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Mak Self-Assessment Shows Improved Research Productivity despite COVID-19

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The annual self-assessment of Makerere University conducted by the Quality Assurance Directorate (QAD) has shown an improvement in research productivity despite the disruptions to academic activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a presentation by QAD Director, Dr. Vincent Ssembatya before the Chairperson Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara, Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and Members of Management on 12th March 2021, research productivity improved from 992 publications in 2019 to 1,301 in 2020.

The breakfast meeting held at the Kampala Skyz Hotel in Naguru showed that by attaining this milestone, the University had hit its target of one publication per academic staff per year. It was nevertheless pointed out by Dr. Ssembatya that this was not an opportunity to for staff to rest on their laurels but to set their sights on new targets.

The Vice Chancellor reechoed the same sentiment by recognizing that the annual self-assessment exercise helps the institution to review both successes but failures, so as to come up with strategies on how best to improve. He thanked the Government of Uganda for the support through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) that had contributed to the improvement in research productivity.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawnagwe addresses the self-assessment breakfast meeting

“Thanks to the capacity built by the Government, we now have some of the best laboratories in Africa. The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) is now working on a tick vaccine” remarked Prof. Nawangwe. CoVAB is home to state-of-the-art Level 2 and 3 biosecurity labs.

He added that Makerere has to set its sights on having more staff at levels of Professor, Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer if it is to become a truly research-led university, and thanked Chairperson and all present for sparing time to attend the important meeting.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs)-DVCAA, Dr. Umar Kakumba in his remarks likened the University to a human body with different systems all working together to ensure optimum performance of the individual.

The DVCAA, Dr. Umar Kakumba stressed the need for all systems to be linked and functioning as a whole

“Organisations are made up of systems and self-assessment helps us to take a closer look at them and assess how well they are linked and functioning as a whole” said Dr. Kakumba.

He particularly pointed out the need to continuously refine and improve the curriculum so as to incorporate the changing needs of the private sector while supporting the basic components of traditional disciplines. Furthermore, the DVCAA pointed out the need improve institutional research translation mechanisms so as to boost uptake of findings by various stakeholders.

“Self-assessment provides the data that helps us as Management to inform our policies and base our decisions on evidence” noted the Acting (Ag.) Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Dr. Josephine Nabukenya as she made her remarks.

She thanked the Director QAD for highlighting Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Nanotechnology as emerging areas in curricula and encouraged all present to use AI to analyze data and so as to transform the administrative and teaching functions.

Ag. DVCFA, Dr. Josephine Nabukenya applauded the recognition of the role of AI in improving systems

“I urge us all to play a critical role, take the lead and be supportive as we sell this new idea to the rest of the University. We are digitizing our Human Resource services and the result will help us to use AI to analyze our data and improve productivity” said Dr. Nabukenya.

Highlights from the Self-Assessment:

  • Female Student Enrolment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) hit the 43% mark
  • Graduate Student Enrolment is at 13% of entire student population but needs to increase
  • International Students represent 43 nationalities with South Sudan having the largest proportion. International Students constitute on 3% of enrolment, with the College of of Health Sciences (CHS) having the largest proportion (9%).
  • Females on average constitute 39% of Human Resources (Academic-29%, Administrative-51% and Support-50%)
  • The Staff to Student Ratio stands at 1:22 against a target of 1:15
  • The University has produced over 850 PhDs (over 210 Female) since the year 2000, with more than 50% (over 400) of these sponsored by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
  • The Staff to Grants ratio stands at 0.9 against the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) standard of 1.
L-R: Director QAD-Dr. Vincent Ssembatya, Ag. DVCFA-Dr. Josephine Nabukenya and Ag. Deputy Principal LAW-Dr. Ronald Naluwairo

On the same occasion, the Director Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD) Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine made a presentation on “The Gender Terrain at Makerere University. Therein, she shared a more comprehensive analysis of the growth of female staff in academic positions from 2004 to 2018.

