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Dissemination of Pedagogical Leadership of Academic Staff in Higher Education Institutions to Enhance Graduate Work Readiness and Transition to Work (PLASHE-WIL)



By Nuwagaba John

On Thursday 3th December, 2020, a project titled Pedagogical Leadership of Academic Staff in Higher Education Institutions to Enhance Graduate Work Readiness and Transition to Work (PLASHE-WIL) held a Dissemination Event at Makerere University. The Principal Investigator (PI) of the PLASHE-WIL project is Dr. Ronald Bisaso, Associate Professor and Dean, East African School of Higher Education Studies and Development (EASHESD), College of Education and External Studies (CEES). The project team members include: Dr. Rovincer Najjuma, Co-PI and Senior Lecturer, Department of Foundations and Curriculum Studies, Dr. Florence Nakamanya, Lecturer, EASHESD, Assoc. Prof. Proscovia Namubiru Ssentamu, Uganda Management Institute (UMI), Dr. Pius C. Achanga, Director, Quality Assurance and Accreditation at the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), and Dr. Hamis Mugendawala, Head, Policy Research and Innovation, National Planning Authority (NPA).  Other expert members are: Professor Christopher B. Mugimu, Foundations and Curriculum Studies, Dr. Joseph Kimoga, Assoc. Professor, EASHESD and Dr. David Onen, Senior Lecturer, EASHESD in CEES.  The event started with a prayer led by Dr. Rovincer Najjuma. Dr. Florence Nakamanya who was the moderator welcomed members to the dissemination and gave a preamble of the PLASHE-WIL project.

The event was graced by distinguished stakeholders who attended both physically and virtually. These included; the Guest of Honour – Professor Mary J.N. Okwakol, the Executive Director, National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Dr. Umar Kakumba, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Prof. Fred Masagazi Masaazi, the Principal CEES, Dr. Vincent Ssembatya, Director, Directorate of Quality Assurance, Makerere University, Dr. Robinah Kulabako, Member of the Grants Management Committee (GMC) Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) and Dr. David Kabugo, Coordinator, Centre for Teaching and Learning Support, CEES. A range of stakeholders from the Inter-University Council of East Africa (IUCEA), the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST), the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), the Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA), NCHE, the Directorate of Human Resources (DHR), Makerere University student representatives, academic leaders and staff from different universities attended the dissemination.

Principal CEES, Prof. Fred Masagazi Masaazi

Prof. Fred Masagazi Masaazi in his remarks, welcomed the stakeholders. He congratulated the team led by Dr. Ronald Bisaso for ensuring that the School is continually productive.  He noted that dissemination was a form of accountability and portrays transparency. He applauded the PLASHE-WIL Project Team for entrenching stakeholder engagement in the conception, team composition, conducting the study and the dissemination that attracted higher education experts, students, the private sector, media, student leaders, and academic staff. He informed stakeholders that CEES was committed to more such engagements in the areas of higher education, secondary education, adult education among others. He thanked the Government of Uganda through Mak-RIF for the financial support and guidance in research output reporting.

In her remarks, the Guest of Honour, Professor Mary J.N. Okwakol noted that the involvement of NCHE as a strategic partner in the implementation of the PLASHE-WIL project was anchored on the need to promote the Teaching Excellence Agenda in the Uganda Higher Education system. Realisation of such an important milestone would be through strengthening pedagogical competences of academic staff in the Higher Education sub-sector. Prof. Okwakol further observed that, the key deliverable in this project was a Pedagogical Leadership Programme for training academic staff in universities in Uganda because the Higher Education sub-sector needs pedagogical competent academic staff! The Executive Director, NCHE was equally delighted by the involvement of several partners including Makerere University, the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) and the National Planning Authority (NPA). She noted that, the fact that the findings of the PLASHE-WIL project were based on perspectives of students, academic staff (mainly early career academics), employers, pedagogical leadership facilitators and curriculum leaders, the partnership availedfavourable conditions for uptake of research findings and presented opportunity for policy options which has been a missing link in many innovative endeavours. Prof. Okwakol informed the stakeholders that NCHE sees great potential for creating a critical mass of professional pedagogical leaders in Uganda’s Higher Education system who are not only competent in didactics but also able to integrate graduate work readiness and transition to work skills in teaching and learning processes. She congratulated the PI – Dr. Ronald Bisaso and Team for the great job done. She challenged the team to ensure that they empower lecturers into both good teaching and research in addition to ensuring gender inclusive interventions. She thanked the Government of Uganda through Mak-RIF for funding research on a topical issue and indeed an issue of concern. She officially opened the Dissemination Event.

Dr. Ronald Bisaso, the PI in his presentation recognized the generosity of the Government of the Republic of Uganda through Mak-RIF that funded the PLASHE-WIL Project.  He gave the PLASHE-WIL Project overview by noting that there is a graduate employability skill deficiency where 63% of Uganda graduates are unemployable, according to the employers, and that the existing pre-labour market education or training is inadequate (IUCEA, 2014 p.54-55). He observed that the ‘covenant between education and employment is broken’ and the ‘lack of linkage between the training institutions and potential employers’ was articulated in the outgoing National Development Plan II (2015/16-2019/2020, p.39).

