminated | Makerere University News Portal
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Mak Evaluates Continuous Improvement Drive as Self Assessment Report 2017 is Disseminated

The Chairperson Council-Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem (2nd L) flanked by Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (3rd L), University Secretary-Mr. Charles Barugahare (L), Academic Registrar-Mr. Alfred Namoah Masikye (R) Guild President-H.E. Papa Were Salim (3rd R) and Vice Guild President-H.E. Kokoi Fiona (2nd R) at the 2nd Self-assessment Report Dissemination Breakfast 10th May 2018, Golden Tulip Hotel, Kampala Uganda

The Quality Assurance Directorate (QAD) at a breakfast meeting held on Thursday, 10th May 2017 disseminated findings of the second Makerere University Self-assessment Report 2017. The meeting which brought together members of University Management, Principals and key stakeholders such as the Guild President was also attended by the Chairperson Council, Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem.

Welcoming participants to the meeting, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe commended QAD for conducting the assessment and helping Makerere University “to know where we are coming from so as to help us review our strategic direction.”  

Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) addresses participants as Dr. Vincent Ssembatya (L), Mr. Charles Barugahare (2nd L) listen

“In future, in addition to the three core functions of teaching and learning, research and innovations and knowledge transfer partnerships and networking, we should also begin looking at things affecting the University such as; public image, ethics and integrity and discipline” added Prof. Nawangwe.

Before delving into presentation of the report, the Director QAD, Dr. Vincent Ssembatya thanked the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) for supporting the first and second self-assessment exercises. He also acknowledged the support received from the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT)-Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi and Director, Planning and Development Department (PDD)-Dr. Florence Nakayiwa as well as QAD staff during compilation of the report.

Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (2nd R) and Dr. Florence Nakayiwa (R) contributed to the report. Left is Mrs. Dorothy Sennoga Zake-HRD and Deputy Principal CEES-Dr. Paul Muyinda Birevu (2nd L)

“In addition to being a key quality assurance mechanism, the self-assessment exercise is used to re-examine the trajectory the university is on in terms of institutional progress. The second exercise has been done five years after the university instituted the collegiate structure that in turn came after major institutional reforms” added Dr. Ssembatya.

Key highlights of the report showed a decline in the total student population attributed to factors such as a changing curriculum, deliberate reductions by some colleges owing to reduced teaching capacity, introduction of new universities and other risk factors such as bad publicity and staff and student unrest. Despite the reductions, Makerere still accounts for 48% of students enrolled in public universities and receives 58% of the budget allocated to Higher Education Institutions supported by the government.

Academic Registrar-Mr. Alfred Namoah Masikye emphasised the need to maintain quality in the management of courses

Mak as the premier university also continues to offer a comprehensive curriculum, with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) accounting for 35% of enrollment. The university is striving to achieve the 40% target in STEM, which is considered a strong factor in accelerating economic development.

Further breaking down the enrollment, Dr. Ssembatya illustrated that Mak is a truly national university, with students originating from 90 of Uganda’s 121 districts. He further shared that on the gender front, the districts of Kampala and Wakiso tend to contribute more female than male students and the top 10 districts by enrollment all present a balanced gender distribution; perhaps illustrating that gender balance tends to follow academic excellence and the degree of penetration of education in the community.

Mr. Charles Barugahare called for monitoring implementation of and compliance to policies passed by Council for better efficiency

On the research front, the exercise showed that Mak’s output continues to grow, with the institution now way past the 1,000 publications per year mark, also achieving the 1 publication per academic staff per year ratio in the last five years,. Nevertheless, Dr. Ssembatya observed that there was need to improve our Internationalisation aspect by addressing the decline in international students admitted as well as the need to recruit international staff.
 
The report further highlighted the need to boost the graduate student population so as to create a critical mass of specialists for the nation through graduate training. Dr. Ssembatya also commended DRGT and the University Library (MakLib) for the advent of Electronic Theses & Dissertations (ETD) submission by academic staff and students, noting that this would further boost the University’s ranking.

L-R: Ag. Director GMD-Dr. Euzobia Baine Mugisha, Director EWD-Eng. Christina Kakeeto, Principal CoNAS-Prof. JYT Mugisha, Student Representative, Director Internal Audit-Mr. Walter Yorac Nono and Director Legal Affairs-Mr. Henry Mwebe at the dissemination

In the reactions that followed, the Vice Chancellor thanked QAD for raising the bar of dissemination a notch higher each passing year by producing more analytical reports. He nevertheless expressed hope that analyses especially on enrollment will at an opportune time be presented to officials in Government so as to better inform policy making.

“Our role as Makerere University should be to conduct research that helps our Government to understand what problems our education sector faces and provide advice on how the negative trends can be reversed,” advised Prof. Nawangwe in reference to the alarming drops in admissions with each progression to a higher level of education.

Other reactions from the audience although applauding the increased government subvention called for a reciprocal funding for research, a domain that is currently dominated by support from development partners. These also called for a need to assess the equipment and laboratory facilities in the Science-based colleges so as to evaluate the effect of obsolete teaching aids on the quality of graduates.

Deputy Principal CoCIS-Dr. Agnes Rwashana Semwanga (L) moves the vote of thanks to QAD as Dep. Principal CEDAT-Dr. Venny Nakazibwe, Dep. Principal CoVAB-Dr. Samuel Majalija and Dep. Principal CHS-Dr. Isaac Okullo listen

On the subject of student internships, reactions called for the institution of campus-based innovation centres in partnership with both public and private players, so as to boost the practical skills of our graduates. In the same vein, calls were made for the introduction of modern teaching courses for academic staff in areas such as blended learning, competency-based teaching and many others, so as to improve the learning experience of today’s scholar.

Bringing the breakfast meeting to a close, the Chairperson Council once again thanked Dr. Ssembatya and QAD for inviting him to take stock of the University’s performance. Eng. Dr. Wana-Etyem further welcomed the Guild President H.E. Papa Were Salim and expressed readiness to receive his personal contribution to discussions at the next Council meeting.

“The University Council is here to serve you and as such, is largely made up of members representing various associations and bodies in Makerere University. All our policies and decisions are arrived at by consensus because our sessions are participatory” elaborated Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem.

Chairperson Council-Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem reassured all participants of Council's commitment to establishing a quality teaching and learning environment as well as affirmative action for research publication

Reacting to some issues raised by the self-assessment and the responses that followed, the Chairperson reiterated Council’s commitment to ensuring that facilities that are vital for quality teaching and learning will be strengthened. “We are also keen to provide any kind of affirmative action for the colleges that may not be publishing as much as the others so please, let us know through the respective channels” he added.

Eng. Dr. Wana-Etyem concluded his remarks and the breakfast meeting by appealing to all staff and students to ensure that Council decisions reach their constituencies so as to create ownership for University policies and together, maintain Makerere on a steady course to reach greater heights.

Article by Public Relations Office

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