The Ambassador of Norway to Uganda H.E. Elin Østebø Johansen has highlighted the need to increase support towards development of the African Education System. This was at the 30years celebrations of the Makerere University (Mak)-University of Bergen (UiB) Collaboration that were held on 7th November 2019 at the CTF 2 Auditorium, Makerere University.
In 1988 Makerere University entered into a partnership with the University of Bergen to enhance academic activities through joint research, teaching, staff and students exchange programs, knowledge and information sharing. Over the years, the collaboration has successfully registered tremendous achievements in capacity building, knowledge and information generation and technological developments.
Speaking at the colorful event, the Ambassador said that supporting the education systems is an investment in economic and social development among countries. “In his Address to Parliament on 26 April last year, the then Norwegian Minister of Development, Nikoli Astrup, said, ‘Education is the foundation for all other development. It is the key to finding employment and to being able to lead an independent life with different options and opportunities.’”
She urged academic institutions to align their objectives and academic curriculum to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education. H.E Elin Østebø Johansen highlighted the tremendous support the Norwegian government is extending to the Government of Uganda to improve higher learning and promote vocation and technical skills training.
“In addition to basic education, we fully recognize the importance of higher education. Well trained citizens are needed in all areas of the economy in order for Uganda to develop and prosper. The Ugandan labor market needs to sustain industrial development, high quality tourism and a self-sustained and diversified agricultural sector,” she said.
The Ambassador acknowledged the long-standing and successful collaboration between Makerere University and the University of Bergen. The nature and structure of the collaboration has over the years evolved from one-way scholarship programme to extensive partnership projects under the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED) with multiple partners. She noted that the relationships developed through these collaborations have often continued long after the projects have ended, which is an indication of strong ties, friendships and commitment by all parties.
“The Makerere-University of Bergen 30years celebration is proof of successful partnership and academic collaboration between Norway and Uganda. I am confident that this great partnership between Makerere University and the University of Bergen will continue for another 30 years, to the benefit of the young generations both in Uganda and Norway,” she concluded.
The Pro-Rector University of Bergen, Prof. Margareth Hagen described the Mak-Bergen 30year collaboration as a historic relationship of intensive research and scientific competence. “Throughout our history, the University of Bergen has always sought to collaborate with and befriend universities that are defined by their quality work and research. And, the collaboration between University of Bergen and Makerere University is an example of this,” she said.
According to Prof. Hagen, Universities are institutions that not only keep historical records of societal development but also enable citizens to develop tools that address the great challenges of the time. Through creative and free thinking the institutions have engaged in research and innovate solutions for a better future.
She mentioned that Makerere University and University of Bergen are both pillars of peace and stability in their respective societies. She attributed this to their ability to plan, strategize and think in the long term.
“We influence and learn from each other and that has indeed meant a lot for the many students who travel between our countries for their studies. Today we celebrate the benefits of the long-lasting partnerships, dialogue and open minded research, developed over the many years,” she stated.
The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe in his remarks on the occasion recognized the late Prof. Endre Lillethun and his team who started the journey of the Makerere– University of Bergen Collaboration in the 1988.
He extended sincere appreciation to the Royal Norwegian Government for the support rendered to capacity building at Makerere University under the Norwegian Programme for Development, Research and Education (NUFU) phases I, II and III between 1991 and 2011. Prof. Nawangwe also acknowledged the ongoing support to collaborative efforts under the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED).
“As a result of the Norwegian Government support, hundreds of students and staff have received funding towards their education development. For example, data shared from our Norwegian brothers and sisters shows that the University of Bergen alone has trained over 300 Masters and 150 PhDs for Uganda. This is by no means a small achievement,” said the Vice Chancellor.
“Similarly, under NORHED (2013 – 2020) Makerere University is involved in 11 projects with partner institutions in the North and South. These are in the thematic areas of; Pediatric Health, Anthropology, Aquatic and Environmental Health, Water Management, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation and Weather Information Management. Other areas include; Health Informatics, Distance Education and Lifelong Learning, Interdisciplinary MPhil and PhD Studies among others,” added Prof Nawangwe.