To further illuminate the challenge, the PI historicized Higher Education Pedagogy in Makerere University noting that, Pedagogical Skills training was initiated in 1979 because “university lecturers lacked teaching skills and, as a result, some of them were doing a really bad job.” (Ssebuwufu, 2017 p.478). This culminated into the establishment of the Department of Higher Education at Makerere University (now the East African School of Higher Education Studies and Development).  One of the downsides of developing pedagogical capacities of academic staff was the dependence on initiatives funded by development partners e.g. the European Union, Carnegie etc. with ramifications for sustainability. However, in July 2018, Makerere University invested her own resources in pedagogical skills training for Assistant Lecturers (Early Career Academics). This was coordinated by the Directorate of Human Resources and the College of Education and External Studies (through the East African School of Higher Education Studies and Development, the School of Education, and the Centre for Teaching and Learning Support). This was consistent with guidance of the Makerere University Visitation Committee, 2016. The PI further noted that, over 200 assistant lecturers from8 Colleges were trained in learner-centred pedagogy (Makerere University Strategic Plan 2020-2030 p.23). However, there was need to improve on the training programme by embedding Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) philosophies and pedagogy to complement the programme who focus was on the technical competences of writing learning outcomes, delivery methods, integration of technology, assessment, and teaching large classes. This culminated into the PLASHE-WIL Challenge as presented by the PI and Co-PI, Dr. Rovincer Najjuma.

PLASHE-WIL Project Challenge:

PLASHE-WIL Co PI-Dr. Rovincer Najjuma

The increasing numbers of students that graduate every year in a variety of disciplines amidst rising graduate unemployment and employability skill deficiency is both a risk and potential for the country. Embedding graduate work readiness and transition to work strategies in University curricular and pedagogy is one of the employability development strategies that can potentially address rising graduate unemployment. Owing to the complexity and multi-dimensional nature of the challenge, the East African School of Higher Education Studies and Development (EASHESD) in the College of Education and External Studies, Makerere University in partnership with the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) and technical support from the National Planning Authority (NPA), sought to engage with stakeholders including; employers, students, academic staff, pedagogical leadership facilitators and programme leaders to collaboratively develop a Pedagogical Leadership Programme for academic staff to enhance graduate work readiness and transition to work. 

PLASHE-WIL Project Aim:

This project aimed to develop the capacity of academic staff in Pedagogical Leadership and Work-Integrated Learning to enhance graduate work readiness and transition to work competence development. 


The research adopted the design research methodology. Design research combines research, design, and practice. The methodology of this research and innovation project was implemented through a multi-stakeholder partnership. First, a scoping review was done. Second, a consultative stakeholders’ meeting was held to initiate engagement and dialogue on how to enhance graduate work readiness and transition to work through strengthening pedagogical leadership of academic staff in Higher Education Institutions. Third, empirical evidence was collected from 73 employers, 146 academic staff, and 548 final year students stratified in four fields of engineering, agriculture, education and development studies. Fourth, practitioner engagement in interviews and expert meetings. 

Summary of the findings:

Objective One: Employer requirements and expectations

The employers expect graduates to follow workplace principles/rules, possess work readiness skills (e.g. problem-solving, thinking critically, develop professionalism etc.). In addition, graduates are expected to have transition to work skills (e.g. identify personal skills and how they can be deployed). The employers identified Work-Integrated Learning opportunities such as exposure to relevant work setting, understanding workplace cultures as essential for graduates.

Objective Two: Graduate attributes and aspirations

Final year candidates’ degree experience had developed their pre-professional identity attributes (e.g. matching university to the workplace), work readiness attributes (e.g.  developing social responsibility and accountability like behaving in line with company values) among others.

Objective Three: Academic Staff Competence Profiling

The academic staff were confident that they teach and assess foundational knowledge (theories and principles) and work readiness skills (e.g. team work, professionalism). However, they were less confident that they taught problem-solving yet they were confident that they assessed it.

Objective Four: Pedagogical Leadership Perspectives

Most of the existing pedagogical leadership training focuses on alignment. Pedagogical leaders identified competences academic staff should possess include; team work, co-facilitation, managing industry partnership, case-based teaching philosophies (industry-based learning, scenarios, e-case studies, industry-based cases, projects).

Objective Five: Curriculum Mapping Perspectives

The key focus is on foundational knowledge. There is need for strengthened partnerships between stakeholders (cross-sector, intra-sector, alumni, professional bodies, employers and internship providers. Programme reviews and enhancements should include work readiness and transition to work skill-sets to enact graduate work readiness and transition to work. Programme reviews and enhancements should include work readiness and transition to work skill-sets.

On the basis of the multi-dimensional findings, the Key Deliverables are:

  1. A proposed Post Graduate Diploma in Higher Education Pedagogy that embeds Work-Integrated Learning has been piloted among stakeholders drawn from public and private universities and line agencies. The post graduate curriculum includes; a practicum, educational research, Work-Integrated-Learning, higher education dynamics among others.
  2. A PLASHE-WIL framework that illuminates how WIL would create a springboard between the university and other stakeholders to enhance work readiness and transition to work.
  3. PLASHE-WIL reports on pedagogical leadership and work-integrated learning

Responding to the findings of the PLASHE-WIL Project, Dr. Vincent Ssembatya was delighted that the promises made in February 2020 at the stakeholders’ inception meeting at NCHE were being met. He expressed the need for the National Planning Authority to articulate the aspirations of the country and have engagement with the PLASHE-WIL Project Team. He implored the team to think through scaling in space and disciplines whereby the interventions can as well be relevant to the other disciplines without necessarily collecting data on them. Dr. Ssembatya reflected on the imperative to produce employable graduates who are lifelong learners with capacity to disintegrate theories, renew knowledge and invent. This called for pedagogical reskilling of academic staff through a research-informed programme which was the key deliverable of the PLASHE-WIL Project.

