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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

Engineering, Art & Tech

A Successful Ph.D. Defense by Vianney Andrew Yiga

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The CEDAT community is proud to share our congratulations to Vianney Andrew Yiga following his successful Ph.D. defense that happened yesterday Monday 3rd October 2022 at the College of Engineering, Design, Art, and Technology (CEDAT).

His Thesis was titled; Thermal Stability of Fiber- Reinforced Polylactic Acid Composites for Flameretarded Applications.

The candidate was supervised by Eng. Dr. Michael Lubwama and Eng. Dr. Peter W. Olupot both from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at CEDAT.

Dr. John Wasswa, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences (CONAS), Makerere University was the opponent that interrogated the candidate to enable a clear understanding of the study.

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Makerere University Launches National Parenting Draft Manual

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The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo (Centre) and Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC (Right) interact with a participant at the workshop on 22nd July 2022, Kampala.

By Agnes Namaganda

On July 22nd 2022, Makerere UniversityChild Health and Development Centre (MakCHDC) launched a draft manual for the National Parenting Standards. The Centre has been working together with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) with funding from UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), to develop standards that are agreeable to all organisations in the country that are involved in parenting work. The draft manual was being presented to members of a consortium that brings together all these organisations together, called the Parenting Agenda Consortium.

“We produce many documents and they are shelved,” Irene Ayot Chono, who was speaking on behalf of UNICEF said. “We hope that this document will not be one of them,” she emphasized.

Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.
Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC who presented the draft manual to participants, emphasized that if any organization is doing parenting work, there should be a minimum package that they should offer.

Draft Manual Content

The manual which will have several modules. These modules will be delivered face-to-face in 1.5 hour sessions. Some of these include; Module 6 which will focus on “understanding responsible masculinity and fatherhood” and on “understanding the concept of head of family.”The draft manual also proposed that Module 11 focuses on Parenting in the 21st Century. Some of the sessions in this module will include Children and Technology, Contemporary Influence on Children and Modernity, Culture and Morality.Module 9 will focus on Parenting for Adolescents and some of the suggested sessions within this module are Needs for Adolescents and The Art of Communicating with Adolescents. Module 5 will focus on Preventing Violent Parenting and Promoting Alternative Discipline Strategies while Module 10 will be about Parenting to Address the Mental Health for Children and Adults.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.
Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.

Participants’ suggestions

After the presentation, participants raised several suggestions for discussion and consideration. These included whether there should be a module on spirituality since Uganda is a strongly religious nation. There was also the concern of how children in remand homes should be parented. Another concern raised by a participant was as to whether teachers who make an undeniable contribution to parenting, should be taken through the parenting manual.

A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.
A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo, the Director of Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) said that the manual is for the parenting organisations to utilize and not for MGLSD.

The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.
The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.

Ms. Chono also adjured the team behind the manual to use picture illustrations in the manual that can be relatable by the Ugandan parents.

Contact: Agnes Namaganda – agnesvioletnamaganda@gmail.com

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Launch of Mak-RIF Round 4 Awards & PhD Call for Proposals

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Mak-RIF 4 Awards and PhD Call For Proposals, 29th September 2022, 9:00 to 10:00 AM EAT.

Makerere University received funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda, earmarked to support high impact Research and Innovations. This unique initiative arose after engagements between the top University Management and the Government of Uganda. This fund illustrates the increasing importance that the Government attaches to Research and Innovation as a driver of development and transformation. The objective of the fund is to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda. 

In the Financial years 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 the Government of the Republic of Uganda through Mak-RIF has funded implementation of over 750 multidisciplinary research and innovations within the various Colleges, while engaging multiple stakeholders within and outside Makerere University. The Grants Management Committee (GMC) has finalized the award process for the Mak-RIF round 4 call for funding for this Financial Year 2022/2023.

The Grants Management Committee (GMC) hereby invites you to the Launch of the Mak-RIF Round 4 awards and PhD Call for Proposals scheduled to take place tomorrow Thursday 29th September 2022 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. EAT. 

Please use the following details to join the launch.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcu-urDIjE9ZgxdsbEmA2IkNMMiJVECt_ 
Meeting ID: 884 5662 9992
Password: 292624

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