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Mak DARP Project Launch to Revolutionise Management of Academic Records

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By Ritah Namisango

“This initiative, funded by the Government of Uganda through Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, represents a significant step forward in our efforts to modernize and digitalize our academic processes. It’s therefore with great pleasure and pride that I launch the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes project at Makerere University, and I commission the Registry of Students’ Records and the Archive of Students’ Records,” stated the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo.

As the world continually evolves from manual and traditional methods of records management to modern and digitalized processes, Makerere University launched the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project to ease the storage, retrieval and acquisition of academic documents by her stakeholders.

The project has digitalized records and implemented new processes as well as established a digital state-of-the-art storage facility at the Senate Building to securely store university academic documents. The digitization process comes along with a university policy that guides on how to record, manage, retrieve and dispose of records not in use. This project is designed to reduce on the substantial amount of space that paper storage systems occupy as well as safeguard records from disasters like fire.

Left to Right: Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi, Mrs. Lorna Magara, Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo and Prof. Fred Masagazi-Masaazi at the Commissioning of the Archive of Students' Records. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Left to Right: Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi, Mrs. Lorna Magara, Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo and Prof. Fred Masagazi-Masaazi at the Commissioning of the Archive of Students’ Records.

Officiating at the launch of the DARP project on Friday 19th April, 2024 at Makerere University Freedom Square, Hon. John C. Muyingo, affirmed on behalf of Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni that the launch was a significant milestone in the history of Makerere University.

The Education and Sports Minister further noted that in today’s fast-paced world, universities must manage massive amounts of academic information, and efficient record keeping necessitates that the information is accurate, accessible and secure, benefiting both the institution and its stakeholders. She noted that the DARP system would streamline the processes of managing and accessing academic records, resulting in significant timesaving for students and other stakeholders at the university and beyond.

“Digitalization of academic records and processes is an innovation set to revolutionize the way records are managed by addressing pressing public concerns such as efficiency, security, integrity and accessibility as well as eliminating the unnecessary delays in the processes. The traditional manual approach, while effective in its time has become increasingly challenging to sustain in this digital world, therefore, digitalizing academic records and processes provide crucial responses to the monotonous questions that the outdated manual system never addressed,” stated the Minister’s speech.

The Foundation Stone Commissioning of the Archive of Students' Records. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
The Foundation Stone Commissioning of the Archive of Students’ Records.

Having outlined the challenges and risks that the traditional paper-based record keeping systems present such as the storage space factor, the risk of mixing active and inactive records, the high rate of wear and tear as well as vulnerability to manipulation of records, the Minister commended Makerere University on the enviable track record of efficiently managing and securely storing its academic documents, Senate minutes, curricula, examination results and students files for nearly a century, despite political upheavals and other challenges.

She observed that digitalized systems would make academic records more accessible to the students and eliminate the frustration of delays caused by bureaucratic inefficiencies and the outdated paper system, enabling them to timely take the necessary steps in academic and professional progression.

As the University embarked on its journey of digital transformation, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni equally applauded Makerere for continuously upholding its commitment to academic excellence, research and innovation. She advised the fraternity to stay committed to the principles of innovation and inclusiveness that define the University. As such, she urged them to embrace the digital transformation wholeheartedly so as to harness the power of technology and enable Makerere University to remain a beacon of excellence in the academic world.

Right to Left: Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo, Mrs. Lorna Magara, Prof. Fred Masagazi-Masaazi, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Umar Kakumba, Prof. Justine Namaalwa and Ms. Meralyn Mungereza during a tour of the Archive of Students' Records. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Right to Left: Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo, Mrs. Lorna Magara, Prof. Fred Masagazi-Masaazi, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Umar Kakumba, Prof. Justine Namaalwa and Ms. Meralyn Mungereza during a tour of the Archive of Students’ Records.

“Since its establishment in 1922, Makerere University has been a beacon of knowledge and learning, shaping the minds of generations of students and contributing significantly to the development of our nation, Africa and the world at large. Thank you for these brains. Your hard work, expertise, and dedication were instrumental in building this DARP project to realization. I am confident that you will have a lasting and positive impact on this university and the entire education sector, not only in Uganda, but the entire world,” said Hon. Janet Museveni.

The First Lady expressed her gratitude for the partnership with Mastercard Foundation and the support it renders in advancing education and innovation at Makerere University.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe highlighted that the launch of the DARP project was not only a landmark achievement for Makerere University, but also a confirmation of the importance that the University Council and Management attach to the role that digitalization and e-services play in implementation of the University strategic plan that continually strives for a professionally managed university.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe delivers his remarks at the launch. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe delivers his remarks at the launch.