Dr. Pius C. Achanga reflected on the possibilities for scaling-up and policy options emanating from the PLASHE-WIL Project findings and congratulated the team. He noted that the deliverables would provide an avenue where lecturers meet the students and engage in disruptive processes. He noted that whereas there has been overemphasis on basic knowledge offered by universities, it was time to reflect concretely on the returns. He made reference to the Mandate of NCHE as enshrined in the Act, section 5(h) within which NCHE agreed to work with Makerere University and others in the implementation of PLASHE-WIL Project. He implored the project team to work with other tertiary institutions to operationalize the project when there is continuation of funding. He also appreciated the contribution of the National Planning Authority.

Dr. Hamis Mugendawala informed the stakeholders that NPA took pleasure to be part of the partnership.  He noted that the project was responding to a terrain that was so scaring for the country.  This was because of the permanent divorce between education and employment where supply was not speaking to demand.  He highlighted the increasing shift in focus from qualification to skills-based employer demands. With regard to PLASHE-WIL, the need for enhancement of the competences of the academy was evident. He noted ‘if the academy does not possess the graduate work readiness and transition to work skills then they cannot deliver them to the students’ amidst the shifting demands of the labour market and industry.  Moreover, there was need to modularize the proposed pedagogical training curriculum and embrace multiple modes of flexible delivery.  He noted that the University should simulate the industry environment as it trains graduates. Dr. Mugendawala informed the stakeholders that the National Development Plan III was in agreement with some of the findings. He requested Makerere University through the DVC-AA to consider inviting industry to Makerere University to ensure that they closely innovate, incubate ideas and embark on production.  He concluded that ‘young people should be trained to work with people and to work with machines’ and that the National Planning Authority was willing to further the collaboration on the PLASHE-WIL Project.

Dr. Robinah Kulabako, Member of the Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC) in her speech thanked the participants for attending the dissemination event. She recognized the DVCAA, Makerere University among other dignitaries. She thanked Professor William Bazeyo for steering the GMC and informed members that she was representing him at the dissemination event.  Dr. Kulabako informed the stakeholders that Mak-RIF received 30billion and an additional 15billion to fund multidisciplinary projects from the Government of Uganda.  PLASHE-WIL was one of the 500 multidisciplinary projects funded and she was optimistic that it will surely contribute to the development of the nation and specifically the higher education sector. Dr. Kulabako thanked the Principal Investigator – Dr. Ronald Bisaso and Team for smartly identifying the problem and conceptually thinking through the solution. She urged the team to ensure that the deliverable – the PLASHE-WIL programme is fast-tracked and rolled out. Dr. Kulabako concluded by promising that Mak-RIF will collaboratively engage and leverage additional resources so that projects such as PLASHE-WIL continue to make a positive contribution to the communities we live in.  In a special way, she thanked and noted that the Government of Uganda was willing to continue funding research in Makerere University through Mak-RIF as long we deliver on the promises of innovative deliverables as we work with the respective partners.

The First Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) of Makerere University, Dr. Umar Kakumba

At the Official Closing of the Dissemination Event, Dr. Umar Kakumba, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs) was grateful for the value addition by the PLASHE-WIL Project Team led by Dr. Ronald Bisaso. He noted that it was a great team. He informed the stakeholders that his involvement at the inception stakeholders’ meeting held in February 2020 at the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) was because of the innovativeness of the concept. It was on that basis that he graciously deemed it appropriate to officiate at the dissemination event. Dr. Kakumba thanked the National Council for Higher Education for the support extended to the PLASHE-WIL Project and the contribution of the National Planning Authority. He observed that the uniqueness of the PLASHE-WIL Project was the engagement with different actors and other tertiary institutions. He further noted that the deliverables were laudable observing that the starting point for a competitive graduate should be a good curriculum, delivered by competent teachers continually be capacitated through trainings like the proposed PLASHE-WIL programme.  The DVC-AA further requested the PLASHE-WIL Project Team to generate a brief to inform the review of the policy on internship/field attachment/Work-Integrated Learning.  Finally, on behalf of University Management, Dr. Kakumba thanked the Government of Uganda for all the support which has kept staff engaged in writing grants, contacting respondents and disseminating findings among other activities and in process contributing to research productivity and progressive engagement. He thanked Professor William Bazeyo for steering the Grants Management Committee (GMC) and Mak-RIF. He also thanked Dr. RobinahKulabako for her contribution to the GMC and the remarks.  He officially closed the Dissemination Event noting that this was the first phase of dissemination because he looked forward to more disseminations of the PLASHE-WIL Project deliverables.


Research shows need for training of staff and students on online learning



Prof. Henry Alinaitwe (5th L), Dr. Pius Achang (3rd L), Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga (6th L), Mr. Arthur Mugisha (2nd L), Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda (L) and other officials at the CEBL Project Dissemination Workshop, 29th September 2022, CEDAT Conference Hall, Makerere University.

Learners were found to be unsatisfied with Blended learning pedagogy

Education is no longer just about putting pen to paper and memorizing facts. Today, innovative educators in higher education are improving learning through technology, as evidenced by the rapid adoption of technology-assisted teaching methods and blended learning (BL) models.

Blended learning integrates technology and digital media with traditional instructor-led classroom activities, giving students more flexibility to customize their learning experiences.

