Connect with us


PhD training as a pillar in Uganda’s Economic and Sustainable Development



On 26th October 2015, The Guardian run an article by Tom Kariuki with an alarming title, albeit with a promise. It read Africa produces just 1.1% of global scientific knowledge – but change is coming. Therein, Mr. Kariuki, the Director of the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science (ASEA) noted that his institution had been founded by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the African Union’s New Partnership for African Development to award research grants to African universities, advise them on financial best practice and develop a science strategy for Africa.

Approximately seven (7) years later on 17th February 2022, the University World News website published an article by Wagdy Sawahel titled Science output rising, but some countries’ yields still low that showed that Africa had  “made notable progress in the production of scientific knowledge in the past two decades, with a total share of 7.6% of contributions to the world of science and one-third of all international publications in tropical medicine.”

These revelations were made by Dr. Vincent Ssembatya on 25th April 2022 as he presented a rationale for PhD production to a visiting delegation from Norway. The delegation is attending the NORHED Week in Uganda, that is set to conclude on 29th April 2022 with a visit to the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST).

“Among the top 10 high-producing countries in science in Africa there were six Sub-Saharan countries, namely; South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania” noted Dr. Ssembatya.

Coincidentally, South Africa which leads Sub-Saharan Africa pack at 437 also has the highest number of researchers per one million people. Uganda and Tanzania have 38 and 18 scientists per one million people respectively.

Dr. Ssembatya observed that the liberalisation of higher education in Uganda led to a more diverse and complex system, partly due to the growth in the number of public and private institutions and multiple stakeholders with diverging interests.

“Human resources were redistributed to support the elastic change in higher education provision with existing institutions seceding Human Resources to newly created ones; more PhDs were required to support the higher education system” he said.

Statistics shared by Dr. Ssembatya show that there are approximately 6,667 Higher Education students for every one million Ugandans, with only 44 of these being PhD holders. Whereas the current enrolment at universities requires more than 3,600 PhDs, the PhD count stood at only to 2,200 in 2020.

“PhD production capacity is stifled with about 100 PhDs per year with most of these produced at Makerere University. PhD productivity is coupled with research productivity in more ways than one; at Makerere every PhD student is required to have two publications, while the supervision of PhDs to completion is an incentive for promotion. Senior lectureship is required for supervision of PhDs” noted Dr. Ssembatya.

The PhD count at Makerere and the country as a whole could be attributed to the policy environment. Since the year 2000, Makerere University has had a requirement that every lecturer hold a PhD degree, the exception being the clinical medicine disciplines and those lecturers who were already serving prior to the policy enforcement. Furthermore, the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has modified the requirement for a PhD in universities to allow for the hiring of registered PhD students who are progressing normally.

“The modification to the PhD requirement was compelled by the difficulties of attaining a sufficient number of PhDs. It is estimated that Uganda has about 2,200 PhDs, amidst a requirement for over 10,000 PhDs according to a 2011 publication by the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST).

“The current PhD deficit is over 8,000 PhDs. This deficit cannot be covered with the current production rate of about 100 PhDs per year” stressed Dr. Ssembatya.

Powell, Walter W.; Snellman, Kaisa (2004) define the knowledge economy or knowledge-based economy as an economic system in which the production of goods and services is based principally on knowledge-intensive activities that contribute to advancement in technical and scientific innovation. Statistics shared by Dr. Ssembatya revealed that Makerere accounts for 65% of the research output in Uganda. This statistic, coupled with the fact that the institution has the highest concentration of PhDs in Uganda shows a direct correlation between PhD numbers and knowledge production, an essential ingredient of the knowledge economy.

Prof. John David Kabasa speaks at the closing ceremony of the 2nd NARO-Mak Joint Scientific Conference & 1st Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition Annual Scientific Symposium on 15th November 2018.
Prof. John David Kabasa speaks at the closing ceremony of the 2nd NARO-Mak Joint Scientific Conference & 1st Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition Annual Scientific Symposium on 15th November 2018.

Discussing the presentation, Prof. John David Kabasa concurred that “a PhD should be a transformative tool helping us to get product and solutions to the market. Co-creation of knowledge at the level of PhD will liberate African from the conundrum of poverty.”

