The Dean East African School of Library and Information Science (EASLIS) Prof. Constant Obura has called for more staff and student mobility schemes to support Makerere University’s internalization agenda.
Prof. Obura with the school management team was on 25th April 2023 meeting a team of three officials from the Swedish School of Library and Information Science, University of Borås (UoB) led by Veronica Trépagny. Veronica Trépagny is the Strategic Advisor of International Affairs, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education & IT, University of Borås who has had engagement with the EASLIS since 2012.
Veronica Trépagny, is also the Project Coordinator, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT (including The Swedish School of Library and Information Science). She was accompanied to Makerere University by two other officials John Webber and Sirpa Bark.
EASLIS has been running two projects:- the Linnaeus-Palme titled: Sustainable Internationalisation in Library and Information Science Education financed by the Swedish Council for Higher Education and the Erasmus+International Credit Mobility (ICM) titled: Enhanced, Sustainable and Integrated Internationalisation Financed by the Erasmus+/European Union.
The projects build on previous partnerships with UoB focusing on training PhD students, staff and supervisors exchange. The project partners are in eight countries including; Albania, Brazil, Canada, China, Iran, Rwanda, Uganda and Sweden–the Lead Applicant.
Prof. Obura explained that the cooperation between the School and the University of Borås anchors very well with the Makerere University Internationalization agenda anchored in its 2020-2030 Strategic plan.
Prof. Obura appreciated Makerere University Management for approving the collaboration and authorizing the travel of students and staff.
“The university supports any initiative and programs anchored on the internationalization in terms of staffing, staff and student mobilities, improving curricular and cost-sharing of teaching and learning with international partners.
We are happy and grateful to the University of Borås for accepting to work with us and strengthening our human resources to achieve the objectives of the university”, the Dean said
Prof. Obura expressed the need for staff to tap into resources outside to support the mobility programmes on the grounds that mobility schemes contribute to high-quality graduates and staff who are competitive in the job market.
“This is one of the strategies for making our graduates relevant outside. They are highly exposed, and knowledgeable. They understand different cultures. Staff come back fresh and energized, appreciate the kind of environment, culture and work people do outside and these are the kinds of things and attitudes they bring back home and improve services rendered in the university”, the Dean stressed.
Speaking on the university’s four-tier system, the school arrangement and staffing levels, Prof. Obura proposed the need for the school and the University of Borås to have joint PhD and Masters programs, co-teaching and supervision, collaborative research and scholarly writing and mobilizing resources to build the capacity of staff.
The Dean appealed for more collaborative efforts to support government and university development programmes, especially strengthening the human capacity as anchored in the Uganda Vision 2040 and the National Development Programme and the university Strategic Plan 2020-2030.
Prof Obura commended the project lead, Veronica Trépagny for her efforts towards improving the human capacity at Makerere University. Prior to the Linnaeus-Palme project in 2012, Veronica visited EASLIS and since then, Makerere and the University of Borås have been having mobilities.
“Under this arrangement, my school and department have been proud and supportive of this cooperation and when you come up with the new openings, I am sure that the head of school will go ahead without any hesitation.
This is a cooperation that has enriched our department very deeply. It has opened up our department to the world and to Uganda in particular”, Veronica said
Veronica recalled that before the 2012 program with EASLIS, they also PhD program through the sida cooperation with the central management where two Librarians Ruth Nalumaga (Library Director Gender) and Jane (Retired) were trained.
Under this cooperation, beneficiaries, spend time in Sweden, doing PhD Sandwich and within the SIDA project that started in 2015, students are admitted from Makerere and are supervised from the Swedish side. In total there are 8 PhD students, one was ready for graduation.
In this collaboration she added, many staff have been able to come from Sweden to Uganda and visited Makerere University.
“Sustainability is important for both the Linnaeus-Palme and ICM projects that means that, even if that phase of ICM ends in June 2023, the philosophy of the cooperation is that we continue working together and that we are integrated” she said.
To integrate and internationalize more, Veronica proposed the need to increase the international experience of students where at least 20% can travel but also 80 % utilize the digital space. Other ideas included joint proposal writing and research articles, joint PhD programs and online seminars.
The projects Coordinator, Makerere University East African School of Library and Information Sciences Richard Batte reported that under Linnaeus Palmer, three Undergraduate students travelled in September 2021 and one staff from the School of Library and Information.
Six undergraduate students were supported under the Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility Scheme (ICM) and Six staff mobilities. Of these, three were from the School of Library & Information Science, two from the School of Education and one from the School of Computing & Informatics Technology. Two Administrative Staff comprising one from the Main Library and One from the School of Library and Information Science also benefited under Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility Scheme.
Five mobilities from Sweden to Uganda have been supported (Three to the School of Library and Information Science and two to the School of Education).