Although Blended learning has existed in Makerere University since 1991 in the Department of Open and Distance learning, this mode of teaching only recently became common place owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Henry Alinaitwe.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Henry Alinaitwe.

Following the Covid-19 lockdown, which resulted in the closure of the education sector, Makerere University was forced to adopt emergency Online and Distance e-learning (ODeL). The university since 2019 has adopted blended learning across all disciplines in the university.

The power of blended learning methods, however, lies in their ability to improve the student experience. It is against this background that a team of researchers set out to evaluate blended learning at Makerere University.  Led by Arthur Mugisha, the Principal Investigator, the team set out to study how students understood the blended learning pedagogy, how they used BL during the pandemic, how respondents found BL, peer’s opinions on BL excitement and how BL could be made more exciting.

The study conducted for from December 2021 until July 2022 showed that 66% of the students/ respondents claimed to have a clear understanding of BL pedagogy to be a mixture of face to face and online modes of teaching and learning.

The Principal CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga.
The Principal CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga.

However, only 36% of the respondents found BL to be exciting due to:  the flexibility and convenience it brings in the learning, the opportunity to be exposed to new learning technologies like zoom, reduced transport-accommodation-meal costs and disease spread, self-paced learning through downloaded materials, act of bringing the University closer to the communities and competence-based learning leading to promotion at places of work and unfortunately the ability to cheat exams.

The other percentage of 64% was not excited about BL because of the challenges it posed such as; consumption of data, poor network connectivity, length of exams (more than 24 hours), absence of a clear timetable, system failures and technology illiteracy among other things.  

The students made some suggestions which they hope will make BL more exciting. These include a zero-rated system, upgrading the MUELE system (Makerere University E-learning Environment) and training for lecturers and students among other things.

The CEBL Project Principal Investigator, Mr. Arthur Mugisha.
The CEBL Project Principal Investigator, Mr. Arthur Mugisha.

The research team also evaluated the readiness of learners for BL pedagogy as well as the forms of learner support received. Only about 42% reported to have received training on the use of online platforms while 19% reported having received financial assistance, data/Wi-Fi and study gadgets from friends and relatives.  

Research also showed that 51% of the respondents were and are ready to take on BL for continuity while 49% were skeptical and critical making them reluctant to embrace BL

An evaluation of the use of MUELE showed that 82.5% of the respondents found it difficult to navigate the teaching platform. About 98.5% could not join a group on MUELE. The students reported that they did not find the platform user friendly. This, Mr Arthur Mugisha said, calls for some changes on the learning platform.

A chart showing suggestions by students on how to make Blended Learning more exciting.
A chart showing suggestions by students on how to make Blended Learning more exciting.

Learners were found to be unsatisfied with Blended learning pedagogy.

  Over 90% of the students reported not to have received guidance from their lecturers while also feedback on coursework submitted was also slow. It was also noted that majority of the students that required practical/ clinical experiences never received them during the online learning. Results showed that about 80% of the students were disappointed with the online examination system.

Some of the challenges identified with Blended learning are listed in the table below.

BL challenges during Covid-19FrequencyPercentage
High cost of data23129.6%
Poor network21827.9%
No or little practical sessions425.4%
Acquisition of learning devices and their functionality415.2%
Other interruptions in environment415.2%
Difficulty in accessing MUELE405.1%
Limited screen sharing by lecturers374.7%
System inefficiencies334.2%
Unreliable power/electricity supply303.8%
Lack of a clear timetable to follow212.7%
Poor communication/misinformation192.4%
Unnecessary movements-staggered reporting with associated costs101.3%
Disruptions from unmuted Microphones81.0%
Virus leading to jamming and hanging40.5%
Less time during exams/inconsistencies in timing30.4%
Low motivation for online study20.3%
Phishing or frequent adverts10.1%

The learners also identified some possible solutions to the challenges. These include;

Potential solutions to BL challengesFrequencyPercentage
Reduce data costs16631.9%
Go back to face-to-face10720.5%
Stabilise internet or network connectivity6913.2%
MUELE system improvement/upgrade509.6%
Provide compliant learning gadgets275.2%
Lecturers should fully be available online244.6%
Improve learner support systems224.2%
Provide more flexible time tabling132.5%
BL is good except for practicals122.3%
Explore other platforms beyond MUELE61.2%
Create central information repositories61.2%
Provide reliable alternative power sources61.2%
Host should regulated unmuted microphones40.8%
Consult students during decision making40.8%
Provide more time to submit online exams30.6%
Create BL regional centres of Excellence20.4%

The research study recommended BL must be practiced but also improved. Other recommendations include;  

  1. Once practiced, BL should cut cross both academic and non-academic units of the University.
  2. Top Makerere University management needs to take interest in adequately financing and staffing the Institute of Open, Distance and eLearning
  3. On ensuring number 3 above, there is need to attach ODeL specialists (champions) to each of the University units with clear terms of reference.
  4. It is hoped that in the near future regional BL centres of excellence will be created and specialists attached to support off-campus BL activities.
  5. In regard to regional BL centres of excellence, subsidising players who provide alternatives to hydro power to ensure that the remotest of learners is able to participate in BL.
  6. Introduce a basic BL course for both lecturers and learners
  7. Promote the Bring-Your-Own-Device approach for sustainability. Communicate it to the students’ community, parents and/or sponsors
Dr. Pius Achang represented Prof. Mary Okwakol.
Dr. Pius Achang represented Prof. Mary Okwakol.