The Vice Chancellor revealed that the official launch of the DARP Project, undertaken in-house by a hardworking team of University staff, was a financial gain on the part of the University and an additional asset in the quest to improve efficiency and effectiveness as far as the University academic records and processes are concerned.

“Our current drive has been the continued digitalization of various business processes and services so as to be more responsive to the dynamic needs of our students, staff and stakeholders. We have been able to achieve this through intentional development of our in-house information systems development capacity, which has saved us a lot of funds in terms of initial purchase as well as annual license renewal costs,” said the Vice Chancellor.  

Prof. Nawangwe stated that the DARP project has greatly contributed to the timely and improved service delivery to students and clients. He added that the ultimate goal is to enable students download their own transcripts without need for elaborate physical processes at the university.

Members of Council and Management follow proceedings during the DARP Project Launch. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Members of Council and Management follow proceedings during the DARP Project Launch.

“During the 74th graduation ceremony, Makerere University was able to issue academic transcripts to qualifying students before graduation. I am pleased to inform you that we succeeded in issuing of academic transcripts before the graduation date because of the DARP project, which we are launching today. With the digitalization of students’ academic records, the University is now in a better position to provide the required information and data on time,” said the Vice Chancellor.

Prof. Nawangwe elaborated that Makerere, being Uganda’s Premier University has been a major beneficiary of several initiatives aimed at improving ICT infrastructure and connectivity. He added that the University has been able to achieve this largely due to the generous donations of the Government of Uganda and other development partners. He thanked His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of Uganda whose support led to the creation of the Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) in the 2019/2020 financial year with initial funding of UGX 30 Billion.

He revealed that the funding has continued to be availed throughout the last five financial years, which is clear demonstration that the Government of Uganda esteems Research and Innovation as catalysts to Uganda’s continued march from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Right) presents a plaque to Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi (Left) as her husband and Vice Chanellor, Uganda Christian University, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi (Centre) witnesses. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Right) presents a plaque to Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi (Left) as her husband and Vice Chanellor, Uganda Christian University, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi (Centre) witnesses.

“I am proud to say that Mak-RIF has transformed Makerere’s academic and research landscape tremendously. Over the last five Financial Years, we have worked with other key stakeholders including Government ministries, institutions, agencies, organizations, and the private sector. Together, we have continued to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda, especially the un-funded priorities” stated Prof. Nawangwe.

 In the same spirit, the Vice Chancellor applauded the Principal Investigator and Team Leader DARP, Mrs. Patience Rubabinda Mushengyezi and all the Team Members for the hard work that has improved the status of academic records and processes from manual processes to e-services. The DARP project is a collaboration between the Academic Registrar’s Department, College of Education and Externals Studies (CEES), College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) and the Directorate of Information and Communication Technology Support (DICTS). The DARP Project team includes: Prof. Betty Ezati, Dr. Peace Tumuheki, Dr. David Luyombya, Dr. Joyce Bukirwa, Ms. Ruth Iteu Eyoku, Mr. Juma Katongole, Mr. Joshua Muhumuza and Mr. Lubowa Gyaviira.

 The Vice Chancellor also thanked the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) and the Mastercard Foundation for supporting different phases of the DARP Project.

Some of the members of the DARP Project Team from Left to Right: Prof. Betty Ezati, Ms. Ruth Iteu Eyoku, Mr. Joshua Muhumuza, Dr. Joyce Bukirwa, Dr. David Luyombya and Mr. Juma Katongole. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Some of the members of the DARP Project Team from Left to Right: Prof. Betty Ezati, Ms. Ruth Iteu Eyoku, Mr. Joshua Muhumuza, Dr. Joyce Bukirwa, Dr. David Luyombya and Mr. Juma Katongole.

Mrs. Lorna Magara, the Chairperson of Makerere University Council acknowledged that launching the DARP project at Makerere University marked a significant step forward in digitalizing higher education services. She underscored that the transformational power of digitalization could not be overstated. She stated that by implementing an Academic Records Management System, the University would streamline the tracking and retrieval of academic files and establish a robust platform for digital certification and record verification.

“In an era where credential fraud poses a significant challenge, the DARP Project reinforces transparency, trust, and confidence in our academic processes. It is testament to our commitment to excellence. The DARP Project heralds a new era; one where our certificates and transcripts are shielded against increasingly sophisticated forgeries. By providing digitally verifiable academic documents, we empower employers worldwide to expedite verification procedures,” she articulated.