Furthermore, Prof. Kabasa pointed out the urgent need for PhDs to be anchored in the community so as to extract knowledge of the challenges faced and advise on policy formulation that is anchored and implementable at Local Government level.

Please see below for the presentation.


Powell, Walter W.; Snellman, Kaisa (2004). “The Knowledge Economy”. Annual Review of Sociology. 30 (1): 199–220.


Government Sponsorship Admission Lists 2022/23 Verified by Districts



Students hold a group discussion in the Arts Quadrangle, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda. Date taken: 13th April 2018.

The Office of the Academic Registrar Makerere University is pleased to announce that the following  candidates have been verified by their respective Districts for admission to the  programmes indicated against their names under the District Quota Scheme.

Follow the link below for the list:

Batch I

Students verified by Districts for the Programmes 2022/23 Academic Year

Batch II

Students verified by Districts for the Programmes 2022/23 Academic Year

Continue Reading


Student Registration for Semester I 2022/2023



(a) First Years
Every new student admitted to a programme of study of Makerere University was issued a provisional admission letter with fees structure for payment of requisite fees. This enables privately sponsored first year students pay at least 60% tuition and all functional fees before issuance of original admission letters which should be collected from the respective Colleges/Schools.

For a candidate to qualify to be a bonafide student of the University, he/she MUST be
registered. Registration is a mandatory requirement of the University which must be
done within the specified time at the beginning of the semester. Failure to do so will
automatically lead to your place being forfeited to another candidate. Official
Registration/Verification of documents is on going using the Academic Information
Management System (ACMIS)
used by Makerere University.

Ensure that you complete all the required registration formalities within the prescribed
time as per the Fees Payment Policy and registration programmes provided by your
respective Colleges. The system cycle will be closed on 3Qth November, 2022.

Registration Requirements
For registration purposes all first year students MUST produce their Original documents
as indicated on their admission letters for validation and verification purposes. At the end
of the online registration exercise, new students will be required to submit 3 photocopies
of their academic documents which will be dully signed and stamped by their Registrars
for record purposes.

(b) Continuing Students
Continuing students also use the Academic Information Management System (ACMIS) for
registration for Academic Year 2022/2023. Continuing students should register online by
accessing the registration Menu in the Student Portal and selecting the first option labeled
“Self Registration” and click the REGISTRATION NOW option.

The Cycle for online registration for the Academic year 2022/2023, Semester One is open
for all continuing students. The system cycle will be closed on 30th November, 2023.

(c) Students who belong to the under listed categories are advised to contact their College/School Registrars before they can register.

(i) Retakes Cases
(ii) Stay Put Cases
(iii) Withdrawal cases
(iv) Audited Courses
(v) Extension Cases
N. B. Each student should pay National Council for Higher Education fee of 20,000/ = per year and UNSA Subscription of 2,000/= per year before registration.

(d) In case of any problem, consult your College/School Registrar. College Accountants are responsible for providing the financial status to all students and generating lists of paid up students to the Deans. They will also clear paid up students to be issued the examination permits before sitting University examinations for Semester One, 2022/2023 Academic year.

Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi

Download the Communication from Academic Registrar here

Continue Reading


A Delegation from Netherlands Visits Makerere University



On Monday 14th November 2022, a delegation from the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands visited Makerere University to discuss capacity building, scholarships, research and approaches to developing the Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and Higher Education programme.

The visiting delegation consisted of Mr Siemen Tuinstra, Deputy Director, Department of Social Development; Mr Theodore Klouvasa, Coordination Policy Officer, Education & Youth Responsible for the development of the new TVET & Higher Education Programme; Ms Hilde de Bruijn – Senior Policy Officer and Ms Joy Acom-Okello, the Policy Officer Humanitarian Affairs and Migration at the Netherlands Embassy in Kampala.

Discussion with the Vice Chancellor

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe welcomed the visitors to Makerere University and briefed them about the history of the University that started as a technical college in 1922 with 14 students. In 1949, it became a University College affiliated to the University College of London, offering courses leading to the general degrees of its then mother institution. With the establishment of the University of East Africa in June 29, 1963, the special relationship with the University of London came to a close and degrees of the University of East Africa were instituted. On July 1, 1970, Makerere became an independent national university of the Republic of Uganda, offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses leading to its own awards. In 1990, there was liberalization of university education after the World Bank and IMF decided that there should be less spending on university education and introduced structural adjustment programmes. The Government pays a lump sum to the university to sponsor some students and the rest are private students.

