Staff of the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) concluded a two-day training in graduate supervision, with a call to ensure students graduate on time. The call was made by the Principal of the College, Prof. Anthony Mugagga while opening the training on August 10, 2023. Prof Mugagga said the college has previously had a low completion rate for graduate students a thing attributed to delays in feedback from both the lecturers and students. “We need to put in place a system that can prompt students and staff to give research feedback in time to allow more students to graduate,” he said. He said for Makerere to achieve her strategic goal of becoming a research-led University, the staff ought to contribute to this by improving graduate training for it is at the heart of this goal.
Prof. Mugagga said the college has introduced a graduate training accountability form, which will be used to track the progress of all students in an effort to see more students complete their studies.
His remarks followed a presentation from the Deputy Principal, Prof. Ronald Bisaso, on the status of graduate training and CEES. Prof Bisaso shared that the college has between 2012 and 2023 had 114 students graduate with PhDs and has over 200 in the pipeline. He, however, noted that supervision has got some challenges which ought to be addressed by the senior staff of the college.
He said the 114 students had been supervised by a few staff, a thing he said needs to change to have more senior staff supervise students and ensure an increase in graduation/completion levels.
He urged the staff who recently acquired PhDs to engage in more research so that they too can help their students.
He noted that a needs assessment had showed that the most successful researchers are those that engaged in inter-disciplinary research.
“A good number of recent PhDs in CEES including those recently promoted have a trans-disciplinary experience. This has potential for creating multi-disciplinary teams to conduct research,” Prof. Bisaso said. It is envisioned that this will also give an opportunity for graduate training scholarships for students.
Speaking at the opening of the training, Prof. Edward Bbaale, the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT), appreciated the college management for the training, saying it is in line with the University’s strategic plan of being a research-led university. As the university moves into a research-led arena, it is envisioned that by 2030, the university will have an increase of 30% graduate students, 10% of whom are expected to be international students, Prof. Bbaale said.
He called for the establishment of research entities at college level to allow for joint proposal writing and inter-disciplinary research.
The Makerere University Innovation Centre, he mentioned, will be in charge of spurring innovation, patents and commercialization of the products developed from the research.
Prof. Bbaale informed the staff that DRGT was in the process of revising the graduate handbook and digitalizing graduate students’ records in an effort to tract their progress. He also said the university has gotten a donor to fund the construction of a graduate building which will have offices and study facilities. He said the university was moving into aligning graduate training with the university almanac so that exams and completion are done at the same time.
He appreciated the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, for steering the university into internationalization through the various collaborations and MoUs established.
During the training, one of the trainers, Prof. Betty Ezati said it was important for supervisors to understand that supervision is not conducted in a vacuum but it is a consequence of our ideologies, values and conceptions.
She called on them to help the students develop expertise that should eventually exceed that of the supervisor, work to grow friendships and professional links, help a candidate gain a wide range of perspectives by creating opportunities for mingling with other professions with the same cause and guard against sharing the student’s weaknesses with colleagues.
Prof. Ezati advised against taking a one-size-fits-all approach to students, saying the individuality of a student must be acknowledged. She also advised against focusing only on the intellectual issues at the expense of the student’s emotional needs, being patronizing, undermining the student’s culture and religious affiliations and being too rigid.
Dr. Twine Bananuka shared with the trainees some best practices in supervision, which included; be purposeful in the task, balance formality and informality in the relations with the student, mind the social-cultural differences, have agreements and contracts, be value driven and accept your weaknesses and limitations.
While closing the two-day training, Dr. Misinde Cyprian, the Director, Quality Assurance Directorate (QAD) called on the staff to help students, saying many find it difficult to transition from the theoretical class of research methods to actually writing the research thesis, emphasizing that many need the help. He pledged DRGT’s support in organizing refresher courses for supervisors.
Over 600 awarded UBTEB certificates
Over 600 students of Makerere University Centre for Lifelong Learning and Makerere University Jinja Campus have graduated with diplomas and Certificates from the Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (UBTEB).
Speaking during the graduation ceremony on Feb 3, 2024, at Makerere University Yusuf Lule Auditorium, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga, the Principal of the College of Education and External Studies, where the Centre for Lifelong Learning is housed, said the college seeks to address all education levels including tertiary Education, thus the formation of CLL, which caters for those people who may not have been able to join mainstream university education.
Prof. Mugagga said the university is trying to reduce school dropouts by offering UBTEB courses, respond to the government’s call for science education in Uganda and also address the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG4) which calls for education for all.
“This academic achievement has launched your real beginning in higher education academics and career growth. For those who had challenges with Advanced Level as a prerequisite for University or academic progression, the diploma comes handy and will enable you to now register for your desired degree course,” Prof. Mugagga said.
He cautioned the graduands against reckless behavior which could lead to sickness and early death. “Be very cautious and protective of your lives. You have one life; therefore, you cannot afford to waste it. Hold your life very preciously and jealously.”
Mr. Geoffrey Kawanguzi, the Deputy Executive Secretary, admonished educational institutions against illegally awarding qualifications to students.
Mr. Kawanguzi, said many institutions are hoodwinking students and awarding them certificates and diplomas which are not recognized by the government.
Mr. Kawanguzi urged parents to be cautious while selecting higher institutions and to check that the institution qualifies to provide national exams.
