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RUFORUM Quarterly Report 1st October – 31st December 2021

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Summary

This report highlights key achievements and progress made during the period 1st October-31st December 2021 (the second quarter of the Financial Year 2021/2022, the fourth year of implementing the Operational Plan-2018-2022 of RUFORUM Vision 2030). The Operational Plan is designed around four (4) flagship programmes underpinned by activities to support regional collective action and learning. The flagship programmes drive the achievement of the RUFORUM vision for vibrant transformative universities catalysing inclusive agricultural development to feed and create prosperity for Africa. The four flagship programmes are:

  • Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s Growth and Development (TAGDev) seeks to transform African agricultural universities and their graduates to better respond to developmental challenges through enhanced application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation. This flagship programme is largely supported by the Mastercard Foundation.
  • Cultivating Research and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) seeks to realign universities’ research and teaching functions into a more integrated model with a focus on problem solving and enhancing the capacity of the entire university academic practice and outreach system mainly.
  • Regional Anchor Universities for Higher Agricultural Education (RANCH) seeks to escalate the setting up of a network of linked universities as African anchor universities/African centres of excellence and academic leadership in agricultural higher education and learning.
  • Knowledge Hub for University Networking, Partnership and Advocacy (K-Hub) builds on RUFORUM’s convening power and facilitates the creation, capture, organising, sharing and refining of information and content across teams and geographic locations – thus increasing access to latest evidence based information and knowledge.

Key highlights for the Quarter were in light of the Seventh Africa Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Triennial Conference held 6th-10th December, 2021, namely:

  1. The Conference attracted a total of 2401 participants from 46 countries with 901 physical (40% female) and 1,500 virtual participants. The event further involved 23 pre-Conference meetings and side events. It was officially opened by the Hon. Abdoulaye Bio Tchane, Minister of State in charge of Development and Coordination of Government Action, Benin. Her Excellence Madamme Chabi Talata, Vice President, Republic of Benin was the Chief Guest for the session on Promoting Inclusivity in Research and Development. Invited keynote speakers included Her Excellency, Prof Ameenah Gurib, former President of Mauritius.
  2. RUFORUM facilitated dialogue of Ministers responsible for Agriculture, Education, Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa to review progress and map out a pathway for the operationalisation of the Cape Coast Ministerial Communiqué and other continental initiatives for universities to contribute to the regional and global agendas. The meeting approved the Action Plan developed by Technical Experts from the Countries of Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Togo and Uganda.
  3. The 17th Annual General Meeting held on 10 December 2021 (a) elected a new RUFORUM Board Chair – Prof Theresia Nkuo-Akenji, Vice Chancellor-University of Bamenda, Cameroon and will be deputized by Vice Board Chair Prof Avlessi Felicien, Vice Chancellor, University d’Abomey Calavi, Benin; (b) admitted 17 new member universities bringing the network membership to 147 member universities in 38 African countries; and, (c) appointed Ernst & Young Uganda as RUFORUM External Auditor for the period 2021/2022.
  4. In collaboration with the African Development Bank and Mastercard Foundation, dialogue on academia-policy partnership for transformative institutional leadership, skills development and youth employability was held on 6th December 2021. The Global Dialogue provided an opportunity for joint learning and sharing of successful models such as the university-research institutes-industry linkages model of Korea and EARTH University of Costa Rica and, the Science and Technology Backyard (STB) and RUFORUM TAGDev Model.
  5. Convened a session on 9th December 2021 on Promoting inclusivity in research and development which brought together a high-level panel of female leaders in policy and agricultural higher education. The session highlighted strategies to enable policy makers at university and public sector level promote inclusive participation in research and development.
  6. Seventeen (17) senior policy, higher education leaders and researchers were recognised for their distinguished contribution to agriculture, education and science development in Africa. Additionally, five (5) young scientists and three (3) farmers from the Republic of Benin and twenty two (22) young innovators from across the continent were recognised for excellence.

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Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution

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The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday 22nd September, 2022 participated in the opening of the EfD Annual meeting hosted by Makerere University at Speke Resort Munyonyo where he appealed to government to implement the ban on kaveera and address other environmental issues.

The opening ceremony moderated by the EfD Global Hub Manager Gunnar Köhlin and was graced by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment represented by the Commissioner for Water, Mr. Julius Mafumbo and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Maria Håkansson.

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Prof. Nawangwe urges Makerere University community to support the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative

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By Bernard Buteera

Makerere University has launched a two million dollar E-learning Project, dubbed The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative.  

The launch was held on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at Makerere University, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium. It attracted over 200 participants, who included members of University Management, College Principals, School Deans, Academic and Administrative staff, students and the general university community.

While addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), congratulated Makerere University for winning such a huge grant, which will go a long way in transforming the eLearning infrastructure at Makerere University.

“I am happy to be joining you in launching a project that is at the heart of National Council for Higher Education. Online learning is at the heart of the Council, not only because of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the world is now a digital world.” Prof. Okwakol remarked.