The Chairperson stated that Makerere University aims to create a dynamic and integrated learning environment with a goal to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in an ever-evolving world.  She emphasized the need to prioritize student-centeredness and adaptability which vision perfectly aligns with the DARP Project to ensure that the most deserving students can compete fairly in the job market alongside genuinely qualified candidates.

Mrs. Lorna Magara makes her remarks at the DARP Project launch. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Mrs. Lorna Magara makes her remarks at the DARP Project launch.

She advised that a system’s effectiveness hinges on the quality of input it receives, therefore, meticulous attention to detail is essential to ensure that the necessary information is accurately fed into the system to yield the expected outcomes. She recommended that vigilant effort has to be invested in ensuring quality processes in how the information is gathered and fed into the system, and the quality of persons tasked to do the work.

Mrs. Magara praised the DARP Principal Investigator for initiating the project in support of the University’s efforts to; address the critical element of maintaining integrity of academic records, significantly contributing to the University’s commitment to digitizing systems, and upgrading the process of archiving of records for ease in verification, certification, and retrieval.

She also extended appreciation to the Government of Uganda for the provision of funds through Mak-RIF, and to Mastercard Foundation for the provision of equipment and other support that will facilitate safe processing and storage of the academic documents.

Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Mrs. Lorna Magara (Centre) applauds as Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo (Right) and Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) shake hands following the official launch of the DARP Project. Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Mrs. Lorna Magara (Centre) applauds as Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo (Right) and Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) shake hands following the official launch of the DARP Project.

The Principal Investigator and Team Leader, DARP project, Mrs. Patience Rubabinda Mushengyezi proclaimed that the launch of the project was the birth of a new era in records management at Makerere University.

To enable the audience to understand and appreciate the situation before the DARP project, Mrs. Mushengyezi shared a documentary that highlighted the transformation from a purely manual process to a digital one. She added that the digitalization of student records from the 1980s changes the narrative of delays and long queues to fast, timely and friendly services to the students.

The Principal investigator disclosed that the DARP project team’s aspiration was to have the digitalization of students’ records rolled out in all the schools and colleges of the University. She observed that because of the hard work of the DARP team, they now have clear and well organized documents and the ‘ugly’ records shall never be seen again since they no longer exist. She expressed gladness that what started as a vision had become reality, culminating in the launch of the DARP project.

Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi makes her presentation at the launch. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi makes her presentation at the launch.

“Today, Makerere University is launching a new era of digital transformation in the management of students’ records and service delivery. We are changing the narrative of long queues, lengthy processes and we are now moving to efficient and digital services. We are here also to commission the registry of the students’ records and archive. The registry has been fitted with modern shelves with the capacity of storing over 30,000 students files but as we have seen, there is room for improvement and expansion. The archive has been fitted with modern shelves that have a capacity of storing over 100,000 students’ files and 21 wagons will store 170,000 students’ files,” Mrs. Mushengyezi declared.

Recalling the genesis of the DARP Project, Mrs. Mushengyezi shared that when the Government allocated support to the university’s research and innovations fund in 2019, she approached her colleagues and together, they submitted a project proposal. The project identified several challenges which were affecting records management at Makerere University namely; manual records handling, inadequate storage space, inadequate security for records, inexistent policy on records management, and lack of a system to streamline records management. The DARP project therefore set out to address these gaps with the ultimate goal of operating e-services.

Dignitaries enjoy a light moment during the launch of the DARP Project. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Dignitaries enjoy a light moment during the launch of the DARP Project.

“The objectives of DARP Project were to digitalize academic processes including students’ files and examination results and other documents like senate minutes. We wished to establish a students’ records verification and certification Centre. We also wanted to use ICT to improve efficiency in conducting senate meetings and to archive existing manual documents into properly bound and referenced files. It has been a lot of hard work by the project team, but we have seen God’s hand in this transformational journey. I wish to say that we have achieved 95% of our objectives,” Mrs. Mushengyezi stated.

The Principal Investigator noted that the DARP project had created efficiency in the academic Registrar’s department with ability to generate reports on number of students by categories such as course, graduation cohort, academic disciplines i.e. Medicine, Law, Engineering etc., current enrolment and progression, as well as policies passed by the University Senate per year, and so on.

The Academic Registrar-Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (3rd R) with Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi (4th L), Former Academic Registrars-Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah (3rd L) and Mr. Amos Olar Odur (4th R), as well as staff from the Academic Registrars Department. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
The Academic Registrar-Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (3rd R) with Mrs. Patience Mushengyezi (4th L), Former Academic Registrars-Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah (3rd L) and Mr. Amos Olar Odur (4th R), as well as staff from the Academic Registrars Department.