Females at the rank of Professor grew from 4% to 16%, while Associate Professors grew from 6% to 17% and Senior Lecturers from 19% to 36%. The growth was however marginal for females at the ranks of Lecturer and Assistant Lecturer, who grew from 25% to 28% and 29% to 31% respectively in the same period.

The analysis continued to gender representation in Governance where on average females constitute 23% of the Membership. Females make up 26% of the University Council and 17% of the University Senate while they make up 25% of Central Management and 36% of Deputy Managers.

Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine presented on the Gender Terrain at Mak

When it comes to leadership at College level, females constitute 20% of the total number of Principals and 40% of Deputy Principals. At the School level, females make up 21% of the Deans and at Departmental level, 25% of the Heads/Chairs.

To help improve the gender terrain, the Director GMD recommended that that the University Council should call for a review of University Policies so as to ensure alignment with the Gender Equality Policy, inclusion of targets for female representation at all levels of the University Service as well as integration of gender equitable staff development and mentorship.

Delivering the closing remarks, Mrs. Magara expressed her delight on behalf of the University Council upon having been a part of the day’s discussions. She thanked the Director and Staff of QAD as well as Director GMD for well delivered presentations. “As an institution, business or individual, you cannot progress without analyzing data.”

Sharing a quote from the late Dr. Myles Munroe, “When purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable”, the Chairperson of Council said the annual self-assessment is indicative of Makerere‘s desire to continuously realign its strategic plan with its purpose.

The Chairperson Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara reiterated the Governing body’s commitment to enabling Mak fulfil her mandate

“What is Makerere‘s purpose? Can your articulate the University’s purpose in Uganda, Africa and the World? What is our niche as Makerere?” challenged Mrs. Magara to her audience.

She noted that Universities have undergone transformation from the first, second and third generations in terms of the respective role played i.e. Defending truth, Understanding nature and Adding value, right up to the present fourth generation, whose role is Entrepreneurial development.

“My desire is that we should all become imaginal leaders with the ability to scan, plan and educate for the future” stated the Chairperson Council before tackling what she considers one of the University’s greatest strengths. “Makerere is the concentration of some of the most brilliant minds; we have the human resource that can drive the development of this country and a lot of good will that is drawn from our 100year history.”

Mrs. Magara observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has given Makerere University a platform to demonstrate leadership and innovation that can be felt right from the highest decision making level to the person on the street. She therefore urged staff to continually lift their eyes up from the environment they operate in to the great needs of society that they can help meet.

She thanked the University Management for inviting her to attend the self-assessment breakfast and gain better appreciation of inner dynamics that keep Makerere running. “Council is more than 100% committed to driving this University to achieve its purpose.”

Article by Public Relations Office

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Short Course Announcement: Fundamentals of Teaching and Learning

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The Lead Facilitator, Dr. Roy William Mayega (Left) takes participants through Instructional Design (ID) Training held from 29th January to 2nd February 2018. RAN Innovation Lab, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), School of Public Health Annex, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Plot 28, House 30, Upper Kololo Terrace, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Many faculty members in Higher Education Institutions do not get pre-service training in teaching and learning before they start teaching. This means that they have to learn the ‘hard way’ on the job, and this often affects the quality of delivery. The Office of the Dean, Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), in collaboration with the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MakSPH, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and Institute of Open Distance and eLearning – Makerere University hereby announce the 2024 edition of the course titled: Fundamentals of Teaching and Learning. The course will run from Monday 29th July to Friday 2nd August 2024, only in the morning hours (08.00am – 11.30 am). The course will be delivered in dual mode: Both online (through the zoom platform) and face-to-face (at the RAN Lower Lab, MakSPH Annex in Kololo). The course is open to both junior and senior faculty members, research fellows, honorary lecturers and academic program administrators from Makerere University and other Universities wishing to enhance their teaching skills, with a view to improving teaching and learning.

