On 13th June 2019, a delegation from Hunan Provincial Department of Education, China met the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration (Makerere University) Prof William Bazeyo, Members of Management together with directors and staff from Makerere University Confucius Institute. Led by Mr. Jiang Changzhong, the Director General of Hunan Provincial Department of Education, the delegation consisted of Prof. Cheng Chenyang and Prof. Zhen Chijian, Vice Presidents of Central South University and Xiangtan University respectively.
Mr. Jiang Changzhong was also accompanied by Mr. Lui Jing-Director, Department of Human Resources, and Mr. Zhou Fangyou- Director, Office of International Exchange- Hunan Provincial Department of Education; Prof. Zou Wei- Deputy Dean, School of International Exchange, Prof. Lui Qin- School of Continuous Education, Mr. Chen Yang- Director, Department of Psychical education and Mr. Chen Xingua- Deputy Dean, School of Civil Engineering and Mechanics- Xiangtan University; and Mrs. Li Xinhua- Deputy Director, Office of International Cooperation and Exchange, Central South University.
In an intensive meeting that was held in Makerere University Council Room, the team discussed the possible areas of collaboration that will culminate into signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Makerere University and Hunan Provincial Department of Education. Among the areas discussed included;
- Support scientific research in areas of engineering, medicine, agriculture, and social sciences
- Students and staff exchange
- Construct a ten stored multi-facility building that will house the Makerere University Confucius Institute and a museum
- Academic construction and communication
- Available scholarships and fellowships
- Academic opportunities at Chinese Universities.
The fruitful meeting also focused on strengthening ties between Makerere University and Xiangtan University as well as Makerere University and Central South University. In 2010, Makerere University entered into a long-term partnership with Xiangtan University under the framework of Chinese and African Universities 20+20 Cooperation Plan. The collaboration focused on training and teaching Chinese language and culture in Uganda. This partnership led to the birth of Makerere University Confucius Institute in 2014. In 2017, Makerere partnered with Central South University to enhance knowledge transfer in areas of engineering and medicine.
In the remarks he made on 13th June 2019, Prof. Bazeyo warmly welcomed Mr. Jiang Chanzhong, and other delegates to Makerere University. In a special way he welcomed Prof. Cheng Chenyang and Prof. Zhen Chijian, Vice Presidents of Central South University and Xiangtan University respectively and appreciated their tremendous support that has shaped the academic setting and research at the helm of Makerere University.
Prof. Bazeyo informed the visiting delegation that Makerere is a comprehensive University whose research output is highly ranked on the Africa continent. According to him, the institution is known for having the best tropical medicine school in the whole world where research on tropical medicine is done.
“Makerere University has for long engaged in activities that are geared towards finding solutions to African problems. The institution has engaged in developing human resource capacity that has strongly supported the economic and industrial sector of Uganda and Africa at large. Our students excel internationally and we probably have the largest number of collaborations in Africa,” he said.
He hailed the strengthened cooperation between China and Uganda in various sectors including education and business. “Uganda established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in 1962 and has since enjoyed excellent relations in bilateral trade, cultural exchange, technology and scientific transfers,” he stated.
In an overview about Makerere University, the Head, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Prof, Noble Banadda outlined the research trends at Makerere University that have been geared towards solving African challenges.
The Director General, Hunan Provincial Department of Education Mr. Jiang Changzhong, thanked Prof. Bazeyo for the warm reception accorded to his delegation. He was happy to visit Makerere University; the oldest, biggest and most influential University in Uganda.
He appreciated the strong relationship China has with Uganda and Makerere University and hoped for an enhanced mutual understanding that will broaden their areas of collaboration.
Mr. Jiang Changzhong, in a synopsis on the education status in Hunan Province said that Hunan is a big province featured with developed economy, technology, education, culture, openness and tourism. The area is taking advantage of the opportunities brought by the developments in belt and road initiatives to build a strong education system in the country. Currently Hunan is implementing the strategy of innovation and openness to become more comprehensive.
Oriented by the strategy of innovation and openness, Mr. Jiang Changzhong also mentioned that Hunan Province highly values international communication and cooperation in the field of education. According to him, Schools in Hunan have established stable connection with 300 education institutions from 50 countries.
“We have hired 1500 foreign experts and teachers, built 1 China foreign cooperative institute, created 48 China foreign cooperative programmes and 14 Confucius institutes, constructed 6 Confucius class rooms and sent more than a thousand volunteers to teach Chinese language,” he mentioned.
“In recent years, education in Hunan province is more internationalized. The cooperation in education field between Hunan and Uganda has reached a very constructive level. Except the fruitful cooperation between Xiangtan University and Makerere University, Hunan international, business vocational college has signed cooperation agreements with Uganda side covering students and teachers’ exchanges and human resource training,’’ he added.
The Vice President of Xiangtan University Prof. Zhen Chijian, applauded Makerere University for hosting and building a strong foundation for Makerere University Confucius Institute. “Makerere University Confucius Institute was selected one of the best among others in the world. Currently the institute has 6000 students across all the programmes offered,” he said.
Impressed by the historical achievements of Makerere University, the Vice President of Central South University Prof. Cheng Chenyang, said that the institution is ready to strengthen ties with Makerere University in areas of medicine and engineering.
Article by: Nabatte Proscovia- Mak Public Relations Office
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