While speaking during the dissemination workshop, NCHE director of Quality Assurance, Dr Pius Achang who represented the Ed of NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol, called on Makerere University to extend support to other institutions of learning because “while NCHE rolled out e-learning, acceptability has been hard”. He hoped that the findings of the research will inform policy on blended learning.

On his part, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and administration) Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, who represented the VC called for continued training of both staff and students in an effort to improve BL uptake. He called on CEES to offer training to all staff inform of teacher training for many lecturers have no teacher training experience.

The Principal of CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga, called on the government to fund the evaluation of blended learning across the country. The government called on the College of education to support e-learning during the lockdown so it is important that an evaluation of that mode of teaching be done. He thanked the government of Uganda for its continued support to research as the university moves towards becoming a research-led institution. Prof. Mugagga called on the Ministry of Education and Sports to support the collect with ICT equipment as well as support he IODEL centre so that it can offer training in BL across the country.

Dr. Stephen Wandera, represented the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).
Dr. Stephen Wandera, represented the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).

He called for uptake of digital technologies but also warned against its dangers such as spread of pornographic materials.

The Director of IODel, Prof. Paul Muyinda Birevu, noted that a similar evaluation among teaching staff had been done so it was important for the team to evaluate the students’ uptake and affordances of blended learning.

Dr. Stephen Wandera, from MakRIF congratulated the project team upon winning the grant and successfully disseminating the findings. He called on the improvement of MUELE to make it for interactive for both staff and students. He encouraged the PI to offer some policy guidance on Blended learning.


  1. Arthur Mugisha
  2. Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda
  3. Dr. Joshua Bateeze _ KCCA
  4. Dr. Harriet Najjemba
  5. Dr. Robert Ayine- NCHE
  6. Prof. Jessica Norah Aguti – Busitema University

Project Admin

Rose Akanya

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Gone but still lives on: Makerere University celebrates Prof. Kajubi’s legacy



H.E. Natalie Brown (C) flanked by the Chairperson of Council-Mrs. Lorna Magara (3rd R) and Deputy Chairperson-Rt. Hon. Daniel Kidega (3rd L) and L-R: DVCAA-Prof. Umar Kakumba, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga, Mr. Wasswa Kajubi and Dr. Michael Pippenger at the Memorial Lecture on 22nd Sept 2022, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University.

Professor William Senteza Kajubi, the first African to receive a Fulbright scholarship in 1952 and a renowned educationist who diversified and chaired a committee to review Uganda’s Curriculum in 1990 was remembered and celebrated by Makerere University College of Education and External studies (CEES) in a public lecture that happened on 22nd September 2022 at the Yusuf Lule teaching facility Auditorium at Makerere University.

Part of the audience at the Professor Senteza Kajubi Memorial Lecture included Prof. Eriabu Lugujjo (L) and Prof. Ikoja Odong (2nd L).
Part of the audience at the Professor Senteza Kajubi Memorial Lecture included Prof. Eriabu Lugujjo (L) and Prof. Ikoja Odong (2nd L).

The ceremony themed “Internationalization of Higher Education in the next Century” presided over by the United States’s Ambassador to Uganda Her Excellency Natalie Brown brought together many academicians, educationists and students across the world to celebrate the life and achievements of the person of Professor William Senteza Kajubi. In attendance were Vice Chancellors from Ugandan universities e.g. Soroti, Muni, Bishop Stuart, Bugema, Ndejje and Busitema.

Besides remembering the life of Prof. Kajubi, this public lecture also happened to be marking the Makerere University’s 100 year anniversary, Uganda’s 60 years of independence and its fruitful relationship with the United States that has paved way for the Fulbright Scholarship program and many other partnerships that have impacted lives of Ugandans.

The Principal CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga.
The Principal CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga.

While addressing the congregation, the Principal College of Education and External Studies (CEES) Professor Anthony Mugagga hailed Professor Kajubi for the 1989 report on Education which the National Resistance Movement government incorporated into its 10-point program.

“In 1954 when Pope Leo the 10th appointed Ben Kiwanuka as the first African Bishop, he cautioned him to be successful so that he can inspire more African theologians. Kajubi never got lost in the States, neither did he do drugs but he clang to studies and paved way for other scholars of the Fulbright Scholarship program,” added Professor Mugagga who concluded his remarks cautioning the congregation to emulate Prof. Kajubi, and also thanked all staff who participated in seeing this event a success.

Mr. Wasswa Kajubi speaks on behalf of the Senteza Kajubi family.
Mr. Wasswa Kajubi speaks on behalf of the Senteza Kajubi family.

On behalf of the Senteza Kajubi family, his son Wasswa Kajubi expressed their deepest gratitude and honor to Makerere University and CEES administration for always remembering their loved one even when he passed on long time ago.

The Chairperson Makerere University Council Mrs.Lorna Magara highlighted how the Late Prof. Kajubi’s life symbolized hard work, persistence and courage to pursue excellence and greatness. She added that Prof. Kajubi’s passion for education at Makerere and the University of Chicago resulted into a lot of phenomenal education reforms that saw admission of private sponsored students to Makerere.

The Chairperson, Makerere University Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara.
The Chairperson, Makerere University Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara.