Applying

Interested applicants are requested to send a short expression of interest that includes their designation, by email, to: Mr. Ivan Mutyaba, Administrator, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, using the following email address: imutyaba@musph.ac.ug. Admission will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Applicants should be ready to take off 5 mornings of intense work during the week indicated. Come and discover the frontiers of teaching and learning.

The Course Team

Course Lead: Dr. Roy William Mayega (MBChB, MPH, PhD), Senior Lecturer, Instructional Materials Designer/Editor, MPH DE Program, MakSPH; Lead the co-creation of instructional materials for the inaugural MPH DE Program

Course Facilitators

  1. Dr. Roy Gonzaga Mubuuke (PhD), Breast Radiology Specialist/Medical Education Consultant/Member HEPI Project Team
  2. Dr. Rovincer Najjuma (PhD), Senior Lecturer/Curriculum Specialist, College of Education and External Studies, Makerere University
  3. Dr. Suzanne Kiwanuka (PhD), Senior Lecturer/Chair Department of Health Policy, Planning & Management, MakSPH, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University
  4. Dr. Barbara Kirunda (PhD), Lecturer, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, MakSPH, MakCHS, Field Coordinator, MPHDE Program
  5. Mr. Jude Oboth, IT Specialist, MakSPH; 12 years of professional experience managing large organizational computer networks
  6. Prof. Pauline Byakika (PhD), Professor of Medicine, Chair Department of Internal Medicine, MakSoM, MakCHS, Head, Mentorship Program MakCHS
  7. Dr. John Bosco Isunju (PhD), Lecturer, Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, MakSPH, MakCHS; Head, COVID Task force on alternative assessment, MakSPH

Support Team

  • Ivan Mutyaba, Administrator, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics – Admin Support
  • Harriet Adong, Communications Specialist, ResilientAfrica Network and MakRIF – Course Communications lead
  • Wilson Abigaba, IT Specialist RAN and MakRIF – Course IT Support
  • Debbie Namirembe, Senior Administrator, RAN – Admin Support

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Mary Stuart Hall Rehabilitation Commences as VC Hands over Site to NEC

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The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Centre) hands over a file to NEC Managing Director and CEO, Lieutenant General James Mugira (Left) as Ag. DVCFA, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe (Right) witnesses on 31st May 2024. Site Handover for the proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall, Mary Stuart Road, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall commenced on Friday 31st May 2024 with the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe handing over the site to the contractor National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) represented by Managing Director and CEO, Lieutenant General James Mugira. The first and largest female Hall of residence, Mary Stuart was completed in 1953 and named after wife to Bishop Simon Cyril Edgar Stuart, the Third Bishop of the Diocese of Uganda from 1932-1952. Mary Stuart worked hard for the betterment of women education during her time in Uganda.

Mary Stuart becomes the second student residence to undergo rehabilitation following the handover of Lumumba Hall to NEC on 27th June 2023. Both projects are fully funded by the Government of Uganda. And whereas Lumumba’s works cost UGX9billion, Mary Stuart’s will cost UGX10.5billion, and cover roof repairs, plumbing and electrical systems and installations overhaul, as well as external aesthetic works.

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor thanked the President, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Government of Uganda for ensuring that funds for the long-awaited rehabilitation of student halls of residence are availed. In the same breath, he thanked the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Hon. Janet Museveni for not only inspecting the state of the halls on 19th January 2021 but also ensuring that funding for the halls rehabilitation project is prioritized.

Prof. Nawangwe commended NEC on being a professional contractor, noting that all matters arising out of previous projects had been handled within original budgets and time-frames.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (2nd Right) receive a guided tour of the Mary Stuart Hall site from Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli (Right), Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera (2nd Left) and other officials. Site Handover for the proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall, Mary Stuart Road, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (2nd Right) receive a guided tour of the Mary Stuart Hall site from Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli (Right), Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera (2nd Left) and other officials.

