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Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe attends WUN/ARUA AGM at the Future Africa Campus, University of Pretoria

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On 22 – 23 May 2024, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, joined the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) and African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Presidents’ Forum at their Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Future Africa Campus, University of Pretoria, South Africa. WUN is a network of twenty-four (24) world-leading teaching and research-intensive universities across six (6) continents, which facilitates collaboration across institutions in order to strengthen the impact of their work. On the other hand, ARUA is a network of sixteen (16) of the Africa region’s leading universities mainly aimed at expanding and enhancing significantly the quality of research done in Africa by African researchers.

This year’s AGM was held under the theme: “Addressing Global Research Challenges in an African Context” and this theme was canvassed under five major thematic areas:

  1. Establishing Equitable Research Partnerships – mapping the historical perspectives and way forward
  2. Building Successful Projects/Collaborations: experiences and lessons from different universities
  3. Developing Research Careers – through PhDs and Postdoctoral Trainings and early faculty career development opportunities
  4. Maximizing the Benefits of Partnership – tackling research challenges effectively through global partnerships and engagements
  5. Opportunities for WUN and ARUA and how to harness the networks.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe chaired two thematic discussions, where he also shared the experiences of Makerere University in building and sustaining effective North-South and South-South partnerships for capacity building, knowledge sharing, and research. The Vice Chancellor shared experience of two successful models of collaboration: 1) the Makerere University – Karolinska Institutet collaboration, through which hundreds of PhDs have been trained at Makerere University through the double PhD arrangement; and 2) the NORHED funded collaboration – a long-standing collaboration dating more than 15 years. Prof. Nawangwe noted that these two collaborations have been very instrumental in faculty training and capacity building at Makerere University, to the extent that now Makerere University has more than 70% of its staff with PhDs. Prof. Nawangwe attributed the success of the collaborations to the openness, trust, and mutual respect among the partners. He noted that even when the Northern partners provided funding, they allowed Makerere University to determine the priority research areas that students wanted to pursue. This way, students’ research became relevant to local challenges.

It was noted that Universities in Africa were facing immense pressure and challenges to continue to deliver quality teaching and research. These challenges related to low funding including low investments in Lab infrastructure, and research and development, limited infrastructure, limited number of faculty with PhDs, high staff to student ratios, among others. Surmounting these challenges required deepening research skills within specific disciplines, developing staff with multi and inter-disciplinary skills, developing staff with transferable and soft skills, and most importantly identifying new partnerships and collaborations while sustaining existing ones.

To strengthen PhD training to prepare the next generation of researchers, ARUA had received funding support from Mastercard Foundation and other partners to train up to 100,000 PhDs in Africa in the next 10 years. It is believed that this will boost Universities’ capacities to undertake their mandates and contribute to social transformation of Africa.

Participants also noted that while it is important to focus on PhD trainings, its also important to focus on building careers of University Faculty beyond PhDs. There is more to just getting a PhD degree, a lot of development must happen at Postdoctoral level if Universities are to enhance research capacity. These post-doctoral capacity building initiatives require clear, deliberate, and intentional institutional frameworks including partnerships to achieve. Young faculty need to be supported and mentored as they embark on careers in research. Beyond identifying and building North-South partnerships, it was imperative that African Universities continue to work with each other in South-South arrangements to optimize already existing – yet untapped potentials – within African institutions

Professor Nawangwe meets with team from University of York

The University of York has been a longstanding partner of Makerere University mainly in terms of supporting the Innovations Hub and previous work with the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI). The Centre for Health Economics (CHE) has since 2017 been working with the School of Public Health (MakSPH) to support policy and decision-making at the Ministry of Health. Through the Thanzi La Onze (TLO) collaboration program, University of York is focused on capacity building for health economics and policy in Uganda and the region. The CHE has partnered with MakSPH under the Health Economics and Policy Program (HEPP) to support the establishment of a Master of Health Economics graduate program at Makerere University, which is going to be the first of its kind in the region. Program approval processes are currently ongoing.

Prof. Nawangwe and the York team also discussed additional collaboration in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Environment, Climate Change, and Health.

In the meeting, it was noted that the University of York’s Assuring Autonomy, Centre for Doctoral Training in Safe AI, and the wider initiative – the Institute for Safe Autonomy are already existing initiatives that both institutions could explore working on. On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nawangwe noted that Makerere University had a growing interest in the area of AI and already different initiatives were ongoing. He noted a strand of work on AI at the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) led by Dr. Rose Nakasi who is working on the AI-Health Lab, where Artificial Intelligence and data science are applied to support and solve health-related challenges especially in the developing world. Makerere University also hosts another AI lab, headed by Dr. Joyce Nabende. Also, under the ARUA-Guild Cluster of research excellence, formed in 2023, there is a cluster on ‘AI, Data Science and Computational Thinking’. The Cluster is a collaboration between University of Stellenbosch (as ARUA lead), Uppsala (Guild lead), Makerere, Coventry, Nairobi, Rwanda, Rhodes, Lagos and Warwick. At Makerere University, the Cluster is coordinated by Prof. John Mango and Dr. Joyce Nabende. Makerere University is scheduled to host a summer school for three weeks (starting 8th July 2024) on Mathematics for AI. The school is jointly organized by the Eastern Africa Universities Mathematics Program (EAUMP), ISP-Sweden, Department of Computer Science and Department of Mathematics at Makerere, Lappeenranta University in Finland, ICTP-Italy, The International Center for Pure and Applied Mathematics (CIMPA) among other institutions.