“Prof. Sentenza Kajubi’s life symbolized hard work, passion for the profession,
creativity, innovation, and courage to pursue and carry out a vision”. This hard work ethic, Mrs. Magara informed the gathering, was reinforced daily by a family motto in the Kajubi sitting room, “OMULIMU LYE LINNYA LY’OMUNTU,” which may be translated as ONE’S WORK IS ONE’S NAME.

The Deputy Chairperson, Makerere University Council, Rt. Hon. Daniel Kidega.
The Deputy Chairperson, Makerere University Council, Rt. Hon. Daniel Kidega.

The late Prof. Kajubi’s passion and pursuit for knowledge can be traced through his education journey, from Mengo Junior Secondary school to Kings College Budo, to Makerere University, and on to the University of Chicago on a Fulbright Scholarship graduating with an MSC. with a concentration in Geography. Upon return, he embraced the privilege and honor of serving as a teacher, and Administrator. His dedicated service saw him rise through the ranks to serve as Director, National Institute of Education (1964- 1977) and twice as Vice Chancellor, Makerere University (1977-1979; 1990-1993).

Her Excellency Natalie Brown the United States Ambassador to Uganda said,” Professor Kajubi is a shining star among Fulbright alumni, in Uganda and beyond.  He traveled to the U.S. in 1952 as a Fulbright student to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Chicago.  He returned to make great contributions to the education sector in Uganda and the region.  His two-time tenure appointments at the helm of this university demonstrate his outstanding leadership ability”.  Professor Kajubi did not limit himself to education alone, he went on to serve as a delegate to Uganda’s Constituent Assembly which created the new constitution in 1995, among other things.  His legacy of service to his country remains an inspiration to generations of faculty and students alike”.

The U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Natalie Brown.
The U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Natalie Brown.

Ms. Brown said the US Mission in Uganda are proud to manage the Fulbright program in Uganda where 12 Ugandan Fulbright grantees were sent this year to academic programs for Masters, PhD and research in the United States, and in exchange Uganda welcomed nine U.S. Fulbrighters to conduct research.

Makerere University and the people of America have had great partnerships that have seen America’s public Health enthusiasts and other specialists come to Uganda to conduct research. They include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and so many others.

H.E. Natalie Brown, dignitaries and part of the audience applaud during the proceedings.
H.E. Natalie Brown, dignitaries and part of the audience applaud during the proceedings.

The keynote speaker of the day and the Vice President and Associate Provost for Internationalization at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Michael Pippenger challenged African Universities to ensure solidarity, commitment and transparency if they actually want to internationalize since it not only helps them realize weaknesses, strengths and potential areas of collaboration but also builds transformative and global minded students.

“It is not the MOUs and agreements we sign that show internationalization, but rather the work we do while together on ending pandemics, fostering rule of law and other community impactful engagements. Surprisingly Prof Kajubi knew all this”. Concluded Dr. Pippenger who urged universities to stick to their visions and missions which should reflect on the communities they serve.

Dr. Michael Pippenger delivers the keynote address.
Dr. Michael Pippenger delivers the keynote address.

Prof. William Senteza Kajubi served as the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University at two different intervals 1977 – 1979 and 1990 – 1993. He was also a member of the constitutional Assembly that drafted Uganda’s constitution of 1995. He devoted his life to Academics and impacting communities until his death on May 1st, 2012.


Prof. Senteza Kajubi was born in 1926, in Singo county (modern day Mityana District), to Yoweri Bugonzi Kajubi and Bulanina Namukomya. His family later moved closer to the capital and settled in Busega, a suburb in the outskirts of Kampala, where he began his long journey with, or rather in, education at the Mackay Memorial Primary School in 1933. He then attended Mengo Junior School from 1941 to 1943 before transferring to King’s College Budo for his Advanced Level, finally making it to Makerere College in 1947 where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts with a Diploma in Education. 

Shortly after he graduated, Prof. Kajubi taught at Kako Junior Secondary School before going to the University of Chicago for a Master of Science in Geography. Later, in 1955, he went back to his alma mater, King’s College Budo, and taught Geography. It was during this period that he taught other notable personalities in Uganda’s history such as Mathew Rukikaire and Prof. Apolo Nsibambi in a predominantly white environment. The only other native teachers at Budo, then, were the Deputy Headteacher, Mr. Sempebwa and Erisa Kironde, an English language teacher. 

As one of the few Protestant members of a predominantly Catholic Democratic party (DP), Senteza Kajubi was a member of the National Symbols Committee which was tasked with selecting the national anthem, flag and coat of arms. 

The Moderator-Dr. Euzobia Baine Mugisha (L) and Panelists (L-R): Dr. James Nkata, Prof. Umar Kakumba and Dr. Cosmas Mwikirize.
The Moderator-Dr. Euzobia Baine Mugisha (L) and Panelists (L-R): Dr. James Nkata, Prof. Umar Kakumba and Dr. Cosmas Mwikirize.

His political acumen propelled him to chair a number of government boards over the years until he directly participated in electoral politics in 1994 as a delegate of the Constituent Assembly representing Kyadondo North.

Two years after Uganda got independence, now a lecturer at Makerere University, Prof. Senteza was appointed the Director of National Institute of Education. He served there until 1977 when he became Vice Chancellor for the first time. 

Education Policy Formation in Uganda

As the Secretary General of the Uganda Teachers’ Association from 1959 to 1962, Prof. Senteza Kajubi was a member of the famed Castle Commission on Uganda’s post-independence education policy framework.

