Makerere University on Friday, 14th June 2019 held the Inaugural Workshop for Deans and Directors in academic affairs under the theme “Building Institutional Capacity for Researcher Development, Funding and Management of Sponsored Research”. Organised by the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs)-DVCAA and the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT), the Friday event was the first in a series of training and sensitisation workshops for academic leaders at Makerere University, aimed at building a sustainable research culture and research management systems for quality and relevant research output. The workshops are supported by IREX's University Administration Support Program funded by Carnegie Corporation oF New York.
Welcoming participants to the Inaugural Workshop, the Director DRGT Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi shared that the University Management is committed to establishing Makerere as a fully-fledged research University over the period 2020-2030. This shall be achieved by placing emphasis on increasing graduate enrolment, establishing research infrastructure, strengthening research policies, mobilisation of research funding, fostering knowledge production and utilisation of research results for sustainable national development.
“This is the first in the series of training workshops. Similar ones for College Principals, and Heads of Academic Departments, Research Centres and Coordination Offices will follow in the course of the year,” added Prof. Buyinza.
Presenting the rationale for the workshop, the DVCAA Dr. Umar Kakumba who represented the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe shared that it was a great pleasure to interact with colleagues who play a critical role in the academic affairs of Makerere University.
“Reputable Universities around the world are expected to be centres of excellence in research, innovations and knowledge or technological transfer for the wellbeing of communities and national welfare. Unfortunately research in sub-Saharan Africa has been undermined by deficiencies in research support systems, management and administration,” remarked Dr. Kakumba.
The DVCAA was however optimistic that a formalised Deans’ Forum, which was one of the expected outcomes of the Workshop, would nurture and institutionalise a vibrant research culture among research leaders and faculty. “We are here to inspire each other on how to excel in attracting grants and interacting with agents both within and without the country.”
Delivering the Keynote address on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Kakumba shared that universities the world over exist for the three fundamental purposes of: Generation of knowledge; Dissemination of knowledge, through teaching and learning; and Community outreach. He noted that research funding trends were steadily shifting from institutional core funding to competitive project funding and performance-based funding that rewards success in raising third-party funds.
The address also highlighted that at 38 researchers per one million people, Uganda falls way behind continental leaders Egypt and South Africa that reported approximately 679 and 437 researchers respectively for the same sample size. Scandinavian countries however reported figures above 6,000 researchers per one million people.
Nevertheless, it was noted that Makerere can take advantage of its historical brand as the region’s premier university as well as collaborations and partnerships with the world’s leading universities to boost its research potential. The University can also take advantage of its wide academic disciplinary specialities; at over 37% science, resident centres of excellence and alumni of high calibre spread across the globe to better leverage its research potential.
Chairing the first session on Research Governance and Organisational Capacity: Role of Central Research Office/Directorate, the Director Quality Assurance, Dr. Vincent Ssembatya while quoting the 2010 Association of Commonwealth Universities conference held in Cape Town, South Africa asserted that Universities must be “citadels not silos”.
“Universities are by nature made up of thousands of staff and students across various disciplines engaged in teaching and learning, research and knowledge transfer. They should be seen to fix the problems of communities that surround them” explained Dr. Ssembatya.
Sharing from personal experience, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi in his presentation revealed that the challenges of grants management are directly proportional to size; the bigger the grant the more the challenges faced.
“A Central Research Office is important in helping researchers to identify the potential risks associated with particular grants. Our research governance structure should be able to lead to enhancement of quantity, quality and relevant research output” said the Director DRGT.
Prof. Buyinza also shared that the revitalization of the Makerere University Press was timely, as it would help make institutional research more visible by translating findings and innovations into usable products for communities. He revealed that the Deans’ Forum would foster accountability as the research leaders freely exchange grants opportunities and effective management practices.
The second session made The Case for a Deans’ Forum: Effective Research Leadership for a Research-led University. The Dean School of Languages, Literature and Communication, Dr. Aaron Mushengyezi who chaired the session noted that the training workshops would inspire research teams and provide a platform for Deans to share best practices in resource mobilisation. He also called upon Deans to always share their grant writing skills with junior colleagues, “This will boost their confidence and motivate them to apply for more grants on their own.”
Quoting the SAGE Handbook of Research Management by Robert Dingwall and Mary Byrne McDonnell the session presenter and Dean, Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze said “Research organizations particularly large ones such as universities may need units capable of doing both radical and incremental innovation.”
The same Handbook she said also notes that “innovation may be better placed in smaller organizations or smaller units within large organizations.”
Prof. Wanyenze shared that the MakSPH experience had shown that innovation thrives in diversity and oftentimes lies at the borderline of different disciplines. “If we do not reach out to those from different units, we could miss out on a lot of innovations” she explained.
