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Mak, NC State and Regional Universities to Collaborate in Research

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (2nd L) chats with NC State's Dr. Craig Yencho as Dr. Bailian Li – Senior Vice Provost for Global Engagement (R) listens during the summit opening day on 11th March 2019, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

The Senior Vice Provost, Global Engagement, North Carolina State University (NC State), USA, Dr. Bailian Li has commended Makerere University (Mak) for its great contribution towards the rapid growth of Uganda through its research and teaching. This was on Wednesday, 13th March 2019 in Telepresence Centre, Senate Building where he was giving closing remarks at the end of the East African Higher Education Summit. Makerere University together with North Carolina State University held a summit with national and regional Universities with the purpose of developing strategies to strengthen higher education in East Africa. This is an expansion of the partnership between Mak and NC State established in 2015.

According to Dr. Bailian Li, NC State is aiming at addressing global challenges and the collaboration made with the East African Universities is likely to aid rapid development in the world’s education sector. He said that since it’s the education sector that leads to the country’s growth and development, NC State will seek to establish a physical presence in Makerere University to monitor the progress of all regional University programs.

The Gulu University Vice Chancellor-Prof. George Openjuru makes his remarks during the Mak-NC State summit

“USA was made strong and powerful by its Universities, China is doing wonders through its Universities, Malyasia is taking off because of its Universities, Africa will only achieve its best when its Universities work harder and harder to develop it and I believe that Universities in East Africa can improve on the region’s development through improving the education sector,” said Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe

Prof Nawangwe also noted that Universities are popular because of the great impact that they have on the country and its people and in the same way, Makerere University became popular for its high quality of education and research. He encouraged the Vice Chancellors of other regional Universities to join hands and make good use of the opportunity that has been provided by NC State.

Dr. Gertrude Kiwanuka represented Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) at the Mak-NC State Summit

“We have the potential and out of this summit, we can do it, let’s use the unique opportunities that each University has to uplift East Africa’s education sector,” added Prof. Nawangwe

During the summit, Vice-Chancellors and senior representatives of Universities signed a communiqué expressing their commitment to further deepen the strategic partnership between the collaborating institutions. Reading out the communiqué, the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT), Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi noted that the Vice Chancellors committed themselves to:

1.    Building capacity and pursuing excellence in research, teaching and scholarship.
2.    Increasing mobility of staff and students and strengthening regional level training through;
a)    Leveraging joint graduate programs
b)    Developing and retraining quality faculty to conduct high-quality research, teaching and community engagement.
c)    International competitiveness of East African institutions of higher education,
d)    Assuring the quality of educational provision against agreed benchmarks of excellence.

Prof. Peter Wanderi, Principal Corporate Services, Mount Kenya University (MKU) represented his institution

Prof. Buyinza also noted that the partnership has been expanded to include other Universities of East Africa such as; Gulu University (Uganda), Mount Kenya University (Kenya) and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (Uganda).

In their joint communiqué, the Universities underscored the importance of multilateral collaboration as an instrument to address current and future global challenges namely; food security, climate change and public health through community engagement.

Article by Rachael Kanyi, Volunteer, Mak Public Relations Office

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