Instituted and appointed in January 1963, the Castle Commission had been tasked with examining the content and structure of education in Uganda in light of the approved recommendations of the International Bank Survey Mission Report, Uganda’s financial position and its future manpower requirement. 

In the execution of its mandate, the commission dealt with a dilemma; if the formulated policy disproportionately focused on universal primary education and adult literacy while neglecting secondary, tertiary and higher education, it would fail to produce high level manpower which was required to staff government and teach in schools. However, on the other hand, the country did not have the resources to make improvements across the board and had to prioritise one option to the detriment of the other.

Since Makerere was still under the University of East Africa and higher education was still an inter-territorial responsibility, the commission instead focused on prioritising teacher-training, expanding secondary school enrolment and improving relevance, quality and access of primary education in remote areas.

In 1977, during his first tenure as the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Kajubi went on to chair the Education Policy Review Commission (EPRC) which was appointed by Idi Amin’s Minister of Education, Brig. Barnabas Kili.

Dr. Michael Pippenger (R) joins members of the Panel on stage during the interaction with the audience at the Prof. Senteza Kajubi Fulbright Memorial Lecture.
Dr. Michael Pippenger (R) joins members of the Panel on stage during the interaction with the audience at the Prof. Senteza Kajubi Fulbright Memorial Lecture.

Owing to the political climate at the time, the education system was facing even dire problems. The gross human rights violations had led to a mass exodus of highly qualified professionals from civil service, teachers and university faculty into exile. Imploding diplomatic relations rendered external assistance with regard to education inexistent and the government had to deal with shortages from personnel to instructional material.

Prof. Senteza Kajubi was then tasked with the responsibility of leading an effort to circumvent some of these challenges and therefore keeping the education system in Uganda alive. Unfortunately, the findings and recommendations of the report, from its members and constituent sub-committees were overtaken by events in 1979 when war broke out and the Idi Amin regime was overthrown. The report was shelved and never formally presented to cabinet.

In 1987, after the ascendancy of the NRM government into power, another commission, once again headed by Prof. Senteza Kajubi, was appointed. Still under similarly unique circumstances, this commission too had to work within the socio-economic confines of a post-war society riddled with scarcity of resources. Eighteen months later, the commission’s report was produced in January 1989.

The Department of Performing Arts and Film (PAF), Makerere University puts on a show during the musical interlude.
The Department of Performing Arts and Film (PAF), Makerere University puts on a show the musical interlude.

The most notable outcome of this committee report was a government white paper which brought to life the famous Universal Primary Education. This recommendation alone, for all its limitations, has contributed significantly to literacy levels in Uganda and to the education system as a whole.

After chairing the second Kajubi commission, he then became the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University for the second time, from 1990 to 1993, preceded by Prof. George Kirya and succeeded by Prof. John Ssebuwufu.

The Fulbright Program

In 1952, Prof. Senteza went on to the University of Chicago, on a Fulbright Scholarship, to pursue a Master of Science in Geography, making him the first African beneficiary of this scholarship program.  

The student exchange scholarship program, which was started shortly after the Second World War by an act of Congress, was named after the American Senator J. William Fulbright, its framer. He made the case that “educational exchange could turn nations into people, contributing as no other form of communication can to the humanising of international relations.” 

Through his notable achievements and illustrious career, it is clear that this initiative to bridge cultural gaps through an international education exchange program had Prof. Senteza as one its successes.

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CEES to host Prof. Senteza Kajubi Memorial Lecture



Makerere@100 Prof. Senteza Kajubi Fulbright Memorial Lecture, 22nd September 2022, 2:00-5:00PM, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University.

The College of Education and External Studies (CEES) is set to honour Prof. William Senteza Kajubi with a public lecture as part of the Makerere@100 celebrations.

The public lecture is scheduled for Thursday September 22, 2022 at 2pm in the Yusuf Lule Auditorium (Former CTF2).

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Michael Pippenger, the Vice President and Associate Provost for Internationalization at the University of Notre Dame, under the theme “Internationalization of Higher Education in the next Century”.

The panel discussants are drawn from various places and come with a wealth of experience. These include; Dr. James Nkata, the Director General of Uganda Management Institute, Associate Professor Umar Kakumba, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs and Dr. Cosmas Mwikirize, the Superintendent-Industrial Value Chains Development at the Science, Technology and Innovation Secretariat, Office of the President.

The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Nambi Rebecca, a Lecturer in the Department of Humanities and Language Education at CEES. 

About William Senteza Kajubi

Prof. William Senteza Kajubi, a Ugandan, was remarkably an accomplished academician, educationalist, administrator, consultant as well as a community leader.

Upon completing his Bachelor of Arts with Diploma in Education, at Makerere University, in 1950, Kajubi enrolled for a post-graduate course, Master of Science in Geography, at the University of Chicago, and graduated in 1955.

Professor William Senteza Kajubi gives his acceptance speech during a ceremony to unveil a bust in his honour on 20th December 2010 at the School of Education, CEES, Makerere University.
Professor William Senteza Kajubi gives his acceptance speech during a ceremony to unveil a bust in his honour on 20th December 2010 at the School of Education, CEES, Makerere University.

Kajubi was the first African to be awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study in the United States of America in 1952. From the 1950s, Kajubi worked for different institutions in various capacities, including, as a secondary teacher; University Lecturer; Principal of Kyambogo Institute of Higher Education; Director of National Institute of Education at Makerere University; twice, as Makerere University Vice Chancellor; and Vice Chancellor of Nkumba, a private University in Uganda.