Speaking on the capabilities that foster Effective Research Capabilities, Prof. Wanyenze said that scientific or scholarly credibility were no longer sufficient in today’s dynamic environment. “Dingwall R and McDonnell MB in their Handbook of Research Management describe five additional capabilities as; the Entrepreneur, the Networker, the Collaborator, the Mentor and the Multitasker.”
These capabilities, she said, could be developed by research leaders over time and/or achieved through appropriate team organization. The Dean further observed that teaching and research are synergistic and as such, delivering stability and small incremental change is required to address both. She nevertheless warned that cutting-edge research is inherently disruptive.
The third session of the day on Research Funding and Building Functional Networks for Makerere was chaired by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration)-DVCFA, Prof. William Bazeyo, a renowned grants mobiliser. In his remarks, the DVCFA thanked Dr. Kakumba for championing the Inaugural Deans’ Workshop and inviting him to chair the session.
He spoke on the importance of forging research networks, as these enable the collaborating parties to prolong the life of research and innovations beyond the duration and funding of projects under which they were nurtured.
“We must also establish an autonomous grants management system for all our units if we are to improve research management and output” added Prof. Bazeyo.
Delivering the presentation, MakSPH’s Dr. Roy William Mayega observed that whereas universities with their high concentrations of experts, facilities, ideas and mentors have a key role to play in research and innovations, funding that ensured sustainability and continuity of research remained a big problem. “Many low-income countries have not prioritised investments in research leading to weak research infrastructure and heavy reliance on grants.”
This was backed by a 2019 LASER-RAN assessment of 27 universities in Africa, which showed that over 70% of research funding originates from outside the continent. Whereas Governments were shown by the same assessment to contribute 9.7% of the research funding, the private sector at 3.8% made the least contribution.
Dr. Mayega also pointed out that research with no clear path to translation, disconnect with development priorities and inadequate grants writing capacity were threats to research in our universities. Others cited were; few super-experienced researchers, inadequate financial management capacity and bureaucracy.
“Our knowledge products are mostly academic publications that are not easily understood by funders. We need to translate our research into simpler language and impactful innovations” he explained.
Dr. Mayega therefore called for increased support to young researchers by putting in place grants targeting young scientists as well as supporting the publications and career paths of non-teaching research support staff. He also proposed increased internal cross-disciplinary networks, improved research-to-translation support and improved research support infrastructure as some of the incentives to help build functional research networks.
Charing the last session of the day, the Dean School of Women and Gender Studies, Dr. Sarah Ssali reassured the Deans and participants at the workshop that Makerere University was in the process of developing a policy on grants, which would incentivise more researchers and units to undertake research. “We will advocate for a policy that enables Schools or units from which the grants originate to share in or retain a good percentage of the overhead.”
Delivering the presentation on Incentivising Research & Researcher development in Universities, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Research, Innovation & Extension and Acting DVCAA at Kampala International University (KIU), Prof. George Nasinyama expressed happiness to be back at his alma mater, an institution that he previously served as Deputy Director Research under DRGT.
Prof.Nasinyama revealed that there was a paradigm shift in the nature of knowledge generation from the Ivory Tower and its connotations of mono-disciplinary research to the Engaged University with its multidisciplinary, participative research that was uncertain and exploratory in nature. “However, there is also a third GloCal mode of Universities with local meaning but global reach, which place emphasis on clusters and networks and accountability to various stakeholders.”
He stated that many African Universities still faced challenges with massification and teaching overload which leads to the vicious cycle of ‘teach or perish’. This, he said, necessitates lecturers to rush from one overcrowded lecture room to another, resulting in reduced thirst for research (libido sciendi).
Prof. Nasinyama nevertheless said that researchers at Makerere University can be incentivised in three main ways namely; Government support to a research fund or through subsidy, Institutional incentives based on performance at either individual or departmental level, and support to researchers that bring income to the University by sharing overhead costs.
“In South Africa, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) provides a publication subsidy to universities of approximately US$9,000 per publication unit, which is equivalent to a peer-reviewed, accredited journal article or book chapter by one author. However, this scheme is absent in many African Countries” remarked Prof. Nasinyama giving an example of a Government subsidy.
At the conclusion of the Workshop, participants present, guided by the day's able moderator Dr. Patrick Byakagaba agreed to form a seven member Interim Deans’ Forum with the DVCAA Dr. Umar Kakumba as the Patron. Nominated members were; Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze-CHS (Chairperson), Dr. Edward Bbaale-CoBAMS (Vice Chairperson), Dr. Aaron Mushengyezi-CHUSS, Dr. Robert Tweyongyere-CoVAB, Dr. Grace Kibanja-CHUSS, Dr. Ronald Naluwairo-LAW and Dr. Gilbert Maiga-CoCIS.
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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