On Thursday 17th and Friday 18th November 2022, the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda and Makerere University celebrated the essential role of research, science, and innovation in supporting Uganda’s long-term growth and prosperity.
The two-day event took place at Makerere University guided by the theme; “20 years of cooperation: robust foundation for continued development”.
The main objective of the bilateral research cooperation between Sweden and Uganda (specifically universities) has been to enhance the capacity of public higher education institutions to conduct and sustain strategic and high-quality research that will contribute to the development needs of Uganda and beyond through building a critical mass of independent, robust, and dynamic researchers.
Prof. Nawangwe said Makerere, the Swedish government and other stakeholders came together to celebrate one of the biggest staff development projects at any University in the world, thanking the government of Sweden for the continued support.
“The most important investment by the government of Sweden is the investment in Human Resource in these public Universities so they can train the remaining Human Resource that is going to run the economy, Prof. Nawangwe said.” He expressed his gratitude for the collaboration saying a half of Makerere’s PHD’s were trained through this program.
He welcomed all stakeholders to the engagement, thanking them for honoring the invitation and always supporting Makerere University’s efforts to serve humanity. He also thanked the Republic of Uganda’s Parliamentarians who graced the engagement noting saying “Thank you our Members of Parliament for joining us in this engagement, your presence is evidence that you support Makerere University’s efforts towards positively transforming the communities through research and innovation among others”.
“Makerere University is grateful for the continued collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda and all the other stakeholders. We remain open to such collaborations which are also supporting our efforts towards becoming a research led institution” Prof. Nawangwe added.
Prof. Nawangwe’s address is shared here.
Her Excellency Maria Håkansson, the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda congratulated Uganda on three accounts of 100 years of Makerere University, the recent launch of the satellite and 60 years of independence and diplomatic alliance with Sweden.
“In Makerere University, Sweden sees not only a friend but a key player in the efforts to create a more prosperous Uganda. Research, science, and innovation are key building blocks for creating economic growth, no matter the current economic status of a country. With this two-day engagement, we wish to celebrate and highlight the importance of research and innovation,” said Ms. Håkansson.
The programme was implemented by the five partner Ugandan public Universities (PPUs). Firstly, Makerere University and then Kyambogo, Busitema, Gulu and Mbarara joined under the framework memorandum of understanding. The PPUs continue to collaborate in mutually beneficial ways to share professional experiences and exchange of information on research and teaching methodology, curricula, the training of specialists, and to explore and implement other forms of professional interaction and exchange. The Universities also exchange students and staff for purposes of study or supervision in particular subjects, courses or projects where the relevant expertise is not available in their own institution.
The Ambassador’s Speech is shared here.
Some of the achievements emanating from this cooperation (also showcased during the Days of Excellence) include but are not limited to the following:
- Strengthening capacity building for staff in partner public Universities. Training human resource in PPUs, where 773 beneficiaries were supported i.e., 263 masters; 327 PhD graduates, 95 small research grants completed and 85 postdoctoral fellowships.
Table 1: Total Summary of Students and research supported, 2000 – 2022
|Small Research Grants||78||20||98|
|TOTAL||489 (63%)||284 (37%)||773 (100%)|
- Improvement of ICT Infrastructure, the ICT project established the MakCloud Data Centre at Makerere University.
- The University Library has continued subscribing to electronic resources as part of the efforts to support research at Makerere University. A total number of 49 databases are subscribed at the University including the Research4life portals and Makerere currently boasts of 20,000 journals on their on-line library.
- The BRIGHT Project at the Department of Computer Science established the Software Systems Centre (SSC) to strengthen the University-Industry linkages. The SSC innovation named, AirQo (www.airqo.net), that involves design and development of air quality devices and data visualization has contributed to the improvement of air quality in Kampala and other urban areas in Uganda. The innovation is jointly implemented with Kampala Capital City Authority, National Environmental Authority (NEMA), and the United States Embassy in Kampala.
