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Makerere University Commemorates Uganda’s Education Icon, Prof. Senteza Kajubi

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Two years after Uganda got independence, now a lecturer at Makerere, Prof. Senteza was appointed the director of National Institute of Education, at the same institution till 1977 when he became Vice Chancellor for the first time. 

A painting of Professor William Senteza Kajubi attired in the Vice Chancellor's Gown.
A painting of Professor William Senteza Kajubi attired in the Vice Chancellor’s Gown.

Makerere University in partnership with the United States Mission in Uganda will this afternoon commemorate the legacy of Prof. Senteza Kajubi with a public lecture in honour of his exceptional service to the growth of Uganda’s Education system. 

In this article, we shed light on who this Academic Giant was and why it is necessary to reflect on his professional journey as we look towards Internationalisation of Higher Education in the next Century. 

Background 

Prof. Senteza Kajubi was born in 1926, in Singo county (modern day Mityana District), to Yoweri Bugonzi Kajubi and Bulanina Namukomya. His family later moved closer to the capital and settled in Busega, a suburb in the outskirts of Kampala, where he began his long journey with, or rather in, education at the Mackay Memorial Primary School in 1933. He then attended Mengo Junior School from 1941 to 1943 before transferring to King’s College Budo for his Advanced Level, finally making it to Makerere College in 1947 where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts with a Diploma in Education. 

Shortly after he graduated, Prof. Kajubi taught at Kako Junior Secondary School before going to the University of Chicago for a Master of Science in Geography. Later, in 1955, he went back to his alma mater, King’s College Budo, and taught Geography. It was during this period that he taught other notable personalities in Uganda’s history such as Mathew Rukikaire and Prof. Apollo Nsibambi in a predominantly white environment. The only other native teachers at Budo, then, were the Deputy Headteacher, Mr. Sempebwa and Erisa Kironde, an English language teacher. 

As one of the few Protestant members of a predominantly Catholic Democratic party (DP), Senteza Kajubi was a member of the National Symbols Committee which was tasked with selecting the national anthem, flag and coat of arms. 

His political acumen propelled him to chair a number of government boards over the years until he directly participated in electoral politics in 1994 as a delegate of the Constituent Assembly representing Kyadondo North.

Two years after Uganda got independence, now a lecturer at Makerere, Prof. Senteza was appointed the director of National Institute of Education, at the same institution till 1977 when he became Vice Chancellor for the first time. 

Education Policy Formation in Uganda

As the Secretary General of the Uganda Teachers’ Association from 1959 to 1962, Prof. Senteza Kajubi was a member of the famed Castle Commission on Uganda’s post-independence education policy framework.

Instituted and appointed in January 1963, the Castle Commission had been tasked with examining the content and structure of education in Uganda in light of the approved recommendations of the International Bank Survey Mission Report, Uganda’s financial position and its future manpower requirement. 

In the execution of its mandate, the commission dealt with a dilemma; if the formulated policy disproportionately focused on universal primary education and adult literacy while neglecting secondary, tertiary and higher education, it would fail to produce high level manpower which was required to staff government and teach in schools. However, on the other hand, the country did not have the resources to make improvements across the board and had to prioritise one option to the detriment of the other.

Since Makerere was still under the University of East Africa and higher education was still an inter-territorial responsibility, the commission instead focused on prioritising teacher-training, expanding secondary school enrolment and improving relevance, quality and access of primary education in remote areas.

In 1977, during his first tenure as the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Kajubi went on to chair the Education Policy Review Commission (EPRC) which was appointed by Idi Amin’s Minister of Education, Brig. Barnabas Kili.

Owing to the political climate at the time, the education system was facing even dire problems. The gross human rights violations had led to a mass exodus of highly qualified professionals from civil service, teachers and university faculty into exile. Imploding diplomatic relations rendered external assistance with regard to education inexistent and the government had to deal with shortages from personnel to instructional material.

Prof. Senteza Kajubi was then tasked with the responsibility of leading an effort to circumvent some of these challenges and therefore keeping the education system in Uganda alive. Unfortunately the findings and recommendations of the report, from its members and constituent sub-committees were overtaken by events in 1979 when war broke out and the Idi Amin regime was overthrown. The report was shelved and never formally presented to cabinet.

In 1987, after the ascendancy of the NRM government into power, another commission, once again headed by Prof. Senteza Kajubi, was appointed. Still under similarly unique circumstances, this commission too had to work within the socio-economic confines of a post-war society riddled with scarcity of resources. Eighteen months later, the commission’s report was produced in January 1989.

The most notable outcome of this committee report was a government white paper which brought to life the famous Universal Primary Education. This recommendation alone, for all its limitations, has contributed significantly to literacy levels in Uganda and to the education system as a whole.

After chairing the second Kajubi commission, he then became the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University for the second time, from 1990 to 1993, preceded by Prof. George Kirya and succeeded by Prof. John Ssebuwufu.

Prof. Senteza, a two time Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University.
Prof. Senteza, a two time Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University.

The Fulbright Program

In 1952, Prof. Senteza went on to the University of Chicago, on a Fulbright Scholarship, to pursue a Master of Science in geography, making him one of the earliest beneficiaries of this scholarship program in Uganda and possibly all over the African continent.  

The student exchange scholarship program, which was started shortly after the Second World War by an act of Congress, was named after the American senator J. William Fulbright, its framer. He made the case that “educational exchange could turn nations into people, contributing as no other form of communication can to the humanising of international relations.” 

Makerere@100 Prof. Senteza Kajubi Fulbright Memorial Lecture, 22nd September 2022, 2:00-5:00PM, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University.
Makerere@100 Prof. Senteza Kajubi Fulbright Memorial Lecture, 22nd September 2022, 2:00-5:00PM, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium, Makerere University.

As part of its year-long centennial celebrations, Makerere is hosting the Prof. Senteza Kajubi Fulbright Memorial Lecture under the theme of; “Internationalization of Higher Education in the Next Century.”

Through his notable achievements and illustrious career, it is clear that this initiative to bridge cultural gaps through an international education exchange program had Prof. Senteza as one its successes. As Makerere seeks to leverage its 100 years of excellence in building a transformed society, the lessons learnt from the lives and experiences of its alumni serve as an important pedestal from which to launch into the future.

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Government Sponsorship Admission Lists 2022/23 Verified by Districts

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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

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Student Registration for Semester I 2022/2023

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(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
ACADEMIC REGISTRAR

Download the Communication from Academic Registrar here

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A Delegation from Netherlands Visits Makerere University

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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.

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