The Coordination Policy Officer, Mr Theodore Klouvasa informed the Vice Chancellor about the new programme on TVET and Higher Education that their government was developing. The purpose of their visit was to consult other stakeholders in higher education such as universities, ministries of Education and Sports, Agriculture, Gender and Youth and technical institutions to learn more about the existing collaborations between them and see where the Netherlands government can assist in developing a beneficial programme. How exactly do universities relate with Vocational Institutes and what is the education system in Uganda ad how do donors communicate with the major actors in the education system? How do universities relate with the private sector? If government sponsors some students, how can the scholarships be more inclusive and target the marginalized? Research is very important for all universities. How can they bring more research in the university and what can they add on the PhD infrastructure? Makerere University is strategic partner with the Netherlands having trained many PhDs at Wageningen University, Maastricht University, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; University of Groningen; Radboud University Nijmegen; Delft University of Technology.

Makerere University has many collaborations globally and has over the years increased partnerships with the government. The College of Health Sciences has done extensive research with the Military in the area of HIV/AIDS; with the Ministry of Water & Mineral Development in the area of water qualities and management; with UNRA with joint research and use of technologies for materials and road construction; with Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Industry and Fisheries in the area of cross boundary animal diseases; with Food processing industries with our School of Food Nutrition and Biotechnology; the Horticulture industries in controlling quality of products for export; the IT companies with our College of Computing and Information Sciences and also the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology. The University relates well with the Uganda Society of Architects and our architecture students are exposed to the new products on the market such as the new design of roofing tiles. The students share simple technologies learnt in class with the manufacturing companies which have helped in boosting production.

Uganda is affected by a high population growth and many graduates cannot find jobs. The education system needs to be geared towards problem solving techniques to be taught to learners/students at all levels. There is a need to change the mindset of the teachers/professors and the students as well. A mindset programme is to be introduced in the first year of studies for all programmes. Makerere University is also in the process of establishing an incubation hub where the good ideas of students can be developed to start a business. If you want to change the country, you engage the students to do more innovations and encourage production of their ideas.  He informed the delegation that during Covid-19, the government of Uganda provided funds to Makerere University, which were used to equip laboratories and do more research and produce a vaccine. The University also operationalized the online learning by use of technology to minimize the effects of the pandemic.  

The Vice Chancellor disclosed that there is an urgent need to re-tool the teachers in the Vocational institutes to upgrade their practical skills with the trends on the market. Therefore, the training and scholarship by Netherlands for vocational teachers to upgrade skills with latest technologies in universities would be appropriate.

Discussion with the College of Education and External Studies

The Deputy Principal, Dr. Ronald Bisaso received and welcomed the delegation. He represented the College Principal, Prof. Anthony Mugagga.  The Deputy Principal highlighted that regarding the education system in Uganda, some areas have changed and others improved.  He noted that many graduates lack the required skills for the job market. It would therefore be better if Makerere University also benefits from vocational studies and practice. Dr. Bisaso pointed out that the Department of Science, Technology and Vocation Education at the College of Education and External Studies offers a course on vocational studies and they expect to produce 1,500 graduates by 2025. The level of the vocational course offered is gauged by UBTEB (Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board) that administers examinations and awards National Diplomas.  The investment in the education sector by government is quite minimal with just 11.5% (Higher education getting 6.4% and TVET getting 5.1%). Capacity of the sector needs to be enhanced through training. Professors must acquire entrepreneurial skills before they occupy leadership positions instead of doing so when they are already in the positions. At the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) with a population of 4,000 students, there only 30 doctoral students. CEES partners with the Ministry of Education and Sports through projects such as the Early childhood and development projects. Individual staff are seconded to projects to train and even share experiences.

The Deputy Principal called upon the Netherlands to support knowledge and capacity building of early career academics and partnering with the TVET ecosystem. This includes interventions, trainings and exchanges at various levels and cooperation with different stakeholders such as the government, the private sector, civil society and the Vocational institutes. He advocated for strengthening of existing vocational institutes, establishment of vocational institutes were they do not exist and development of research infrastructure and adoption of TVET across the education system.

Continue Reading