The Vice Chancellor thanked the Organising Committee led by Prof. J.Y.T Mugisha for organising a successful ceremony to mark 30 years of Mak-UiB collaboration.
The celebrations were enriched by a keynote address on “The role of inter institutional partnerships in attaining education for all and National Development” delivered by Prof. Edward Kirumira. He currently serves as Director of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) and was the former Coordinator of the Mak-UiB programme at Makerere University.
Prof. Kirumira noted that the future of African Countries is heavily dependent on the future of African Universities. He further argued that the universities’ future is based on successful cooperation in the increasingly competitive global arena. He therefore mentioned that universities’ research should focus on training concerned scholars with a purpose to help community and not just advance themselves.
Discussing institutionary interdisciplinary and interdepartmental collaborations, Prof. Kirumira noted the need for universities to develop national curricula with long term goals. He also mentioned the need for universities to develop strong internal networks when he said, “universities need to be networked from within. Even when they seek regional and international networks, it is the internal cohesion that comes across. You must therefore bond internally for you to take the university to greater heights.”
Delivering her remarks, the Senior Advisor, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), Jeanette Da Silva congratulated Mak and UiB upon the momentous 30year collaboration, noting that Education including Higher Education is one of the NORAD’s funding priorities.
She also took the opportunity to announce that NORHED II will be launched in February 2020 as a framework to perpetuate North-South collaborations for more years to come. The Senior Advisor noted that funding is not only about capacity building but also capacity sharing and prayed that NORHED II will contribute to the formation of strong, mutually beneficial North-South relationships.
Other activities that preceded the celebrations included; a plenary session on the Role of the Youth in Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: A Focus On SDG 4 “Ensure Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Promote Lifelong Learning Opportunities for All”. It was organized by the Uganda-Norway Alumni Network (UGNAN) in partnership with the Mak-UiB collaboration Office and Norway UiB alumni.
During the Plenary session, participants discussed the SDG4 status in Uganda and the actions put in place to achieve the goal by 2030. Participants reflected on how the SDGs are calling for the transformation of ideas and how the country’s education institutions need to be transformed in line with SDG 4 goal especially for the vulnerable groups such as girls and People With Disabilities (PWDs).
Article by Proscovia Nabatte, Mak Public Relations Office.
Application Forms for Admission to Public Universities 2024/2025
The Academic Registrar, Makerere University informs all Head Teachers of A ‘Level schools that application forms for admission to public universities for senior six candidates (UACE 2023) for the 2024/2025 academic year will be ready for collection from the university from Monday 4th December, 2023.
The application forms should be collected from the Office of the Academic Registrar, Senate Building, Level 3, Makerere University.
Issuing of the application forms will start on Monday, 4th December 2023 on payment of a non-refundable application fee of Uganda Shs. 52,000/=(fifty two thousand Uganda shillings only) per application form.
You are advised to get a pay reference number (PRN) using the ACMIS system (http://pay.mak.ac.ug) to enable you pay the application fees in any bank used by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).
The forms are for Ugandans only.
Please note that only Head Teachers or their authorized representatives will be served.
The closing date for submitting the completed application forms will be Wednesday 31st January, 2024.
Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi
African Universities urged on developing comprehensive safeguarding policies with critical elements of safety & protection
The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe has urged Universities and other institutions of higher learning in Africa to embrace the approach of having comprehensive safeguarding policies where important elements of safety and protection are considered and all the common forms of risk, abuse and harm are emphasized.
This was during the Vice Chancellors’ Forum, one of the high powered side events of the RUFORUM Annual General Meeting that provides significant platforms for Vice Chancellors of all RUFORUM member Universities to engage, discuss, deliberate and guide on how universities, government and development partners can support the RUFORUM vision and mission of becoming a leader in higher agricultural education.