“Before you pay school fees to an institution where you want to take your child, first ask whether that institution offers national exams. Certificates offered by illegal Institutions end in that school, you cannot take them anywhere,” Mr. Kawanguzi said as he conferred 613 students from the university’s main campus and Jinja campus with national certificates and diplomas in technical and business education.
Students received National diplomas in Mechanical Engineering, Architecture, Planning and Management, Business Administration and Management, Civil Engineering, Procurement, Electrical Engineering and Logistics, among others.
Mr. Kawanguzi said it is only UBTEB national exams that are recognized by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) and the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC).
He encouraged graduands to make good use of the knowledge they have acquired from their respective disciplines to develop their communities and create job opportunities for their communities.
“The world has a lot of opportunities for each of us to explore according to our talents and gifts. Let’s put to good use our knowledge and skills to fulfill the use and continue to pursue the journey of acquiring more knowledge to better our areas for professional growth and development.”
The Deputy Director of the Graduate School, Dr. Wamala Robert, who represented the Vice Chancellor urged graduands to apply the skills and knowledge they have gained to face the world and solve its challenges.
“The world you have entered is dynamic and ever challenging. Use the education and the experience you have gained here to navigate the complexities of the global landscape,” he said.
He added: “As you step into this new chapter of your lives, I urge you to continue embracing curiosity, pursuing knowledge for excellence. Be bold in your ambitions, compassionate in your endeavors, and always mindful of the impacts you can have on the world around you. Remember that the values instilled in you during your time at Makerere will serve as a compass guiding you through the diverse path that lies ahead of you.”
Prince Immanuel Oluka, a graduand of a diploma in Civil Engineering, said he doesn’t regret taking up the course because he has acquired the necessary skills to go out and address world challenges.
“We have been doing real life projects which are hands-on, even now there is a site we are working on. We are confident we can go for government contracts of constructing buildings and roads,” Oluka said.
Risper Atwine Twinomugisa, a graduand of a national diploma in Architecture, said she has specialized in drafting and drawing plans for houses and her future is bright with the skills at hand.
CEES graduates 1,000 students as best researchers are awarded
The College of Education and External Studies has today January 30, 2024, the 2nd day of the 74th graduation ceremony, graduated 1,019 students. At the same function, five of the college’s senior researchers received the Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award 2023.
The researchers, Prof. Paul Muyinda Birevu, Dr. Sekatawa Kenneth, Assoc. Prof. Jude Ssempebwa, Dr. Nambi Rebecca and Dr. Bateganya Lukoyaa Najib, were recognized for having the highest number of publications, in the last 5 years, in the college.
This year’s graduation saw 7 people graduate with PhDs, 51 with Masters, 81 with Post graduate diplomas and 880 with undergraduate degrees from the College of Education and External Studies. Of these 618 are female while 401 are male representing 60.6% and 39.4% respectively.
During the course of the 74th graduation ceremony, a total of 12,913 graduands will receive degrees and diplomas of Makerere University. Of these, a total of 132 graduands will graduate with PhDs, 1585 with Masters degrees, 11,016 with Bachelor’s degrees, 156 with postgraduate diplomas, and 24 with undergraduate diplomas.
53% of the graduands are female and 47% are male. In the category of PhD graduands, 46 are female and 86 are male. In the category of students graduating with Master’s degrees, 699 are female and 886 are male.
While addressing the graduands, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, said the university’s goal is to graduate at least 200 PhDs per year in response to the World Bank’s call for at least 100,000 PhDs for Africa over the next 10 years, to pull the continent out of poverty.
He also congratulated the college upon the various milestones achieved in the last one year. He appreciated the Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) which has continued to provide backstopping support services to all Colleges in the University for transforming the classroom-based course content into well-instructionally designed online course content for blended teaching and learning.
“In the last year, with support from the Government of Uganda, and development partners such as Mastercard Foundation, Norad, DIKU and among others, the College of Education and External Studies has supported and mentored lecturers in developing 1,300 quality and inclusive online learning courses across all colleges. By June 2024, more than 3000 courses will have been transformed. The University has acquired five (5) multimedia studios to aid in the production of multimedia content for pedagogy,” Prof. Nawangwe said.
Makerere University Transcripts and Certificates
In the past two years, Makerere University has come up with measures aimed at making the issuance of academic transcripts and certificates very fast and convenient by shortening the clearance process. In November 2022 the university organized the Public Fair on Transcripts and Certificates during which more than 4,650 certificates and 4,113 transcripts were issued. This year, with the support of the University Council and Senate, the Department of the Academic Registrar, the Directorate of ICT Support Services, and the leadership at the Colleges, the academic transcripts for students graduating during the 74th graduation ceremony were printed before graduation. “The academic transcripts are ready and they are due for issuance to graduands who have satisfied the academic and financial obligations I therefore urge all our graduands to pick their transcripts from their respective colleges,” the VC said.
The Vice Chancellor congratulated all graduands and called on them to Cherish the knowledge and experiences they have received, but remember that learning never ends.
Call For Applications: 8 Masters Scholarships under CABUTE Project
Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Uganda National Institute for Teacher Education (UNITE), University of Bergen and Western Norway University of Applied Sciences are implementing a project titled, Capacity Building for Research Based Teacher Education (CABUTE).
In 2024/2025 Academic Year, eight (8) masters scholarships will be competitively awarded to qualifying Ugandans as one of the activities.
For the detailed advert and application process, please visit the URL below.
Please note that the scholarships are tenable at Makerere University and Kyambogo University but will include a 3 weeks stay at the University of Bergen during the course of study.
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