“Now that we are in a girls’ hall, every detail matters. We must make this hall look like one that is going to house the future mothers and leaders of this nation so that when they leave, they feel that they have attended a leading university in the world” the Vice Chancellor advised NEC.

Prof. Nawangwe equally urged the Project Consultants led by Dr. Kenneth Ssemwogere, Senior Lecturer, Department of Architecture and Physical Planning, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) to work with the contractor on ensuring that the project works and aesthetics give the hall a fresh new look.

On behalf of NEC, Lt. Gen. James Mugira thanked the Vice Chancellor and leadership of Makerere University for the trust and confidence shown in the Corporation’s capabilities, adding that he was happy as an alumnus of the School of Law to be back to contribute the development of his Alma mater. “This is the third project we are undertaking as the National Enterprise Corporation; we started with the perimeter wall, and we are now at Lumumba Hall where works are at 80-85% completion.”

Lt. Gen. Mugira therefore reassured the Management that NEC would do quality work and try as much as possible to complete the project in time, at a relatively lower cost than other contractors. “With NEC, we bring on board military discipline and we don’t have red tape or bureaucracies; once a decision has been taken, it has been taken” he clarified.

“I want to thank the Vice Chancellor for believing in and promoting local content, because NEC is a local company. With NEC engaging in such a project, we are first of all giving jobs to our young people, we are skilling them, we are saving foreign exchange that would otherwise be repatriated and as a country, we are building capacity” Lt. Gen. Mugira summed up.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (3rd Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (4th Left) pose for a group photo with Left to Right: Ms. Ritah Namisango, Eng. Brian Buhanda, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Ms. Mary Gloria Nakajubi, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Mr. Rodney Rugyema and Ms. Norah Nalubowa. Site Handover for the proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall, Mary Stuart Road, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (3rd Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (4th Left) pose for a group photo with Left to Right: Ms. Ritah Namisango, Eng. Brian Buhanda, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Ms. Mary Gloria Nakajubi, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Mr. Rodney Rugyema and Ms. Norah Nalubowa.

The Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Henry Alinaitwe expressed happiness that the second phase of rehabilitation of halls of residence was finally taking off under the NEC, a contractor that had done quality work on other projects such as the new Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) plant in Jinja.

He noted that the project will provide good grounds for hands-on industrial training for students of quantity surveying, architecture, civil engineering, and other disciplines. Prof. Alinaitwe further observed that the project accords staff the opportunity to not only improve their professional profiles but also practice as consultants within the university premises, “and so we thank the Vice Chancellor for availing us these opportunities.”

The University Secretary and former Guild President, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda shared that the University Leadership looks forward to the rehabilitation works being expedited. “The current student leaders have challenged us that they would like to be around for the commissioning of the finished product and so I hope that we can finish these works and give them an opportunity to account to their electorate.

Prior to the handover ceremony, the parties were taken on a guided tour of the site by the Director, Estates and Works Department, Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera, Dean of Students, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Warden Mary Stuart Hall, Ms. Norah Nalubowa and a host of other officials accompanied by the Chairlady Mary Stuart Hall, Ms. Mary Gloria Nakajubi.

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Business & Management

Prof. Hisali, Prof. Yawe handover office to Prof. Bbaale, Prof. Wokadala

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In a vibrant ceremony brimming with nostalgia and optimism, College of Business and Management Sciences-Makerere University (CoBAMS) celebrated the transition of leadership from the accomplished hands of Prof. Eria Hisali and Prof. Bruno L. Yawe to the promising stewardship of Prof. Edward Bbaale and Prof. James Wokadala on Friday 31st May 2024.

The event, attended by esteemed members of the university community, including representatives from the Vice Chancellor’s office and members of the Central Management Team, was a testament to the collaborative spirit and dedication that have come to define CoBAMS. The outgoing Principal, Prof. Eria Hisali, and Deputy Principal, Prof. Bruno Yawe, were lauded for their eight years of service, during which they significantly advanced the college’s academic and infrastructural capabilities.

