The Director of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Regional Office for Africa, Ms. Beate Schindler-Kovats on Thursday 28th November, 2019 paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and urged Makerere University to intensify her networks with regional universities so as to form a block. This, she added, would enable Makerere University to tap into additional opportunities by DAAD and the European Union (EU) that seek to support institutions with regional impact.
“DAAD always has new programmes and opportunities for scholars tenable in Germany and in-Country but we also have a lot of opportunities for universities to cooperate at institutional level and we would be happy if Makerere University participated in these programmes as well” explained Ms. Schindler-Kovats.
Earlier, Prof. Nawangwe had welcomed the Regional Director and thanked DAAD for the tremendous support extended to faculty training and diversification of academic programmes. He noted that German has been taught at Makerere since 1967 and thanked DAAD for the big role played in training Masters and PhDs after the turbulent political period.
“Many colleagues, some of whom now occupy leadership positions elsewhere studied in Germany. Prof. Manuel Muranga is one of the most prominent ones,” added the Vice Chancellor.
Prof. Nawangwe shared that Makerere is keen to strengthen her regional networks and has in the past acted as a hub for North Carolina State University’s East African Higher Education Summit. Participating Universities on the occasion included; Gulu University (Uganda), Mount Kenya University (Kenya) and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (Uganda).
“According to data from one of the top ranking agencies, Makerere University has collaborations with all major regional and international universities and this can be seen by the equally high number of co-authored publications in the rankings data” he added.
The Vice Chancellor also cited the upcoming Regional Meeting of the World Health Summit, due to be hosted by Makerere University and the Government of Uganda for the first time in Africa on 27th and 28th April 2020, as the result of collaborative efforts. “Makerere is the only African University that is a member of the M8 Alliance and we look forward to hosting our patrons; German Chancellor-Angela Merkel, French President-H.E. Emmanuel Macron, and EU Commission President-H.E. Jean-Claude Juncker at the World Health Summit 2020.”
The DAAD Regional Director noted that whereas German Universities have got Internationalization as a top priority, collaborating with Makerere University would accord them access to an even a wider network of North-South and South-South collaborations. She concurred that collaborations at this new level of worth exploring.
Mr. Steven Heimlich, the in-Country DAAD Office Representative shared that there are currently 60 students studying German as a subject at undergraduate level. He nevertheless noted the need to offer more flexible subject combinations so as to enable even more students study German as a language.
The Vice Chancellor concurred with the need to offer a diversity of options especially in languages to undergraduate students and promised to look into the matter. He also touched on the upcoming Public Lecture on the Brexit and Regional Collaboration by the German Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Dr. Albrecht Conze, noting that this would an interesting topic for debate. The lecture is due to be hosted by Makerere University on 10th December 2019 in the Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF 2) Auditorium.
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