“In total, fourteen staff mobilities (Mak to Boras & Boras to Mak) have benefitted and these include twelve Academic Staff and two Administrative Staff. Nine were from Makerere to Boras and five from Boras to Makerere.
We are also happy to report that nine Undergraduate Students benefited and six on graduation got employment “, Batte said.
Experiences and Lessons from the Mobility Scheme Beneficiary
A technology for charging and discharging library resources, a National Bibliography and a National Scheme needed
Sharing his experience following a trip to the University of Borås in Sweden, Aloysius Mwanje Ssenono applauded Veronica Trépagny for the hospitality and great arrangement.
Mwanje shared that he slept like a king in Scandic and that at the time they arrived, the weather was changing to spring and almost like Uganda with sunny conditions during the day with cold nights.
“We had a tour of the Library and I liked the way they do charging and discharging. The Physical contact with the client and the book is minimal as they use a lot of machines and technology. If we did a collaboration, we can see how we can have such a technology in Uganda for demonstration, teaching and learning and research.,” Mwanje said
Mwanje reported that he also engaged colleagues about who is responsible for the national bibliography and the national scheme.
“I learnt that Sweden has a national scheme. Their language has the alphabet and special characters so, they came up with a special scheme used in the country. It would be also good if we had. Maybe we engage the school, the national library of Uganda which has that mandate to come up with the national scheme. We can write a project to have it”, Mwanje added
The National Bibliography and Scheme according to Mwanje is a good initiative for handling specific literature on a language and especially for Uganda which has so many languages.
“The other idea is having an international PhD or a Master’s which is co-taught by Sweden and Uganda bringing students from Sweden and Uganda together”, Mwanje requested.
This, he said, would picture students internationally and mirror Makerere at a different level.
Project PIs & Accountants Urged to follow Budget Controls, Approval Structures & Policies
Principal Investigators (PIs), research assistants and accountants in the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) on 23rd November 2023 were equipped with knowledge and skills on Accountability protocols to increase their knowledge on managing funds.
The half-day blended Workshop which attracted 30 participants was officially opened by the Principal CoCIS, Prof. Tonny Oyana and facilitated by the Manager Accounts and Reports Makerere University Mr. Lubowa S. Gyaviira and the Team Leader, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Mr. Tom Vok Elwana.
The training highlighted the common accountability challenges, accountability procedures and approvals and submission of accountability reports.
Noting delays in accountabilities, Prof. Oyana said, he would like to see the college conduct research and grow big rather than being blacklisted by development partners and donors.
The Principal said, the college has established itself in four principle areas of research where it draws credibility namely; the Sensing Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Human Computer Interaction research and Information seeking research.
He observed that sometimes researchers under estimate the reasons to be financially knowledgeable and hence the need for the training.
“Everything happens because of money. If you are a poor manager of your money, then, you cannot pursue the activities you set. So, financial responsibilities and discipline are very important if you are to be a good negotiator”, He said.
Motivated by the need to build a system that is prudent and robust and building an inclusive place to learn, work and succeed, Prof. Oyana shared his experience of what he has learnt as critical.
“First of all, know your financial status and spend within those limits. Never destroy someone’s credibility. I also recommend responsible financial discipline and not to go by peer pressure.
The minute you indicate a budget, you have controls. You don not shift budget items from other controls. If you want to spend and move items that are 10% and above, you need to get permission from the treasury”, Oyana advised.
The Principal also advised researchers to learn and follow the approval structures and policies, stick to their values and ethics and, ensure funds are used for intended activities. He advised scientists to strive for excellence and make good returns to those that entrust them with the resources.
Prof. Oyana extended the call for discipline in the laboratories on grounds that laboratories run on ethics and honesty. He stressed that it is good practice to follow scientific evidence because Science does not depend on rumours but on data and evidence.
Oyana also urged every researcher to have a research gap, be visionary and ensure laboratories have good practices and procedures and, provide data and scientific evidence to back hypotheses.
He reminded researchers that the primary duty of research is contributing to the body of knowledge and secondly to train and mentor young scientists to contribute to their knowledge.
Accountability procedures and approvals
Giving an overview of Accountability procedures and approvals, Mr. Lubowa Gyaviira represented by Mr. Tom Elwana underscored the need for researchers to know the regulations for accountability when planning.
Key Accountability procedures as extracted from relevant laws, policies and procedures that govern public financial management include but not limited to; Public Finance Management Act 2015; Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act; Treasury Instructions 2017 and; Makerere University Financial Manual 2014.
Elwana said accountability helps to establish whether the funds advanced were used for the intended purpose and whether all documentation relating to the accountability was presented for review.
Section 10 paragraph 10.20.11 and 10.20.12 of the Treasury Instructions, 2017, requires all advances to be retired as soon as the necessity for their use ceases to exist or within sixty (60) days upon completion of the activity or by closure of business of the last working day of the financial year in which the advance was issued.