In 2010, Mbarara University of Science and Technology awarded Kajubi an Honorary Doctoral degree of Science. In other responsibilities, Kajubi was the first chairman of the Association for Teacher Education in Africa.

In addition, he served as the Vice-President of the International Council of Education for Teachers.

Lastly, he is also remembered for being a consultant for the Namibian National Education System upon Namibia’s independence in 1990.

The Keynote Speaker

Dr. Michael Pippenger
Dr. Michael Pippenger

Dr. Michael Pippenger was appointed vice president and associate provost for internationalization at Notre Dame in 2016. His major responsibilities include advising University leadership on global strategies and overseeing Notre Dame International, which leads efforts to broaden Notre Dame’s international culture, programs, reach, and reputation through study abroad, expanded international research, international collaborative projects, and strategic relationships with global partners.

Pippenger also leads the academic and operational work of Notre Dame’s Global Gateways and Centers. Additionally, he chairs the University Committee on Internationalization.

Before coming to Notre Dame, Pippenger was dean of undergraduate global programs at
Columbia University and director of scholarship programs in the College of Arts and Sciences
at New York University. A graduate of Carleton College, Pippenger holds an M.A. and a Ph.D.
in English literature from Indiana University.


Associate Professor Umar Kakumba

Prof. Umar Kakumba.
Prof. Umar Kakumba.

Associate Professor Kakumba is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of academic affairs at Makerere University. He is also the former Dean of the School of Business and Management Sciences, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS). He has served as a Member of the University’s Senate and initiated programmes such the Pan-African Capacity Building Programme and the Cambridge-Africa Partnership for Research Excellence (CAPREx) project.

Prof. Kakumba holds a PhD in Public Affairs from the University of Pretoria, a Master of Public Administration & Management and a Diploma in Business Administration from Makerere University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences also from Makerere University).

Dr. Cosmas Mwikirize

Dr. Cosmas Mwikirize.
Dr. Cosmas Mwikirize.

Dr. Cosmas Mwikirize was appointed the Superintendent-Industrial Value Chains Development at the Science, Technology and Innovation Secretariat, Office of the President in 2022. In this role, he is responsible for coordinating the implementation of strategic research, technology development and innovation to facilitate development of Uganda’s priority industrial value chains (Pathogen Economy, Mobility, Industry 4.0+, Aeronautics and Space, Infrastructure Innovations, Productivity Acceleration, Import Substitution and Export Promotion).

He is on secondment from Makerere University where he is a Lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

He obtained a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University-USA (2014-2019) with support from the Fulbright Junior Staff Development Programme. He also holds Master’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering from Rutgers and Makerere University & Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Makerere University. He has also previously undertaken industrial residency at Philips Research North America in the Ultrasound Imaging and Interventions group.

His research body of work focuses on biomedical instrumentation, applications of machine learning in medical image computing and computer-assisted interventions, and Internet of Things (IoT) device development. He has over 20 peer reviewed articles, 5 USPTO & WIPO patent publications, and numerous international awards.

Dr. James Nkata

Dr. James Nkata.
Dr. James Nkata.

Dr. Nkata is a specialist and Scholar in Higher Education management, Administration and Planning. He is also a specialist in management and administration sciences in public sector. He is the Director General of Uganda Management Institute. Prior to that he was a Senior Lecturer of Management and Administrative Studies in Makerere University and also Director of the East African Institute of Higher Education Studies and Research. He has taught management and administration studies in various Universities for the last 35 years of which 22 years have been in the management and administration of public education at different levels. Dr. Nkata is a holder of PhD in Higher Education Management, Administration and Planning, MSc. and Postgraduate Diploma in Management and Administrative Sciences. He holds several other postgraduate qualifications in administrative law and public sector administration and practice.

He has 20 years exposure and experience in both international and national consultancy work in the fields of his specialty. He has been specifically engaged in policy formulation, planning, designing, running, conduction, and evaluating public policies and management programs at both strategic and operational levels. He has traveled and had an exposure to policies and administration practices in more than 37 countries of the world. He has been involved in national and international financial support negotiations with local and international agencies. He has won a number of research grants through his innovative experiences. He has served as an External Examiner of management and public administration in several Universities. He is credited for successfully supervising 17 PhD candidates in the area of management and public administration. He has extensively published books and Journal Articles in the area of management and administration of organizations. He is also the Chancellor YMCA Comprehensive Institute and Chairman of YMCA National Executive Committee.

He served as the Vice President of International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA), in charge of Africa region from 2016 to 2022. He is also serving on several editorial boards of a number of International Journals.


Dr. Rebecca Nambi.
Dr. Rebecca Nambi.

Dr. Rebecca Nambi received her PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK (2013-2015) with
support from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Humanities and Language Education at the Makerere University’s School of Education.

She teaches and supervises Masters and PhD students and tutors on English language, Literature in English and Distance Education Programs. Dr. Nambi is the Coordinator of the PhD program in her faculty and also participates on a number of committees including the Anti-sexual Harassment committee and the Uganda Association of University Women.
Dr. Nambi’s areas of research and publication include the following themes: adolescents’ literacy, educational research, entrepreneurship skills for the youth, digital literacy in higher education and refugee students in higher education among others.

Update: Please click the link below to view the article from the Prof. Senteza Kajubi Fulbright Memorial Lecture

Gone but still lives on: Makerere University celebrates Prof. Kajubi’s legacy

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