The Vice Chancellors’ Forum 2023 that was held in Yaoundé Cameroon during the 19th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting that proceeded from 28th October- 2nd November 2023 was the most attended ever with over 150 Vice Chancellors from 40 African countries and other parts of the world. The Forum deliberated on emerging and contemporary issues in higher education to strengthen university systems, promote inclusion and enhance the relevance of universities in national and regional development.
In her welcome speech, Prof. Theresia Nkuo-Akenji, RUFORUM Board Chair and Vice Chancellor University of Bamenda, Cameroon welcomed all Vice chancellors in attendance and acknowledged their strong commitment to the RUFORUM as a Network. She also appreciated the efforts of the Vice Chancellors in setting the agenda for the network to ensure its competitiveness.
According to her, RUFORUM has come of age but growth across every life’s journey comes along with its own challenges and opportunities. She therefore thanked all the Vice Chancellors that have committed and continue to clear the membership fees in time on annual basis. “Your contribution of US$5,000 is what keeps the Secretariat operational,” she said.
Prof. Theresia Nkuo-Akenji drew the attention of the Vice Chancellors to some critical issues such as low institutional burn-out rates of grant funding, the terrible completion rate of graduate students across the network, curriculum reviews that do not incorporate innovative academic programmes and policies that do not respond to global discourses. Noting that such issues have posed serious barriers achieving the network’s objectives.
She urged all universities to collectively support the RUFORUM Secretariat during resource mobilization. “It is important to note that RUFORUM Secretariat is not a donor as many of the members might perceive it. Rather, RUFORUM Secretariat works with all of us to raise resources that can either be sub-granted and/or directly disbursed by the funding agency to each of the universities that is participating. The Secretariat can support the universities efforts in training and ideation processes as well as brokering partnerships with ease. However, we need to ensure that we are all cooperative,” She stated. Presenting a lead paper titled, Enhancing Safeguarding at institutions of higher Learning, Prof. Nawangwe noted that Makerere University is committed to being a professionally governed, equitable, inclusive and gender mainstreamed institution. In line with this commitment, Makerere University has cited the need to have a comprehensive safe guarding policy that is intentional in ensuring that important elements of safety and protection are considered and all the common forms of risk, abuse and harm are emphasized.
According to Prof. Nawangwe, over the years Makerere University has built a record of governing and administrative policies and frameworks such as the Makerere University Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment, Makerere University Gender Equity Policy, the Student Accommodation Policy, the Risk Management Plan, the Policy on Persons with Disabilities, the Human Resources Manual as amended, Information and Communication Technology Policy which addresses issues of cyber security and abuse and the Open Distance and E-learning Policy. However, these do not adequately and comprehensively address the key elements of safety and protection.
“These policies only feature identification and prevention as elements of safeguarding hence guidance on the report procedures are least provided for. They much highlight emotional risk and harm and neglect cyber security threats, financial exploitation, limitation of academic freedoms for staff and students,” he said.
“All in all, the policies lack some of the internationally considered forms of risk, abuse and harm. In Africa, we are the second recipients of refugees in the whole world, but we lack anything about protecting refugees in our policies and some of the policies do not have the strategic plans to address any form of risk, abuse and harm,” he added.
He mentioned that the COVID 19 pandemic escalated the issue of mental health with so many cases of mental illnesses globally, an indicator that it is only in a safe and protected environment that people are mentally healthy to be fully creative and innovative.
The Vice Chancellors Forum 2023 also deliberated on topics such as exploring mechanisms for integrating universities into national and regional innovation systems and aligning African agricultural higher education to the future-of-work on the continent and globally.
Presenting on behalf of Prof. Bonang Mohale, Chancellor, University of Free State, South Africa, Agnes W. Mwang’ombe, a Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology- Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection- University of Free State said that university education has become very competitive yet it is crucial for universities to remain ahead and relevant to their clients and other stakeholders through inclusive virtual modes that have set in new dimensions such as in-house pool of talent that in most cases await to be tapped. She mentioned that it is high time for Universities to shun away from the rampant blame games of how African graduates are not ready to tackle community challenges and focus on revamping, modifying and creating new systems of conducting research.