“The Makerere University Financial Procedures Manual 2014 under section 4.6.4 enjoins staff to account for all advances received within 14 days of the completion of the activity and in any case not later than 60 days.
Failure to comply with standing instructions leads to the withholding further advances; Recovery from payroll; and or Disciplinary action in accordance with laid down procedures”, he said.
Elwana explained that staff advanced funds should follow the accountability and approval process from the unit accountant to the Internal Audit/examinations and compliance office which delivers to the Secretary Directorate of Internal Audit, who shall ensure it is stamped received, recorded in the register.
He said, a report for accountability must be attached and receipts indicating clearly amount of advance being accounted for while outstanding advances at end of year will be posted to the general ledger to make up the funds balance.
“Balances on advances not utilized at the end of the work/research should be surrendered to the Head of accounts and a receipt should be issued.
Failure to submit accountability will necessitate refund of all unaccounted for funds by the implementer.
After clearance of all accounted funds, a Journal Voucher (JV) is issued to show clearance of total amount accounted for,” Elwana emphasized
Submission of projects to GAMSU, a MUST for implementation of any activity
Elwana told researchers that all project PIs must not only register their projects and budgets with the Makerere University Grant Administration, Management and Support Unit (GAMSU) but also submit quarterly reports to this unit.
“GAMSU has an application and is calling upon PIs to submit their projects for capturing in their data. Failure to be captured, they may not implement their activities”, Elwana warned
Makerere University established GAMSU, which is tasked with the responsibility of overseeing all projects and grants within the university. This measure, Elwana explained, was an agreement with Government to allow the university oversee and receive the grants instead of the funds going directly to the consolidated fund.
The key responsibility of GAMSU is to ensure that reporting is streamlined within the university. GAMSU requires quarterly accountability reports from all grants and projects.
Submission of all budgets by all projects and grants is also mandatory as part of the accountability reports required by the University and Government.
As a matter of emphasis, on submission of accountability reports, PIs were advised to pay attention to their MoUs since different funders have different requirements.
Detailed presentations from the training follow below.
ICT Bootcamp for Vacists (P7, S4 & S6), Students & General Public
Makerere University, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) is the main ICT training, research and consultancy Centre in Makerere University and the region. The College runs a Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development (CiPSD), through which the College addresses various industrial challenges, like skills development, incubation of new ideas and nurturing of new technology-based business.
CiPSD has organised an ICT Bootcamp to equip participants with hands-on tech skills. Practical sessions are open to vacists (P.7, S.4 and S.6), Students and the general public.
DURATION : 2 Weeks – Instructor Led (Hands-on practical training)
Start Dates : 20th/11/2023 (P.7 & S.4 ) | 04th/12/2023 (S.6 & Others)
CERTIFICATE : Each participant will receive a certificate at the end of the training
BOOTCAMP REGISTRATION LINK : https://bitly.ws/X9kv
TARGET AUDIENCE :
- Vacists (P.7, S.4 & S.6)
- Anyone interested in acquiring hands-on tech skills.
- Microsoft Office Suite, Internet & Online Collaboration – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Programming/Dynamic Website Design, – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Graphics Design & Image Editing – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Networking & Systems Administration – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Computer Repair & Software Maintenance – 100,000/= (2 weeks)
- 3D Computer Animation – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Computerised Accounting – 350,000/= (3 weeks)
PAYMENT PROCEDURE: To book your slot, go to the Accounts Office, CIT Block A, Level 2, and get a reference number. Proceed to any nearest bank and deposit training fees.
The Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development (CIPSD)
Block A – Front Office/Block B, Level 5
College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS)
Tel: +256 753 200013/ +256 392 000180 / +256 782 512897
CoCIS CIPSD Short Courses Nov, Dec 2023 & Jan 2024
Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) is the main ICT Training, Research and Consultancy Centre in Makerere University. The College has six Academic departments comprising of the Department of Computer Science, Department of Networks, Department of Information Technology, Department of Information Systems, Department of Library and Information Sciences, and the Department of Records and Archives management.
In addition to the mainstream degree programmes, C0CIS has a specialized Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development CIPSD) which delivers state-of-art training in ICT e.g. the Cisco Networking Academy for Cisco related courses, the Microsoft IT Academy Program for Microsoft related courses, International Computer Driving License course, Oracle Certified Training center for Oracle, Linux and Unix Training center. The College is also an authorized Testing center, operating under PearsonVUE and Kryterion. Listed in the table below are the courses currently offered at the Center with their next start dates, duration, and cost.
- For SENIOR 4 & 6 VACISTS at affordable fees.
- Utilize your vacation and achieve an international certificate to help your future career and stand out from the crowd.
- Nov 2023 / Jan 2024 / April 2024 / July 2024 (For all courses)
Tel: +256 392 000 180
Mob: +256 782 512 897
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