A Legacy of Excellence

Prof. Hisali’s farewell address highlighted the numerous achievements under his leadership. He proudly noted the establishment of strategic partnerships and collaborations that have greatly benefited the college. “Our MoU with Stellenbosch University provided full PhD scholarships for four Academic Staff Members, while our partnership with Wageningen University in the Netherlands supported PhD training for two Staff Members. Additionally, the Republic of Korea’s embassy in Uganda granted three PhD scholarships,” he remarked.

Assoc Prof. Bruno Yawe (Left) handing over to incoming Deputy Principal Dr. James Wokadala.

These collaborations extended to notable institutions such as ACCA, Prudential Uganda, Addis Ababa University, The University of Rwanda, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, and the University of Dar es Salaam, reflecting CoBAMS’ commitment to internationalization and academic excellence. Prof. Hisali also mentioned the development of a Quality Assurance Framework and significant infrastructural proposals, including a new block pending government funding.

The outgoing Principal shared impressive statistics: a fivefold increase in publications from 30 in 2017 to 150 in 2023, expansion of wireless internet coverage to over 90% of the college, and a significant rise in PhD holders among the academic staff to 60%.

Prof. Yawe appreciated all the academic, administrative and support staff that supported his leadership throughout the 8 years of service.

Looking Ahead

Prof. Edward Bbaale, the incoming Principal, expressed his vision to elevate CoBAMS as a global leader in innovative teaching, research, and policy engagement. With over two decades at CoBAMS, including eight years as Dean of the School of Economics, he emphasized his commitment to continuing the progress made by his predecessors. He pledged to prioritize graduate training, faculty research, and the commercialization of innovations, alongside strategic financial initiatives such as the College Endowment Fund.

Prof. Eria Hisali receiving a token of appreciation from memebers of the Administrative Staff at MakCoBAMS.

Prof. James Wokadala, the new Deputy Principal, acknowledged the substantial achievements of the outgoing leaders and outlined his plans to build on their legacy. He aims to foster a supportive and engaging environment by establishing a gym for staff and creating a Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO).

Heartfelt Farewells and New Beginnings

The ceremony featured heartfelt speeches from various stakeholders, celebrating the contributions of Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe. Dr. Susan Namirembe Kavuma, representing the academic staff, praised the outgoing leaders for their unwavering support and urged the new administration to continue fostering a conducive environment for teaching and learning. Ms. Caroline Nanono Jjingo, on behalf of the administrative staff, echoed these sentiments, appreciating the open and inspirational leadership style of Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe. “Throughout their tenure, they have resonated the words of Henry Ross Perot, who said that “Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be led.”  She said.

Outgoing Principal Eria Hisali and outgoing Deputy Principal Bruno Yawe cut cake.

The Deputy University Secretary, Mr. Simon Kizito, provided sage advice to the incoming leaders, emphasizing the importance of openness to feedback, leading by example, and maintaining accountability. He reminded them that failure is an inevitable part of leadership and encouraged them to learn from it while prioritizing self-care.

On their part, the support staff appreciated the outgoing leadership for their open door policy and willingness to support all staff especially those experiencing life challenges. Quoting Ecclesiastes 3:1, Mr Joseph Ikarokot said there was a season for everything and staff were privileged to have worked with the duo.

A Promising Future

As the new leadership team embarks on their journey, they carry forward a legacy of excellence and a vision for a brighter future. With their extensive experience and commitment to innovation and collaboration, Prof. Bbaale and Prof. Wokadala are well-positioned to steer CoBAMS toward greater achievements and global recognition.

The ceremony concluded with a celebratory cake-cutting, gifts from the administrative staff, and a reaffirmation of the college’s enduring spirit of unity and progress. The new era at CoBAMS promises continued growth and success, building on the solid foundation laid by Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe.

Some of the staff memebers who were present at the handover ceremony.

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