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5th Mak Self-Assessment Advocates for Diversification

  • In General
  • 10 May 2019 - 1:31pm
  • By Mark Wamai
  • 1,050
The Vice Chairperson Makerere University Council, Rt. Hon. Daniel Fred Kidega (Right) makes the concluding remarks as the DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (Centre) and Director QAD-Dr. Vincent Ssembatya (Left) listen at the Self-Assessment Breakfast Meeting, 9th May 2019, Golden Tulip Hotel, Kampala Uganda.

The Quality Assurance Directorate (QAD) on Thursday, 9th May 2019 held a breakfast meeting to update Members of the University Council and Management on the latest findings of the 5th Makerere University Self-Assessment exercise. Held at the Golden Tulip Hotel, the meeting was presided over by the Chairperson of Council Mrs. Lorna Magara, represented by the Vice Chairperson Rt. Hon. Daniel Fred Kidega. It was attended by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs)-DVCAA Dr. Umar Kakumba, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration)-DVCFA Prof. William Bazeyo as well as Members of Management, Principals, Directors and Members of the University Administration. The breakfast was also graced by the Guild President, H.E. Kateregga Julius, Vice Guild President H.E. Judith Nalukwago and Hon. Ahmed Abdirahman the Academic Affairs Minister.

Addressing the meeting, the Director QAD Dr. Vincent Ssembatya shared that Self-Assessment is an important measure of institutional progress and a good precursor for future planning. “Self-Assessment is one of the exercises that the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) expects Universities in Uganda to undertake and I am happy to report that Makerere has taken the lead.”

Dr. Vincent Ssembatya discusses the STEM:Non-STEM ratios across various institutions benchmarked during the Self-Assessment exercise

Some of the firsts in this year’s assessment include results from; Employer Expectation Surveys covering 100 institutions and corporate companies, Student Evaluation of Courses and Teaching (SECAT) obtained from over 300 class representatives and the proposal to adopt institutional performance targets in the run-up to the 100year celebrations in 2022.

In line with Internationalisation, Dr. Ssembatya pointed out the need to diversify conversion systems for International Applicants’ Qualifications to the Ugandan A-Level, Diploma and Mature Entry equivalents. This, he noted, would help attract more scholars; especially from countries that no longer offer the Advanced Level Education (S.5 and S.6), to Makerere. He also put forward the need to consider the resident tuition option as an incentive to attract short term students from leading universities worldwide.

Additionally, the presentation called for the need to strengthen the policy and support environments in line with institutional Internationalisation aspirations. Furthermore, the proposal to offer honorary professorships to academics from long-term partnering institutions was tabled as a way of further diversifying the composition of teaching staff.

L-R: Dean of Students-Mr. Cyriaco Kabagambe, Principal CHS-Prof. Charles Ibingira, Principal CEDAT-Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, Principal CAES-Prof. Bernard Bashaasha and Principal CoBAMS-Dr. Eria Hisali are some of the leaders that attended the Self-Assessment breakfast meeting

On the teaching front, Dr. Ssembatya was happy to report that the University had with the construction of Central Teaching Facilities 1 and 2 met all its teaching space needs. He also called for the need to diversify the current offering of professional courses.

“It is on record that we are producing a large number of Bachelor of Commerce graduates. Makerere should now consider introducing the Master of Commerce in addition to the Master of Business Administration as an alternative for our professionals,” explained Dr. Ssembatya.

Responding to the presentation, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe observed that Self-Assessment is an important activity undertaken by QAD to help keep University operations on course. He therefore thanked the Directorate of the great job done and Vice Chairperson of Council-Rt. Hon. Daniel Fred Kidega for making the breakfast a priority on his schedule.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Right) reacts to the presentation as (To his right) Academic Registrar-Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah, Principal CoCIS-Prof. Tonny Oyana and the Planning & Development Department's-Ms. Christine Amito listen

“We however need to extract the data for each college and share it with the respective leadership,” observed the Vice Chancellor in his reaction. “The assessment should also incorporate a comparison of Makerere’s colleges with peers in the region and Africa, so that we can rank our various disciplines” he added.