Prof. Okwakol thanked Mastercard Foundation and other development partners who have continued to support initiatives that help transform higher institutions of learning in Uganda.

“I sincerely thank the Mastercard Foundation and other partners who have continued to support higher education in Uganda, especially in the area of research and online learning. Globally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly disrupted education systems forcing learners and some schools to shift to virtual learning to curb the spread of the pandemic.” Prof. Okwakol pointed out.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe urged the university community, especially the academic staff to take advantage of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning initiative to develop e-content across all Colleges of the University, to enhance capacity for eLearning at Makerere University.

[L -R] Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative and Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program.

”I appeal to the Colleges to embrace this project and have as many courses adopt this pedagogy development system, even though students will continue with face-to face and phyisical learning, they should be allowed the option of online learning. The platforms that are going to be built, will give our students an opportunity to interact with international students, scholars, teachers and with each other.” Prof. Nawangwe applealed.

The Vice Chancellor, further called upon all other development partners to emulate Mastercard Foundation in supporting Makerere University and other universities on the entire African continent in strengthening digital literacy, so that Africa is not left behind.

”In 2018 I attended a conference on E-learning in Beijing China, where a critical question was asked; Will Africa be left behind again? This was in reference to many advancements that were taking place in the western world, in which Africa had been left behind.” The Vice Chancellor reminded the audience.

Prof. Nawangwe further emphaised the importance of e-learning as one of the critical modes of teaching and learning in the 21st first century.   

”Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot over emphasise the importance we attach to e-learning the 21st Century, that is why we took a decision to elevate the Department of Open and Distance Learning into an Institute of Open and Distance E-learning with an intention of having e-learning extended to other Colleges of the university.” Prof. Nawangwe pointed out.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, and Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, rallied the University community to support the implementation of the project in the University.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative could not have come in at a better time than post COVID19 era. A pandemic, which exposed our systems and methods of teaching and learning. You all recall, when were hit by the pandemic, with lockdowns and closures of institutions of learning, we all went into a panicky mode on how were going to cope with online learning. I therefore call upon every member of the university to give this project the support it deserves.

Prof. Kakumba reminded the audience the importance and relevancy of online learning at Makerere University and other universities in Uganda.

“The online method of learning is best suited for everyone. This digital revolution has led to remarkable changes in how the content is accessed, consumed, discussed, and shared. Office goers and stay home mothers can take up online educational courses too, at the time that suits them. Depending on their availability and comfort, many people choose to learn at weekends or evenings.” Prof. Kakumba remarked.

Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative, informed the audience the importance of the project and the expected outcomes for the University.

One of the Champions of e-learning trained by Arizona State University, Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda receiving a certificate from Chief Guest.

“The Mastercard Foundation e- Learning Initiative is a Project funded by Mastercard Foundation aimed at addressing the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic that constrained access and continuity of teaching, learning, research and community engagement activities at Makerere University” Prof. Muyinda pointed out.

Prof. Muyinda further thanked the team that he worked with in putting up the proposal in a very short time that yielded such an important grant for the University.

“I thank the team that spent sleepless nights putting together the proposal that resulted into this project. I must report that Makerere University is privileged to be having the most highly qualified persons in online instruction design and online pedagogy at the IODeL and beyond. It is now up to Makerere University in particular and the Country in general to make use of these persons to transform the terrain of online, blended distance and e-learning education.” Prof. Muyinda remarked.

Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, informed the audience, that the E-learning initiative was one of the many partnerships between Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University geared at supporting the young people to succeed on the African continent.

Members of University Management, staff and students present.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program continues to recognize that in order to enable young people across Africa to succeed, there is need to; Address systemic barriers in Higher education, Strengthen the capacity of Institutions that serve the Young People, and Support innovative solutions across critical sectors.” Prof. Namaalwa remarked.

The colourful launch ended with a panel discussion in which panelists digested the importance and opportunities for open distance and eLearning in higher institutions of learning.

Bernard Buteera is the Communications Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.

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Supplementary Admissions to Bachelor of Laws Under Private Sponsorship 2022/23

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The Academic Registrar, Makerere University, informs applicants wishing to be admitted to Bachelor of Laws Private for 2022/2023 Academic year but failed to submit their application online to submit their applications from Friday 23rd to Friday 30th September, 2022 at a non-refundable fee of 50,000/= (Fifty thousand shillings only).

The applicants MUST have passed the Pre-entry Examinations for Bachelor of Laws.

Diploma/Degree holders should submit certified copies of their academic transcript to Room
315 Level 3, Senate Building.

Applicants who have already been admitted need not apply.

For any additional information, contact Undergraduate Admissions Offices 301/303 for A’Level Applicants and Office 315 for Diploma/Degree holders.

ALFRED MASIKYE NAMOAH
AG. ACADEMIC REGISTRAR
Date: 22nd September, 2022

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