“As universities, we are expected to produce relevant information, knowledge, technologies, and innovations to fulfill aspirations; develop mechanisms to tap on human resource and mobilize research funds for the university. There is need for actual retooling of academic staff to be able to harness the various competences and skills represented in the universities including students through building alliances and effective teams to grant calls with wider society impact,” she said.
In the context of food and nutrition insecurity, Prof. Mwang’ombe noted that the changing climate has dwindled natural resources and increased social and economic inequalities hence raising concerns for more health food systems and eco-system services. She therefore called for collective efforts towards building resilience for sustainable agriculture and economic empowerment of those most affected by climate change through bio diversity restoration using natural based solutions.
“Food and nutrition is constrained by many factors including the heavy reliance on very few staple crops yet Africa has the diversity of crops some of which can handle some of the current situations,” she noted.
Painting a picture of the Future of Work for a competitive Africa, Prof. Peter Kamwi Matengu, Vice Chancellor, University of Namibia, was concerned about the role of higher education in developing interventions as a mitigating factor towards decreasing jobs in the agricultural sector. According to him, a report published in 2023 by the World Economic Forum recorded 673 million jobs across the globe. It is however expected that this number will decline by 83 million hence creating a job deficit of about 2%.
“It is not surprising that the field of agriculture which has increasingly been mechanized and automated will lose up to 60% of the jobs. The World Economic Forum report also notes that although the automation in Agriculture will create up to 25% of jobs, it is also expected that 75% of job will be lost in Africa if there is no intervention of up scaling and re scaling. This also means that 44% of the workers whose skills need to be upgraded will face a disruption,” he said.
Prof. Kamwi Matengu called upon universities in Africa to undertake relevant, impactful, responsive research that majorly focus on participation. “ The kind of research, I am talking about should enable us translate our knowledge into practice and African education should focus on national self- reliance and train people to be internationally competitive and to be very aware that we have the responsibility of the welfare of everyone,” he emphasized. The Vice Chancellors’ Forum 2023 was moderated by Prof. Roger Tsafack Nanfosso, Vice Chancellor, University of Dschang and Canon Prof. Olivia Nassaka Banja, Vice Chancellor of Ndejje University.
Call For Expression of Interest: MURBS Independent Trustee (RE-ADVERTISED)
Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) is a Scheme for Makerere University staff. MURBS was established under irrevocable trusts with effect from 1st April 2009. MURBS was set up by Makerere University for the purpose of providing retirement benefits to employees of Makerere University upon retirement from the University. The Scheme is governed by a Board of Trustees whose fiduciary mandate is enshrined under the Trust Deed and Scheme Rules. MURBS is a Mandatory Employer-Based Scheme that is licensed with the Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (License No. RBS.0005).
MURBS is inviting Eligible Individuals to submit their Expression of Interest to join the MURBS Board of Trustees in the capacity of an Independent Trustee.
Eligibility Criteria for the Independent Trustee of MURBS
Individuals interested in this role should satisfy the following Eligiblity Criteria:
a) Meet the MURBS Fit and Proper Criteria (Download the form from the MURBS website at https://murbs.mak.ac.ug/join-our-team/);
b) A minimum of a Postgraduate qualification in any of the disciplines; Strategy Planning and Management; Pension Administration and Management; Finance or Commerce, Investments; Insurance, Statistics, Actuarial Science, Economics, Mathematics, Literature, or Law;
c) At least 3 years’ experience as a member of the Board of Directors of an entity with assets not less than Ushs 50bn or at least 3 years‘ experience as a Trustee of a Retirement Benefits Scheme whose Fund value is not less than Ushs 50 bn; and,
d) Not a member of staff of Makerere University or a member of Makerere University Council in the last five (5) years.
Submission Deadline: 3:00 pm on 19th December 2023.
Detailed Terms of Reference to support response to this call can be accessed via the link: https://murbs.mak.ac.ug/join-our-team/ or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request the same.
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