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Mak Hosts Final 2019 Uganda Vice Chancellors’ Forum

  • In General
  • 9 Dec 2019 - 8:18pm
  • By Mark Wamai
  • 161,750
Front Row L-R: Dr. Samuel Baker Kucel, Prof. George Openjuru, Prof. Paul Mugambi, Rev. Can. Dr. John Senyonyi, Prof. Mary Okwakol, Acting Vice Chancellor-Dr. Umar Kakumba, Dr. Mouhamad Mpezamihigo and Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke with University Leaders after the Vice Chancellors' Forum on 9th December 2019, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

Makerere University on Monday 9th December, 2019 hosted the Quarter Four (Q4) Vice Chancellors’ Forum 2019 in the Senate Conference Hall. The half-day event was addressed by the Executive Director, National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Prof. Mary J.N. Okwakol. The University Leaders were received by the Acting Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba together with the Academic Registrar, Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah.

Dr. Kakumba expressed his delight at Makerere University hosting the last Forum of the year, noting that it was a good networking opportunity for University leaders to share experiences. “This a very important platform for the consolidation and harmonization of quality in Higher Education as it enables us to standardize and foster improvements in curriculum and training.”

The Acting Vice Chancellor further noted that the forum is a very useful umbrella for advocating for support for the Higher Education Sector from Government and other stakeholders. “Research shows that there are higher dividends from supporting Higher Education, especially for the production of informative and transformative research. The Vice Chancellors’ Forum is a great platform for advocating for this, especially as the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) of 1992 led to a lot of withdrawal of Government support from Higher Education, particularly Graduate Training.”

L-R: Prof. Mary Okwakol, Prof. Paul Mugambi, Rev. Can. Dr. John Senyonyi, Dr. Umar Kakumba and Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah at the Q4 UVCF on 9th December 2019, Makerere Univeristy, Kampala Uganda.

Delivering her paper, Prof. Mary Okwakol noted that the Higher Education sector currently faces a challenge of producing quality graduates, most of whom do not have the necessary competence and skills to meet industry demands. She therefore urged the Vice Chancellors to continue refining curricula to produce relevant academic programmes that can address the problem.

The Excutive Director NCHE further urged Universities to focus on research and commercialize the products generated from the same. Touching on the issue of resource mobilization, she urged Vice Chancellors to always benchmark the experiences of peers that have successfully attracted research grants to their institutions, “and I commend the Vice Chancellor, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) Prof. Celestino Obua in this regard.”

She equally urged Universities to engage with communities, embrace quality assurance, regularly dialogue with the Government on matters relating to policy and ensure gender equity in the implementation of institutional programmes.

Prof. Matthew Lutalo Bbosa (Left) and Mr. Amos Olal-Odur (Right) interact after the Q4 UVCF Meeting on 9th December 2019, Makerere Univeristy, Kampala Uganda.

“The Council is open to dialogue with all heads of Universities so do not hesitate to seek guidance from my office should the need arise,” concluded Prof. Okwakol.

The Executive Director of Uganda Vice Chancellors’ Forum (UVCF) and Head UVCF Secretariat, Prof. Paul Mugambi shared that body is in charge of organizing the Forum’s quarterly meetings as well as the statutory committees. The Secretariat also communicates to Members about their obligations and organizes the Annual Vice Chancellors Conference from which the Annual Conference Bulletin is derived.

The 9th edition of the UVCF Conference was hosted by Kampala International University (KIU) on Friday 4th October, 2019 and emphasized the need to look into restructuring Higher Education in conjunction with the line Ministry. “We particularly examined the role of A-Level as students specialize too early, which is an ongoing discussion with the Ministry of Education and Sports and other bodies,” added Prof. Mugambi.

Prof. Maud Kamatenesi (Left), Prof. Christine Dranzoa (3rd Left) and other University Leaders listen to proceedings during the Q4 Vice Chancellors’ Forum on 9th December 2019, Makerere Univeristy, Kampala Uganda.

Rev. Canon Dr. John Senyonyi, the Vice Chancellor Uganda Christian University (UCU) is the current Chairperson UVCF (March 2018 – March 2020). He shared that the Q4 meeting had reached excellent consensus on a number of substantive issues raised. Particularly, the forum had agreed to write a paper on improving the process of conducting exams as well as mentorship of leaders.

“Universities tend to get their leaders out of classrooms but who prepares them for leadership?” Rev. Canon Dr. Senyonyi pondered, before adding “The Vice Chancellors’ Forum has appointed a taskforce chaired by Prof. Maud Kamatenesi, Vice Chancellor Bishop Stuart University, to write a paper on mentorship and present it at the next Forum on 23rd March 2020.”

The Vice Chancellors’ Forum sitting at Makerere University also appointed Dr. Mouhamad Mpezamihigo, Vice Chancellor Kampala International University (KiU) as its representative to the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB).

Please see Downloads for Prof. Okwakol's Remarks

Article by Public Relations Office.

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