She thanked the Government of Uganda for funding the entire process by providing laptops, access control systems, CCTV cameras, printers, furniture, archival boxes, the 21 shelves, the wagons, stationery and facilitation of the entire team. She also thanked Mastercard Foundation for the support through the relief fund.

She appreciated the entire Makerere University Council and Management for the support rendered towards the establishment of the DARP project and for prioritizing the Project as a university programme. In a very special way, she acknowledged Prof. William Bazeyo, the former Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Fred Masagazi Masaazi-Chairperson of Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC), Prof. Umar Kakumba, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah, former Academic Registrar and the Academic Registrar, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi, the University Secretary, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Deputy Registrars namely Mr. Charles Ssentongo and Mr. Tom Otim, for providing tireless support.

The DARP Foot Soldiers pose for a group photo. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
The DARP Foot Soldiers pose for a group photo.

 In addition, she recognized the supervisors in the Directorate of Research and Graduate namely Prof. Edward Bbaale and Ms. Prossie Nakayiki.

The Principal Investigator, Mrs. Mushengyezi also appreciated the members of staff whom she referred to as DARP Foot Soldiers for organizing, sorting and scanning the records.

In recognition of her selfless service and leadership, the DARP project team members through the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe presented Mrs.  Patience Mushengyezi with a plaque and bouquet of flowers.

Left to Right: Former Vice Chancellor-Prof. George Kirya, Chaplain St. Francis-Rev. Dr. Lydia Nsaale Kitayimbwa, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi and other members of the family. Launch of the Digitalization of Academic Records and Processes (DARP) project by the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni represented by the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John C. Muyingo, 19th April 2024, Freedom Square, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Left to Right: Former Vice Chancellor-Prof. George Kirya, Chaplain St. Francis-Rev. Dr. Lydia Nsaale Kitayimbwa, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi and other members of the family.

The DARP project launch was graced by the Chancellor Emeritus, Prof. Ezra Suruma, Members of Parliament, Vice Chancellors of other Universities, former Vice Chancellors, former Deputy Vice Chancellors in charge of Finance and Administration, the Makerere University Students’ Guild, and Mrs. Mushengyezi’s family. The Chaplain, St. Francis Chapel, Rev. Dr. Lydia Nsaale Kitayimbwa led the opening prayer while the event was moderated by Dr. Zahara Nampewo, the Deputy Principal of the School of Law and Ms. Ritah Namisango, Principal Public Relations Officer and Chairperson of the Protocol, Publicity and Media Sub-Committee for the launch. The Department of Performing Arts and Film was on hand to lead the anthems and keep the guests entertained.

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Re-advertisement: Undergraduate Programmes 2024/2025

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A section of the University Road

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites applications from Ugandan, East African, and international applicants for the undergraduate programmes under Government Sponsorship (BVL) and private sponsorship scheme for the 2024/2025 Academic Year.

Each applicant should:

a) Have the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) with at least five passes, or its equivalent and at least two principal passes at Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) obtained at the same sitting. For day programmes only candidates who sat A’ Level in 2023,2022 and 2020 are eligible to apply. For evening, afternoon, and external programmes, a candidate is not restricted on the year of sitting A’ Level.

OR

d) Degree from a recognised/Chartered Institution

Further details on the re-advertised programmes , fees structure, and the procedure of submitting applications can be accessed from the document below:                                            

The closing date for receiving applications for undergraduate admissions is Friday 26th July 2024.                                                           

WARNING:                                                             

  1. Applicants are strongly warned against presenting forged or other people’s academic documents to support their applications for admission.  The consequences, if discovered, are very grave indeed.
  2. Do not buy any other documents not originating from the Academic Registrar’s Office.  Those who buy them do so at their own risk. 
  3. The Academic Registrar has not appointed any agent to act on his behalf to solicit for additional funds other than the application fee stated above.    
  4. Applicants are advised to use the right programme names and codes. The university will not be responsible for any wrong information entered in the system by applicants.     

Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza
ACADEMIC REGISTRAR

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Freshers’ Orientation and Registration For 2024/2025 Academic Year

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To All First Year Students;
First Year students (Freshers) are by tradition given an “acclimatization” period of one week
which is referred to as the “Orientation Week”. The Freshers report on Campus one week
earlier than the Continuing students and during this week they are introduced to the key facilities in the University as well as other important aspects of life at the University.

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Admission Lists -Disability, Sports and District Quota Schemes 2024/25

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Students move towards Main Building on University Road

The Office of Academic Registrar, Makerere University has released the admission list of candidates admitted under the Disability, Sports and District Quota Schemes with Government sponsorship 2024/25 Academic Year.

Kindly follow the links below to access the lists:-

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