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.
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HERS-EA Fourth Leadership Academy
The Higher Education Resource Services-East Africa (HERS-EA) provides an intensive residential one-week leadership and management development curriculum focused on women, mainly in higher education institutions and administration.
In response to the current Covid-19 pandemic, HERS-EA Fourth Academy will be a totally virtual one. As such, the Academy previously scheduled to take place between June 28th – July 3rd has been postponed by one week to July 5th-9th.
Theme: “Positioning Women for Leadership in Higher Education”
A. Institutional Development
1. Managing and Leading Change
2. Reframing Organizations for effective work
3. Developing Effective Partnerships in Higher Education for Women and gender focused advancement
B. Personal Development
4. Career Mapping/building dossier/personal development
5. Professional Women’s economic empowerment through Enterprise development and management for profit maximization
6. Research and Publishing; Leadership and Fundraising for projects including research and publication.
7. The Power of Mentoring; Networking
Who Should Attend?
HERS-EA expects many diverse and dynamic women leaders to attend the ACADEMY, to share and learn from multiple institutional perspectives with guidance from women with a wealth of experience in higher education, national academic organizations, government and non- governmental organizations. Participants are expected hold mid to senior-level positions and bring expertise from all parts of a college or university. They also represent a range of national groups, ages and years of experience in higher education and other fields.
Applying to the ACADEMY:
The deadline for registration has also been extended to June 30th. For more information regarding registration, please visit the website: www.hersea.org Completed registration forms should be emailed, with a scanned payment slip to: firstname.lastname@example.org, by 5.00 p.m. on Wednesday 30th June.
A complete application includes:
b) A self-descriptive letter (not > 500 words) to include:
- Current Title (e.g. Associate Professor of Economics; Deputy Dean, e. t. c.)
- Name and Contact Information for 2 Recommenders (e.g. Vice Chancellor, Head of Department, Chief Officer in your area, and/or direct supervisor)
- Short- and long-term career goals
- Your expectations for the HERS-EA ACADEMY.
c) Passport size photograph
d) A developmental project you have been assigned or you would like to initiate at your campus (maximum 500 words)
e) Registration fee of $100, please attach a copy of the deposit slip to your application (Bank A/C details below):
If you have any further questions, please email:
info[at]hersea.org or call the HERS-EA Administrator on: +256 (0)772082011 Please,also, visit the HERS-EA website for further updates: www.hersea.org.
Payment Bank Account Details:
Account Name: Higher Education Resource Service East Africa
HERS-EA US $ ACCOUNT
Name of Bank: DFCU Bank
Makerere University Branch
A/C No: 02083553153181
Swift Code: DFCUUGKA
HERS-EA UGX ACCOUNT
Name of Bank: DFCU Bank
Makerere University Branch
A/C No: 01083553153172
Mak Commissions CoVAB@50 Celebrations, Awards Certificates
The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) on Thursday 17th June, 2021 commenced celebrations to mark 50 Years of Veterinary Higher Education, Science, Technology, Innovation and Services (HESTIS) in Uganda. The blended event held at the Industrial Livestock Research, Incubation and Skilling (ILRIS) Center at Nakyesasa, Namulonge as well as online was presided over by the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma and First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports (MoES), Hon. Janet Museveni both represented by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.
The event, held as part of Makerere University Centenary Celebrations (1922-2022) was a moment of celebration for 1,930 skilled livestock agribusiness entrepreneurs who were awarded certificates in recognition of completion of their respective courses. Owing to the strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) instituted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to curb the spread of COVID-19, the students from Incubation Hubs in Atiak, Butaleja, Mubende, Nakyesasa, Sheema and Wakiso were awarded their certificates virtually.
In her remarks read by Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Hon. Janet Museveni thanked Makerere University for supporting grassroots level development through groundbreaking innovations under the Africa Institute for Strategic Services and Development-Skills for Production Enterprise Development and Accreditation (AFRISA-SPEDA) model.
“I am extremely pleased that Makerere University, through those innovative approaches, has developed and launched the alternative approach to building human capital and transferring knowledge to enterprises in communities.
“I would like to encourage all those involved in skills development to adopt methodologies that transform those trainees that go through these programs in ways that enable them also transform the societies they live in” read the Minister’s remarks.
She further noted that commissioning of the CoVAB@50 celebrations was both timely and rewarding. “The commissioning of the college innovations indeed has made meaning. This is a true path to growth of an Academic and Development College of the University, and we congratulate you again.”
Addressing the congregation as Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe congratulated CoVAB alumna and incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI) under the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero upon her recent appointment. “We thank His Excellency the President for identifying you. Science is in good hands.”
Prof. Nawangwe urged Dr. Musenero to address the structures of managing research and innovation in Uganda, “including the role of the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and the apparent need to establish a Research Council for Uganda.”
In the same breath he thanked the outgoing and pioneer Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumuwesigye, for his role in ensuring that the ministry is empowered to carry out its mandate.
The Chancellor congratulated CoVAB upon training the bulk of Veterinary Doctors in Uganda over the last 50 years and more recently, Laboratory Technologists at the highest level. He recognised Makerere University‘s obligation to contribute to the economic self-determination of Uganda and thanked CoVAB for conducting research that addresses hindrances to national development, especially in the livestock industry.
“The anti-tick vaccine is one of such innovations which will solve the huge problem of tick-borne diseases that have caused enormous losses to our farmers. There are many other problems on which the college is researching and we thank you for the enthusiasm” he added.
The Chancellor commended CoVAB for being the vanguard of transformation of the grassroots communities through the SPEDA model. “I urge Government to fund this important initiative so that it can more meaningfully contribute to solving the big problem of youth unemployment.”
In her remarks, Dr. Monica Musenero commended the Principal, CoVAB, Prof. John David Kabasa for fulfilling the College’s dream of enabling the masses who drop out of the education value chain as well as those who complete education but have no skills for livelihood, to attain certification in agribusiness entrepreneurship.
“Many people attain academic success and write papers, publish and they become professors but without demonstrable impact on their nation. You have shown by the thousands that you have touched nationwide that indeed you are a professor of national transformation. Congratulations,” remarked Dr. Musenero.
She therefore congratulated the teams at CoVAB and AFRISA upon successfully conceiving and executing a model that is non-traditional, informal, not easily understood and not documented in any textbooks.
As Minister, Dr. Musenero noted that witnessing thousands of individuals from across the country whose skills had been honed through a university programme receiving certificates gave her a lot of hope and material to embark on her tenure with. “I will be looking forward to harnessing these resources as we initiate work on the next leg of Science, Technology and Innovation in the country under the President’s Office.”
The invitation to the Principal, CoVAB to present students for the award of the ordinary diplomas, ordinary certificates and artisan certificates was given by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba. He congratulated the awardees upon successfully completing their respective courses and graduating with evidence on an enterprise.
Prof. Kabasa clarified that the approach used to train the day’s awardees was not simply a vocational skilling. “The combination of action research with knowledge transfer, skilling, plus assessment and accreditation processes done by organs like the DIT (Directorate of Industrial Training, MoES) has given us this result, for the University to provide true leadership and transformation of the community.”
Present at the celebrations were the Director, DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick and the Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES Madam Elizabeth Bateme who have worked through the Academic-Community-Public-Private-Partnership model to ensure that students graduate as entrepreneurs with micro enterprises.
Prior to presiding over the ceremony, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports officially commissioned the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre – Nakyesasa.
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