“Global trends reveal that research and publication is directly proportional to economic development of any nation. Therefore as we work towards increasing our population of graduate students, we shall improve our research and publications output, and thereby ably contribute to economic development of our nation. In this regard, we thank the Government for allocating UGX30billion in the next financial year to fund research at Makerere.”

In his remarks, the DVCAA Dr. Umar Kakumba thanked QAD for providing snapshot of institution’s health. “Institutions are living organisms; they need to be well nourished and taken care of otherwise they will get bedridden and eventually die. This is therefore a very important exercise.”

The DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (Right) contributes to the discussion following the Self-Assessment presentation by Dr. Vincent Ssembatya (Left)

In line with improving enrolment especially at graduate level, the DVCAA urged colleges to submit proposals to the University Senate that allow them to run programmes on weekends and other periods that are more favourable for the working class.

“The College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) was the first unit to offer the block week modular release arrangement for the Master of Arts in Public Administration and Management (MAPAM). This can be emulated and adopted by other units” advised the DVCAA.

Dr. Kakumba further urged colleges to take advantage of their respective Centres of Excellence. “Our Centres of Excellence are of diverse origin and give the University strong latitude on Internationalisation, especially with regard to recruitment of staff and students.”

The DVCFA-Prof. William Bazeyo (2nd Right), University Secretary-Mr. Charles Barugahare (Right) and other attendees share a light moment during the Self-Assessment breakfast

The DVCFA Prof. William Bazeyo on his part lauded Dr. Ssembatya for emphasising the need for diversification, adding that this should also be extended to finances, “because colleges have a huge potential to partner with corporate companies and other agencies to fund their initiatives.”

He urged Principals to work with their staff to quantify all their research, outreach as well as knowledge translation and transfer activities. Quantification, he said, would enable Makerere to meaningfully engage with all prospective partners.

“As leaders, we should also increase our physical engagement with the industry and other partners. Regular engagement opens more doors for our students to undertake internships in these organisations and keeps our graduates relevant to market demands” summed up Prof. Bazeyo.

The Acting Principal CHUSS-Dr. Josephine Ahikire (Right), Principal CoVAB-Prof. J.D. Kabasa and Rear L-R: Deputy Principal CEES-Dr. Paul Muyinda Birevu, DRGT Deputy Director for Innovations-Dr. Robert Wamala and Acting Deputy Principal LAW-Dr. Ronald Naluwairo at the Self-Assessment meeting

“As Vice Chairperson of Council and Chair of the Quality Assurance, Gender and ICT Committee, I am immensely proud that this intense Self-Assessment exercise has been undertaken by the small team at the Quality Assurance Directorate. Thank you very much and congratulations!” remarked Rt. Hon. Kidega as he commenced the concluding address.

He noted that quality assurance is a very important aspect of any institution and thanked the Management, Staff and Student Leadership present for their contributions to the self-assessment discussion. “It was so refreshing to hear Makerere University’s contribution to National Development and I believe that the story of our research conversations and concern for country needs to be told more often!”

Rt. Hon. Kidega reiterated that research need not just be scholarly but ought to positively touch the population. He therefore urged the university leadership and researchers to always correlate their activities with the National Planning Agenda and Uganda Vision 2040.

The Guild President-H.E. Julius Kateregga (Centre), Vice Guild President-Vice Guild President H.E. Judith Nalukwago (Right) and Academic Affairs Minister-Hon. Ahmed Abdirahman represented the 85th Guild

He paid tribute to the outgoing 84th Guild led by H.E. Papa Were Salim for promoting a peaceful environment as the Council transitioned from the old to the current leadership. He thanked the 85th Guild President, H.E. Kateregga Julius and Members of his Cabinet for attending the Self-Assessment exercise despite the busy exam period, adding that he looked forward to a special engagement with the new Guild leadership.

“We come with a lot of humility to work with you. All the solutions to challenges faced by this University reside within us. On behalf of the University Council, I pledge to work with the University Management so that together, we make Makerere a better University” concluded Rt. Hon. Kidega.

Article by Public Relations Office

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