- The Geographical Information Science (GIS) centre project acquired the state-of-the-art, data-rich, well-organized, and high-performance geospatial data archived on a server in the GIS laboratory. The GIS centre website is fully developed and functional i.e. (http://www.cedat.mak.ac.ug/GISCentre).
- The centre has continued to be consulted for training support to various organisations including the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MoLHUD), Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS), Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) and National Planning Authority (NPA).
Mr. Bemanya Twebaze, Director General African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO), based in Harare delivered the keynote address. He said, low levels of patents and trademarks is a hindrance to development and that innovations when harnessed properly benefit the needs of the grass root communities. He emphasised research in critical areas of food security, transport & infrastructure, technological advancements, and nutrition.
He advised that Intellectual Patent (IP), is a catalyst of innovation and creativity. He concluded his speech saying, “Let us today sow the seeds that we want to harvest tomorrow.”
Mr. Bemanya’s keynote address is accessible here.
Ms. Mercy Kainobwisho, the Director General, Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), said the company has advanced in technology to suit all Ugandans, i.e., various messages are currently being shared via mass media and social media to suit even the vulnerable groups including the youth and women. She encouraged Ugandans to acquire patents saying innovation without protection is as good as nothing. She called on the key players in the economic sectors to bridge the communication gap if we are to achieve development.
Mr. Ahumuza Kansiime, a third-year student at Makerere University’s College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) extended a request to all institutions of learning to continuously involve the youth in all aspects given the fact that it is through the engagement of all stakeholders that we shall all march towards development. He also re-echoed the need to continue channeling efforts towards more practical learning as opposed to the theoretical approach noting that it is through practice that we shall all embrace innovation as means to address the diverse community challenges.
Some of the government of the Republic of Uganda funded and supported projects that were exhibited are listed below. These projects are supported through Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).
- Virtual Reality Technology for Optimizing Safety and Competence in Management of COVID-19 Patients – Principal Investigator – Dr. Daudi Jjingo.
- Exploring Stingless Bee Products for Nutritional and Medicinal Values in Uganda (bee-nutri-medicine Project) – Principal Investigator – Dr. Moses Chemurot
- Essential oil crops commercialization for sustainable public health products development and rational promotion. Principal Investigator- Dr. Savina Asiimwe
- Development of a recyclable-water hand-washing facility (ECO-WASH). Principal Investigator- Dr. Peter Olupot
- Developing dry season feeding technologies for different cattle production systems in Uganda- Principal Investigator – Dr. Justine Nambi Kasozi
- Enhancing The Grain Amaranth Value Chain for Improved Nutrition, Livelihoods and Enterprises Development in Uganda- Principal Investigator – Dr. Dorothy Nakimbugwe
Prof. Nawangwe concluded by noting that “Nobody is going to be left behind in the research and innovation efforts. Even the community artisans will be part of these efforts so that we together achieve”. He invited all participants to join in an engagement with the exhibitors especially as we together pave a way to commercialize and scale the research and innovation outputs from Makerere University and elsewhere.
Friday 18th November 2022 was Day 2 of the Sweden – Makerere Days of Excellence. It was during this day when partners including Ericsson and United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) joined in to further engage Makerere University students. The team from Ericsson made a presentation to STEM students and later invited guests including Makerere University’s Vice Chancellor and the Swedish Ambassador engaged in Round Table Discussions guided by the theme “Digital Transformation in Uganda: Opportunities and Obstacles”.
Press Statement is shared here.
Media Stories are accessible on the following links:
MAK Researchers Urged on Intellectual Property Rights: Uganda Radio Network https://ugandaradionetwork.net/a/story.php?storyId=218449
Compiled by: Diana Ayikoru, Free Lance Journalist and Student of Masters of Corporate and Strategic Communications at Makerere University.
Contributor: Harriet Adong, Communications Officer at Mak-RIF.
Government Sponsorship Admission Lists 2022/23 Verified by Districts
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:
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.
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
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.
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