Next steps

The meeting appreciated the need to continue to work together to advance the mutual interests of the two institutions. It was agreed that follow-up conversations should happen more especially between the team leads at the two institutions to explore opportunities for working together on not only the existing, but also new strands of work. Prof. Nawangwe appreciated the University of York for all the support and committed to follow up on the conversation and specifically the master of Health economics program development process between School of Public Health and School of Economics.

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Advert: Mature Age Entry Scheme – Private Sponsorship 2024/2025

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Students sit for an exam in the pre-COVID era, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites applications for the Undergraduate
Programmes under the Mature Age Entry Scheme only for Private Sponsorship for
2024/2025 Academic Year.
Non-Refundable Application fee of Shs. 50,000/= for Ugandans OR $75 Equivalent for
Internationals, plus bank charge should be paid in any of the banks used by Uganda
Revenye Authority after generating a Payment Reference Number (PRN).

  • Apply using the Institution’s Applications Portal URL:https: //apply.mak.ac.ug
  • Application is for candidates who passed the Mature Age Entry Examinations of December 17, 2022 and February 24, 2024 only.
  • Any candidate who passed the examinations in mentioned above and was not admitted on Government/ Private sponsorship for December 17, 2022 sitting, and for Government sponsorship for February 24, 2024 sitting, is eligible to apply for admission on Private Sponsorship for 2024 /2025 Academic Year.

The closing date for applying will be Friday 26th July, 2024.

Further details can be accessed by following this link.

Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza
ACADEMIC REGISTRAR

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Diploma/Degree Holders Admission Lists 2024/25

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Main Library, Makerere University. Photo taken on 29th February 2016.

The Office of Academic Registrar, Makerere University has released lists of Diploma/Degree Holder applicants admitted under Private/Self Sponsorship for the academic year 2024/25. Please note that admission is subject to verification of academic documents by the awarding institutions.

The admission list is displayed here below:

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African Futures Research Leadership Program: Cohort 5 – Call for Scholars

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Participants at the initial AAP convening participate in design-thinking exercises to help imagine the future of partnerships between MSU and Africa. Photo: AAP

The Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) is seeking applicants for the fifth cohort of the AAP African Futures Research Leadership Program. This competitive visiting scholar program supports early career researchers from the AAP consortium to work for one year under the mentorship of faculty members from MSU and their home institution, focusing on building skills in research for impact, writing scholarly and/or policy publications, disseminating of research results, and developing grant proposals for external support. Scholars will also participate in a structured professional development program while building bridges and lasting connections with MSU contacts and across their cohort. 

The main objective of the African Futures program is to strengthen the capacity of a cadre of African researchers to return to their home institutions and become scientific leaders in their community, establish long-term partnerships with MSU faculty, co-create innovative solutions to Africa’s challenges, and in turn become trainers of the next generation of researchers. This program aims to address the gender gap in Africa, where only 30% of researchers are women, so scholars selected for the program will be women, or men who can demonstrate they are committed to support efforts towards gender equity in higher education institutions in Africa. The research areas that the scholars will engage in during the program should be aligned to AAP’s research priority areas

The AAP Management Team requests applications from early career researchers to participate in the next cohort, with work to begin virtually in February 2025. Scholars will spend September – December 2025 at MSU for the in-person portion of the program, followed by another period of virtual collaboration, ending in early 2026. The scholar and mentor team will receive a small grant for research and professional development activities including conference attendance and publication. Scholars will also receive a stipend during their time at MSU, visa application support, and round-trip travel from their home institution.

Eligibility

  • Citizen of an African country 
  • Completion of a PhD degree within the last 10 years 
  • Employed as an Academic Staff member at one of the AAP African consortium universities including Egerton University, Makerere University, University of Dar es Salaam, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Botswana, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University Cheikh Anta Diop, University of Arts and Humanities, Bamako, United States International University-Africa, and University of Pretoria 
  • Have documented approval of leave or sabbatical to participate in the program for the in-person period 
  • Have a mentor at their home institution that will serve as a collaborator and mentor
  • Research must be in one of the AAP priority areas
  • Applicants may only submit one proposal to AAP in this round of funding. Prior scholars are not eligible to apply. 

To learn more about the program, including how to apply, click below

Learn more

Applications to be an African Futures scholar are due August 18, 2024

Additional program dates:

  • