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Call For Contribution To Mak@100 Book Chapters

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INTRODUCTION

Makerere University (Mak) is due to celebrate a century of existence in 2022. Among the significant highlights of these centenary celebrations, the University plans to publish an easy-to-read and well-documented book that critically reviews its successes in living to the Motto: “We Build for the Future”, since its inception in 1922 as a technical institute. Under this theme, the book will address several sub-themes and issues such as: How Makerere has met the changing East African market needs for skilled labour since 1922 and how, as a premier regional university, it is now positioned to develop research leadership in the region; whether or not Makerere has sustained its research leadership status as a postcolonial university that had influenced other sub-Saharan universities, and how this is reflected in the curricula What are the new courses that have emerged to locate Makerere as a nation-building institution? What ground-breaking researches and knowledge is being produced in the University? What has been the relationship between the University and the states it was built to serve, and how has this affected Makerere‘s performance over the years? Since a university that has come of age is assessed based on its ability to be independent/autonomous, how has Makerere performed? What funding strategies are in place in this regard? What has emerged as Makerere‘s identity: an ivory tower or a service university that offers service to empower the hinterlands? What are Makerere‘s overall influence and image in the region, and what explains this? What would Makerere like to become in the next 100 years? These are some of the broad questions to guide the formulation of thoughts for the chapters from diverse disciplinary perspectives. 

EDITORS:  ABK Kasozi, Josephine Ahikire and Dominica Dipio

BOOK TIMELINE

Submission of abstracts (Max. 500 words): December 31, 2021

Submission of draft chapters (Max 10,000 words): March 30, 2022

Submission of Final Chapters:  June 30, 2022

Book Publication – June to October 2022

Send abstracts to: mak100.bookproject[at]mak.ac.ug

Copy to: josephine.ahikire[at]mak.ac.ug, abkkasozi[at]yahoo.com, ahikirejosephine[at]gmail.com

THE THEMES AND BROAD AREAS OF FOCUS

Section 1: Providing skilled human resources for East African Society

(i)The technical school which opened in 1921

The colonial state established Makerere Technical School to produce low-level technicians. The school taught skills needed by the East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, and Zanzibar. Students were taught carpentry, building, general mechanics, and some tailoring. Many of the trainees were absorbed by the E. African states and their markets. The question to answer by writers for this section is: What was the trajectory of the technical school and its offshoots in enhancing the lifestyles of the people of East Africa?

(ii) Makerere College and Kampala Technical College

A formal College was founded in 1922 as “Uganda Technical College”, but in the same year, the College was renamed Makerere College, teaching technical subjects and courses in education and the arts.  The writers on this section should focus on the demands for skilled labour; what Makerere was called upon to deliver, and whether Makerere truly built the future of the parties involved. In 1928, vocational courses were separated from the College and were transferred to “Kampala Technical College”. What became of the latter College, and were vocational courses wholly divorced from the university system?

(iii) Makerere graduates to university status, 1949

The 1945 Judge Asquith’s Report on higher education gave the blueprint for establishing institutions of higher learning in British African colonies to provide high-level African civil servants such as doctors, engineers, agriculturalists, a few lawyers, and production of knowledge through research to the colonial states. In 1949, the institution became Makerere College, the University of East Africa, giving certificates of the University of London. When Makerere became a university, it assumed, like other universities, multiple functions. These functions included the production of knowledge for development, skilled and thinking individuals who would use known wisdom to create better knowledge and improve themselves and their societies. The University College was expected to be the leading teaching and innovation centre in East Africa. The areas to review in this section are the expectations of the colonial officers and their African collaborators who worked hard to establish the University. Did the institution fulfil those expectations? Did their aims go beyond human resource production? How did the production of graduates by Makerere change East African society in the eleven years before independence? The writers should assess the colonial workforce needs from 1935 to 1960, find out what Makerere was called upon to produce and whether it achieved those targets.

(iv) Skills needed for independent East Africa

In the period 1950 to 1963, Makerere remained the only University College for East Africa. There was an increased demand for educated graduates in almost all disciplines, including science and humanities-based ones. Makerere was called upon to produce graduates to increase educated Africans in the civil service and the private sector.

The education Makerere was giving was ideology-free, which Kenya and Uganda did not object to. But Tanzania felt that the instruction given must enhance patriotism and service to communities. Chapters dealing with topics in this section must review the needs of the three East African states in the period 1950 to 1965 and assess the place of Makerere therein.

(v) Skills needed for the digital age

From around 1980 through the current period, the digital age has transformed how goods and services are produced and delivered. It is only those societies that use technology that are likely to sustain a reasonable standard of living. To what extent has Makerere transformed its activities to exploit the digital age for itself and the society it serves.

Section II: Production of knowledge through research and innovation

When Makerere became a university, it was expected to produce and expand knowledge by providing researchers with facilities for creating, disseminating, storing information and data for use by society and institutions of higher learning. Although not emphasized as its primary task, the Asquith Report identified research as one of the functions of the various university colleges the British Empire was to establish in Africa. Has Makerere contributed to knowledge, the development and improvement of the thinking capacity of its target areas? Writers on this section have several sub-themes and therefore chapters to think about, including:

  • Writers, poets, and actors

In the period 1950 to 1970, Makerere-based writers contributed to the dissemination of knowledge. These writers included Ngugi was Thiong’o, Okot p’Btek, Peter Nazareth, Ali Mazrui, Audrey Richards, Paul Theroux, V.S. Naipaul, Mahmood Mamdani, Samwiri Karugire, Mathia M. Kiwanuka, Phares Mutibwa and others. A chapter to assess the contribution to knowledge by Makerere staff and students in this period would say a lot about how the university contributed to building an informed society in East Africa.

  • Visual Artists

Since 1940, the Margaret Trowell School of Fine has produced artists whose work has contributed to the shaping of Makerere University’s social consciousness.  It has documented Makerere’s challenges and successes over the years. The art works, both in storage in the Makerere Art Gallery and those in private and public spaces, reveal Makerere as an enduring institution which has used every opportunity to push its research agenda.  Artists such as Gregory Maloba, Sam Ntiro, Elimo Njau, Francis Nnaggenda and Kefa Ssempangi have, through their work, provided a variety of perspectives on Makerere’s history. A narrative of Makerere University’s journey of ten decades through the lens of Makerere Artists is proposed.

  • Knowledge production

There was a lot of knowledge produced at the East African Institute of Social Research (now MISR), the Medical School and the Faculty of Agriculture from 1950 to 1970. A survey of what was achieved in research at Makerere in that period would add to our knowledge of the institution’s contribution to knowledge in East Africa.

  • Management of research and post-graduate production

Management of research and production of high-level person power such as PhD holders is a topic that a book on the achievements of Makerere should highlight. To what extent has Makerere contributed to developing high-level human resources and creating the next generation of knowledge producers?

Section III: Makerere’s contribution to democratic governance and the building of social institutions in East Africa

Universities contribute to democratic governance and the building of social and political institutions by equipping their graduates with the intellectual skills to understand and analyze social and political issues before taking appropriate positions. Makerere has supplied East Africa with political leaders, including presidents, prime ministers, ministers, judges and journalists. Writers of chapters in this section might organize these achievements by roles such as:

  1. Political leaders
  2. Religious leaders
  3. Institutional developers
  4. Famous politicians and political thinkers

Section IV: Makerere’s contribution to the economic development of East Africa

Universities support economic growth by the general training of the labour force and providing knowledge linked to a country’s innovation system. This is more so now when most critical development is knowledge-based; universities should be the reservoirs of intellectuals and experts. To what extent has Makerere supplied the market with skills and knowledge to move East African economies forward? Writers for this section need to have a thorough understanding of East African economies and the extent to which the university has influenced their performances.

Section V: Makerere and Curriculum Development in East Africa

Universities strengthen lower levels of education by training the needed teaching personnel and triggering relevant curriculum changes at the lower levels of education. Lower-level syllabuses are structured to fit into the admission requirements of universities. The question to ask is: To what extent has Makerere influenced what is taught at the lower levels of education? Should Makerere take credit or blame for the slow curriculum development and the failure of Africanising what is taught in East African schools and universities?

Section VI: Challenges

There are several challenges to Makerere’s ability to build the future for a society that contributors must investigate if readers are to participate in appreciating the successes or failures of Makerere University.

  • Governance of the University

The governance of a university is key to the delivery of good higher education. Like other universities, Makerere has passed through several hiccups in its desire to provide higher education.

Though it is difficult to govern institutions differently — or better – than the way society is managed, we expect higher education institutions to handle themselves well, to be autonomous but at the same time accountable to the public in the way they manage their financial and academic processes. Higher education institutions, particularly universities, must accept the Government as the final protector of the public good in higher education to achieve autonomy and accountability. In Uganda the oversight roles of the Auditor General for financial matters and the National Council for Higher Education must be accepted. At the same time, governments must understand that universities perform best when they are institutionally free and protected from state micromanagement. The writers in this section must survey the history of how the University has been governed and how it has passed through the East African region’s various political storms since 1922.

  • The university and the Uganda state

The history of the current university in Uganda is tied to, and reflects, the rocky history of the Uganda state since the 1945 anti-colonial riots. The Ugandan university has prospered and declined amidst the fortunes of the Uganda state. Like other African countries, university education was introduced in Uganda to create an intelligent collaborating elite to manage the colonial state. After independence, the post-colonial leaders were determined to build a collaborating middle class and avoid the emergence of a hostile educated elite. A well-researched chapter on the university’s relations with the state between 1922 and 2022 would be an excellent monument to reveal how Makerere survived and built a society in that period.

  • Funding of the University, 1922-2022

The funding of Makerere is key to understanding almost all the challenges the university has faced in the past and is meeting now. Writers for this section should study the model the colonial state used in funding Makerere; its subsequent alteration by the 1970 Act to a state-driven one; the failure of the state to finance the institution fully; the throwing of the university to the waves of the market in the 1980s; the subsequent shortage of funds and the impact of the Structural Adjustment “Conditionalities” on Makerere.[1] Although the state allowed the market to operate in the financing of Makerere, the state retained its power to control the institution’s financial policy. Currently, most public universities have accumulated deficits. After such a review, it is necessary to point out what went right or wrong and what course the institution should take in financing all its activities.

  • Staff and Student strikes

Writers on this section should review staff and student strikes at Makerere, beginning with the 1928 and 1952 food strikes to the many activists from the 1980s when the university implemented neoliberal policies to the current period.[2] The core causes of these strikes are funding, relations with external forces and mismanagement. To write Makerere’s contribution to society, we must study its problems, shortcoming and the constraints under which it operates.

  • The type of University Makerere has been and should be in the next century

Carol Sucherman poses an interesting question, which Mahmood Mamdani grappled with at the University of Cape Town.[3] Has Makerere been a foreign (European) university in Africa or an African university? In his many speeches in Parliament, Abu Mayanja emphasized the Africanisation of the curriculum as a basis of decolonizing the minds of Ugandan youths.[4] It seems that this is an area where Makerere has not entirely constructed ideas for Africanising the University. But we cannot blame the institution for this failure. The current African university was an outgrowth of the European university. Universities as chartered communities of learners, teachers and knowledge producers developed over time from the Islamic through the medieval and enlightenment periods. Some of the earliest centres of learning included Athens ((500-300 BC), Alexandria (288 BC- 650 AD), Qarawiyyin (859 -), Al-Azhar 970-) and Timbuktu (C12th – C18th). Many of these learning centres became corporate entities when rulers gave them charters or guarantees of freedom to teach and search for knowledge unhindered. The original aim of many universities founded in Europe before 1800 was to produce and defend the values and social legitimation of the founders of a given institution. The modern western university evolved out of religious centres of learning, mainly Christian Cathedral schools for the clergy. These included Bologna (1088), Salamanca (1134), Paris (1150), Oxford (1167), Cambridge (1209) and others. Later, other disciplines were added to theology for study as scholars realized that the development of the mind involved the mastery of multiple domains (Newman,1907). Al-Azhar, founded earlier in 970AD in Egypt, stuck to only religious teaching and research until the C19th.

In Uganda and many post-colonial states, higher education imitated and followed western traditions. Almost all university studies delivered at Makerere followed and were certified by a western institution, the University of London, whose certificates Makerere graduates received until 1963. The administration of the university and its curriculum followed and was never allowed to undermine the colonial administration, and any dissenting lecturers (like Mary Parker, who criticized the colonial policies of Kenya in her lectures) were not permitted to teach. With independence, it was expected that Makerere would develop a robust institutional personality, chart its course by defining what type of university it wished to be and serve society accordingly.

Umar Kakumba (PhD)
DEPUTY VICE CHANCELLOR (ACADEMIC AFFAIRS)/
CHAIRPERSON, MAK@100 PROGRAMME SUB-COMMITTEE


[1] Mamdani, Mahmood (2007).  Scholars in the Marketplace:  The Dilemmas of Neo-Liberal Reform at Makerere University, 1989-2005.  Kampala:  Fountain Publishers.

[2] Byaruhanga, Fredrick Karuhanga (2006). Student Power in Africa’s Education: A Case Study of Makerere University. New York: Routledge, Tailor and Francis Group

[3] Sicherman, Carol (2005). Becoming an African University: Makerere 1922-2000. Kampala: Fountain Publishers

[4] Abu K. Mayanja: Several speeches in Parliament e.g Hansard: “Motion: 1965/66 – Estimates of Expenditure”, 6th July 1965, p. 2802; Hansard: “Motion – Address in Reply to the Presidential Speech.”  January7, 1966 pp. 295 – 297; Hansard: Motion: Estimates of Expenditure- Ministry of Education, 6th July 1965, pp.2799-2806.

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Admissions opportunity for International students at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)

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IIT Indore Brochure cover page.

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Mak DARP Project Launch to Revolutionise Management of Academic Records

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The Guest of Honour-Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo (4th R), Chairperson of Council-Mrs. Lorna Magara (3rd R), Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (3rd L), Permanent Secretary MoES-Ms. Ketty Lamaro (2nd R), Chancellor Emeritus-Prof. Ezra Suruma (R), Country Program Head Mastercard Foundation Uganda-Ms. Meralyn Mungereza (4th L), Chairperson Mak-RIF GMC-Prof. Fred Masagazi-Masaazi (2nd L) and DARP Project PI-Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi (L) at the launch event on 19th April 2024. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

By Ritah Namisango

“This initiative, funded by the Government of Uganda through Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, represents a significant step forward in our efforts to modernize and digitalize our academic processes. It’s therefore with great pleasure and pride that I launch the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes project at Makerere University, and I commission the Registry of Students’ Records and the Archive of Students’ Records,” stated the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo.

As the world continually evolves from manual and traditional methods of records management to modern and digitalized processes, Makerere University launched the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project to ease the storage, retrieval and acquisition of academic documents by her stakeholders.

The project has digitalized records and implemented new processes as well as established a digital state-of-the-art storage facility at the Senate Building to securely store university academic documents. The digitization process comes along with a university policy that guides on how to record, manage, retrieve and dispose of records not in use. This project is designed to reduce on the substantial amount of space that paper storage systems occupy as well as safeguard records from disasters like fire.

Left to Right: Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi, Mrs. Lorna Magara, Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo and Prof. Fred Masagazi-Masaazi at the Commissioning of the Archive of Students' Records. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Left to Right: Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi, Mrs. Lorna Magara, Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo and Prof. Fred Masagazi-Masaazi at the Commissioning of the Archive of Students’ Records.

Officiating at the launch of the DARP project on Friday 19th April, 2024 at Makerere University Freedom Square, Hon. John C. Muyingo, affirmed on behalf of Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni that the launch was a significant milestone in the history of Makerere University.

The Education and Sports Minister further noted that in today’s fast-paced world, universities must manage massive amounts of academic information, and efficient record keeping necessitates that the information is accurate, accessible and secure, benefiting both the institution and its stakeholders. She noted that the DARP system would streamline the processes of managing and accessing academic records, resulting in significant timesaving for students and other stakeholders at the university and beyond.

“Digitalization of academic records and processes is an innovation set to revolutionize the way records are managed by addressing pressing public concerns such as efficiency, security, integrity and accessibility as well as eliminating the unnecessary delays in the processes. The traditional manual approach, while effective in its time has become increasingly challenging to sustain in this digital world, therefore, digitalizing academic records and processes provide crucial responses to the monotonous questions that the outdated manual system never addressed,” stated the Minister’s speech.

The Foundation Stone Commissioning of the Archive of Students' Records. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
The Foundation Stone Commissioning of the Archive of Students’ Records.

Having outlined the challenges and risks that the traditional paper-based record keeping systems present such as the storage space factor, the risk of mixing active and inactive records, the high rate of wear and tear as well as vulnerability to manipulation of records, the Minister commended Makerere University on the enviable track record of efficiently managing and securely storing its academic documents, Senate minutes, curricula, examination results and students files for nearly a century, despite political upheavals and other challenges.

She observed that digitalized systems would make academic records more accessible to the students and eliminate the frustration of delays caused by bureaucratic inefficiencies and the outdated paper system, enabling them to timely take the necessary steps in academic and professional progression.

As the University embarked on its journey of digital transformation, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni equally applauded Makerere for continuously upholding its commitment to academic excellence, research and innovation. She advised the fraternity to stay committed to the principles of innovation and inclusiveness that define the University. As such, she urged them to embrace the digital transformation wholeheartedly so as to harness the power of technology and enable Makerere University to remain a beacon of excellence in the academic world.

Right to Left: Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo, Mrs. Lorna Magara, Prof. Fred Masagazi-Masaazi, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Umar Kakumba, Prof. Justine Namaalwa and Ms. Meralyn Mungereza during a tour of the Archive of Students' Records. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Right to Left: Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo, Mrs. Lorna Magara, Prof. Fred Masagazi-Masaazi, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Umar Kakumba, Prof. Justine Namaalwa and Ms. Meralyn Mungereza during a tour of the Archive of Students’ Records.

“Since its establishment in 1922, Makerere University has been a beacon of knowledge and learning, shaping the minds of generations of students and contributing significantly to the development of our nation, Africa and the world at large. Thank you for these brains. Your hard work, expertise, and dedication were instrumental in building this DARP project to realization. I am confident that you will have a lasting and positive impact on this university and the entire education sector, not only in Uganda, but the entire world,” said Hon. Janet Museveni.

The First Lady expressed her gratitude for the partnership with Mastercard Foundation and the support it renders in advancing education and innovation at Makerere University.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe highlighted that the launch of the DARP project was not only a landmark achievement for Makerere University, but also a confirmation of the importance that the University Council and Management attach to the role that digitalization and e-services play in implementation of the University strategic plan that continually strives for a professionally managed university.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe delivers his remarks at the launch. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe delivers his remarks at the launch.

The Vice Chancellor revealed that the official launch of the DARP Project, undertaken in-house by a hardworking team of University staff, was a financial gain on the part of the University and an additional asset in the quest to improve efficiency and effectiveness as far as the University academic records and processes are concerned.

“Our current drive has been the continued digitalization of various business processes and services so as to be more responsive to the dynamic needs of our students, staff and stakeholders. We have been able to achieve this through intentional development of our in-house information systems development capacity, which has saved us a lot of funds in terms of initial purchase as well as annual license renewal costs,” said the Vice Chancellor.  

Prof. Nawangwe stated that the DARP project has greatly contributed to the timely and improved service delivery to students and clients. He added that the ultimate goal is to enable students download their own transcripts without need for elaborate physical processes at the university.

Members of Council and Management follow proceedings during the DARP Project Launch. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Members of Council and Management follow proceedings during the DARP Project Launch.

“During the 74th graduation ceremony, Makerere University was able to issue academic transcripts to qualifying students before graduation. I am pleased to inform you that we succeeded in issuing of academic transcripts before the graduation date because of the DARP project, which we are launching today. With the digitalization of students’ academic records, the University is now in a better position to provide the required information and data on time,” said the Vice Chancellor.

Prof. Nawangwe elaborated that Makerere, being Uganda’s Premier University has been a major beneficiary of several initiatives aimed at improving ICT infrastructure and connectivity. He added that the University has been able to achieve this largely due to the generous donations of the Government of Uganda and other development partners. He thanked His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of Uganda whose support led to the creation of the Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) in the 2019/2020 financial year with initial funding of UGX 30 Billion.

He revealed that the funding has continued to be availed throughout the last five financial years, which is clear demonstration that the Government of Uganda esteems Research and Innovation as catalysts to Uganda’s continued march from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Right) presents a plaque to Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi (Left) as her husband and Vice Chanellor, Uganda Christian University, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi (Centre) witnesses. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Right) presents a plaque to Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi (Left) as her husband and Vice Chanellor, Uganda Christian University, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi (Centre) witnesses.

“I am proud to say that Mak-RIF has transformed Makerere’s academic and research landscape tremendously. Over the last five Financial Years, we have worked with other key stakeholders including Government ministries, institutions, agencies, organizations, and the private sector. Together, we have continued to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda, especially the un-funded priorities” stated Prof. Nawangwe.

 In the same spirit, the Vice Chancellor applauded the Principal Investigator and Team Leader DARP, Mrs. Patience Rubabinda Mushengyezi and all the Team Members for the hard work that has improved the status of academic records and processes from manual processes to e-services. The DARP project is a collaboration between the Academic Registrar’s Department, College of Education and Externals Studies (CEES), College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) and the Directorate of Information and Communication Technology Support (DICTS). The DARP Project team includes: Prof. Betty Ezati, Dr. Peace Tumuheki, Dr. David Luyombya, Dr. Joyce Bukirwa, Ms. Ruth Iteu Eyoku, Mr. Juma Katongole, Mr. Joshua Muhumuza and Mr. Lubowa Gyaviira.

 The Vice Chancellor also thanked the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) and the Mastercard Foundation for supporting different phases of the DARP Project.

Some of the members of the DARP Project Team from Left to Right: Prof. Betty Ezati, Ms. Ruth Iteu Eyoku, Mr. Joshua Muhumuza, Dr. Joyce Bukirwa, Dr. David Luyombya and Mr. Juma Katongole. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Some of the members of the DARP Project Team from Left to Right: Prof. Betty Ezati, Ms. Ruth Iteu Eyoku, Mr. Joshua Muhumuza, Dr. Joyce Bukirwa, Dr. David Luyombya and Mr. Juma Katongole.

Mrs. Lorna Magara, the Chairperson of Makerere University Council acknowledged that launching the DARP project at Makerere University marked a significant step forward in digitalizing higher education services. She underscored that the transformational power of digitalization could not be overstated. She stated that by implementing an Academic Records Management System, the University would streamline the tracking and retrieval of academic files and establish a robust platform for digital certification and record verification.

“In an era where credential fraud poses a significant challenge, the DARP Project reinforces transparency, trust, and confidence in our academic processes. It is testament to our commitment to excellence. The DARP Project heralds a new era; one where our certificates and transcripts are shielded against increasingly sophisticated forgeries. By providing digitally verifiable academic documents, we empower employers worldwide to expedite verification procedures,” she articulated.

The Chairperson stated that Makerere University aims to create a dynamic and integrated learning environment with a goal to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in an ever-evolving world.  She emphasized the need to prioritize student-centeredness and adaptability which vision perfectly aligns with the DARP Project to ensure that the most deserving students can compete fairly in the job market alongside genuinely qualified candidates.

Mrs. Lorna Magara makes her remarks at the DARP Project launch. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Mrs. Lorna Magara makes her remarks at the DARP Project launch.

She advised that a system’s effectiveness hinges on the quality of input it receives, therefore, meticulous attention to detail is essential to ensure that the necessary information is accurately fed into the system to yield the expected outcomes. She recommended that vigilant effort has to be invested in ensuring quality processes in how the information is gathered and fed into the system, and the quality of persons tasked to do the work.

Mrs. Magara praised the DARP Principal Investigator for initiating the project in support of the University’s efforts to; address the critical element of maintaining integrity of academic records, significantly contributing to the University’s commitment to digitizing systems, and upgrading the process of archiving of records for ease in verification, certification, and retrieval.

She also extended appreciation to the Government of Uganda for the provision of funds through Mak-RIF, and to Mastercard Foundation for the provision of equipment and other support that will facilitate safe processing and storage of the academic documents.

Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Mrs. Lorna Magara (Centre) applauds as Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo (Right) and Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) shake hands following the official launch of the DARP Project. Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Mrs. Lorna Magara (Centre) applauds as Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo (Right) and Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) shake hands following the official launch of the DARP Project.

The Principal Investigator and Team Leader, DARP project, Mrs. Patience Rubabinda Mushengyezi proclaimed that the launch of the project was the birth of a new era in records management at Makerere University.

To enable the audience to understand and appreciate the situation before the DARP project, Mrs. Mushengyezi shared a documentary that highlighted the transformation from a purely manual process to a digital one. She added that the digitalization of student records from the 1980s changes the narrative of delays and long queues to fast, timely and friendly services to the students.

The Principal investigator disclosed that the DARP project team’s aspiration was to have the digitalization of students’ records rolled out in all the schools and colleges of the University. She observed that because of the hard work of the DARP team, they now have clear and well organized documents and the ‘ugly’ records shall never be seen again since they no longer exist. She expressed gladness that what started as a vision had become reality, culminating in the launch of the DARP project.

Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi makes her presentation at the launch. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi makes her presentation at the launch.

“Today, Makerere University is launching a new era of digital transformation in the management of students’ records and service delivery. We are changing the narrative of long queues, lengthy processes and we are now moving to efficient and digital services. We are here also to commission the registry of the students’ records and archive. The registry has been fitted with modern shelves with the capacity of storing over 30,000 students files but as we have seen, there is room for improvement and expansion. The archive has been fitted with modern shelves that have a capacity of storing over 100,000 students’ files and 21 wagons will store 170,000 students’ files,” Mrs. Mushengyezi declared.

Recalling the genesis of the DARP Project, Mrs. Mushengyezi shared that when the Government allocated support to the university’s research and innovations fund in 2019, she approached her colleagues and together, they submitted a project proposal. The project identified several challenges which were affecting records management at Makerere University namely; manual records handling, inadequate storage space, inadequate security for records, inexistent policy on records management, and lack of a system to streamline records management. The DARP project therefore set out to address these gaps with the ultimate goal of operating e-services.

Dignitaries enjoy a light moment during the launch of the DARP Project. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Dignitaries enjoy a light moment during the launch of the DARP Project.

“The objectives of DARP Project were to digitalize academic processes including students’ files and examination results and other documents like senate minutes. We wished to establish a students’ records verification and certification Centre. We also wanted to use ICT to improve efficiency in conducting senate meetings and to archive existing manual documents into properly bound and referenced files. It has been a lot of hard work by the project team, but we have seen God’s hand in this transformational journey. I wish to say that we have achieved 95% of our objectives,” Mrs. Mushengyezi stated.

The Principal Investigator noted that the DARP project had created efficiency in the academic Registrar’s department with ability to generate reports on number of students by categories such as course, graduation cohort, academic disciplines i.e. Medicine, Law, Engineering etc., current enrolment and progression, as well as policies passed by the University Senate per year, and so on.

The Academic Registrar-Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (3rd R) with Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi (4th L), Former Academic Registrars-Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah (3rd L) and Mr. Amos Olar Odur (4th R), as well as staff from the Academic Registrars Department. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
The Academic Registrar-Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (3rd R) with Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi (4th L), Former Academic Registrars-Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah (3rd L) and Mr. Amos Olar Odur (4th R), as well as staff from the Academic Registrars Department.

She thanked the Government of Uganda for funding the entire process by providing laptops, access control systems, CCTV cameras, printers, furniture, archival boxes, the 21 shelves, the wagons, stationery and facilitation of the entire team. She also thanked Mastercard Foundation for the support through the relief fund.

She appreciated the entire Makerere University Council and Management for the support rendered towards the establishment of the DARP project and for prioritizing the Project as a university programme. In a very special way, she acknowledged Prof. William Bazeyo, the former Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Fred Masagazi Masaazi-Chairperson of Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC), Prof. Umar Kakumba, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah, former Academic Registrar and the Academic Registrar, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi, the University Secretary, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Deputy Registrars namely Mr. Charles Ssentongo and Mr. Tom Otim, for providing tireless support.

The DARP Foot Soldiers pose for a group photo. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
The DARP Foot Soldiers pose for a group photo.

 In addition, she recognized the supervisors in the Directorate of Research and Graduate namely Prof. Edward Bbaale and Ms. Prossie Nakayiki.

The Principal Investigator, Mrs. Mushengyezi also appreciated the members of staff whom she referred to as DARP Foot Soldiers for organizing, sorting and scanning the records.

In recognition of her selfless service and leadership, the DARP project team members through the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe presented Mrs.  Patience Mushengyezi with a plaque and bouquet of flowers.

Left to Right: Former Vice Chancellor-Prof. George Kirya, Chaplain St. Francis-Rev. Dr. Lydia Nsaale Kitayimbwa, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi and other members of the family. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Left to Right: Former Vice Chancellor-Prof. George Kirya, Chaplain St. Francis-Rev. Dr. Lydia Nsaale Kitayimbwa, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi and other members of the family.

The DARP project launch was graced by the Chancellor Emeritus, Prof. Ezra Suruma, Members of Parliament, Vice Chancellors of other Universities, former Vice Chancellors, former Deputy Vice Chancellors in charge of Finance and Administration, the Makerere University Students’ Guild, and Mrs. Mushengyezi’s family. The Chaplain, St. Francis Chapel, Rev. Dr. Lydia Nsaale Kitayimbwa led the opening prayer while the event was moderated by Dr. Zahara Nampewo, the Deputy Principal of the School of Law and Ms. Ritah Namisango, Principal Public Relations Officer and Chairperson of the Protocol, Publicity and Media Sub-Committee for the launch. The Department of Performing Arts and Film was on hand to lead the anthems and keep the guests entertained.

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Mak holds Mental Health Awareness Campaign for International Students

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Mr. Henry Nsubuga, Mr. Peter Mwanja, Dr. Gardner Herbert and other officials pose with International Students at the event on 12th April 2024. Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students, 12th April 2024, Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.

By Betty Nabisubi

On Friday 12th April 2024, over 100 international students convened at Makerere University to participate in the Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students.

The campaign, which included both physical and virtual participants, rallied international students to always ask for help. The annual event enables students to participate in engaging discussions, and provides a platform for them to openly share and address personal and academic challenges, both on and off campus.

The aim of holding a mental health awareness campaign for international students in the university is to promote mental well-being and provide support and resources for students facing mental health challenges. Furthermore, it seeks to raise awareness about common mental health issues, reduce stigma surrounding mental illness, and educate students on available mental health services and support networks. Additionally, it aims to empower students to recognize signs of distress, encourage help-seeking behavior, and foster a supportive and inclusive campus community where students feel comfortable discussing mental health concerns.

Mr. Peter Mwanja, Warden of University Hall represented the Office of the Dean of Students. Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students, 12th April 2024, Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
Mr. Peter Mwanja, Warden of University Hall represented the Office of the Dean of Students.

In line with the Mental Health Awareness Campaign theme; It is ok to ask for help, each Official urged the international students to seek guidance and support from the right offices and entities within the Makerere University system.

The Office of the Dean of Students represented by Mr. Peter Mwanja, Warden of University Hall emphasized the importance of students seeking help rather than isolating themselves in their hostels when faced with problems. He urged students to refrain from complaining about lack of assistance, but instead take action by speaking up when faced with challenges. Mr. Mwanja pledged to stand with the students throughout their academic journey so as to ensure that they have a fruitful stay at Makerere University.

In the same spirit, the Manager of the Makerere University Counselling and Guidance Centre, Mr. Henry Nsubuga called upon international students to utilize their services. He appealed to students to seek for help whenever they feel distressed.

Manager of the Makerere University Counselling and Guidance Centre, Mr. Henry Nsubuga. Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students, 12th April 2024, Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
Manager of the Makerere University Counselling and Guidance Centre, Mr. Henry Nsubuga.

“Please come to the Centre when you need help. The Centre is ready to provide assistance upon any distress signal. I assure you that nobody will judge you for not being okay. We have professional counsellors who are willing to help,” remarked Mr. Nsubuga.  The Makerere University Counselling and Guidance Centre is conveniently located at Plot 106, Mary Stuart Road, opposite Mary Stuart Hall.

Dr. Gardner Herbert from the Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre at Makerere University emphasized the importance of emotional intelligence, which encompasses the ability to understand, manage, and express one’s own emotions effectively, as well as to recognize and respond appropriately to the emotions of others. He highlighted the significance of students possessing skills such as self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, and relationship management.

Dr. Gardner Herbert from the Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre (JNLC). Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students, 12th April 2024, Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Gardner Herbert from the Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre (JNLC).

Self-awareness, he emphasized, serves as the foundation of emotional intelligence. This involves recognizing and understanding one’s own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, values, and motivations. Dr. Gardner explained that ndividuals with high self-awareness are better equipped to comprehend how their emotions influence their thoughts and behaviors, leading to more informed decision-making and greater self-control.

Mr. Gerald Ochwo on behalf of the Makerere University International Office encouraged the audience to visit the premises on Flat A5, Block A, Lincoln Flats for their mandate is anchored on ensuring that International students’ university experience is enriching. Furthermore, he emphasised the importance of students managing their visas proactively, instead of rushing to renew them either at the last minute or upon expiry. He pledged to organize more events to foster relationships among students.

Ms. Olivia Mwanje shared a lived experience as an International Masters Student. Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students, 12th April 2024, Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
Ms. Olivia Mwanje shared a lived experience as an International Masters Student.

Focusing on nurturing a supportive environment for students away from home, the International Office invited Ms. Olivia Mwanje, a student of Makerere University pursuing a Master’s degree in Climate Change and Development at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences to share a lived experience.

Ms. Mwanje was one of the beneficiaries of the exchange students’ programme to Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Her testimony served to demonstrate to international students that with dedication and sacrifice, it is possible to leave one’s home country, study abroad, and excel both academically and personally. She encouraged students to remain focused on their academic programmes despite the allure of other pursuits.

The Guild President, H.E. Vincent Lubega Nsamba. Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students, 12th April 2024, Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
The Guild President, H.E. Vincent Lubega Nsamba.

“I urge you, fellow students, to remain steadfast in your educational aspirations while exploring the opportunities available. Prioritize your academic goals over non-academic pursuits,” said Ms. Mwanje. She stressed that deviating from the primary objective leads to unintended consequences. For instance, she shared stories of students who abandoned their academic pursuits for menial jobs upon arrival abroad. Ms. Mwanje advised students to stay committed to their studies and, upon completion, pursue other non-academic endeavors if they so desire.

The Guild President, H.E. Vincent Lubega Nsamba expressed the Guild Leadership’s strong commitment to ensuring that international students have a comfortable stay at Makerere University. He encouraged international students to seek counselling whenever they feel distressed and emphasized the importance of talking to peers for support.

One of the female students that attended the event. Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students, 12th April 2024, Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
One of the female students that attended the event.

One of the international student leaders, Mr. Harrison Igwe expressed enthusiasm for organizing activities that promote unity within the international student community at Makerere University. The goal of the activities, he said, is to enhance camaraderie and strengthen support networks among international students.

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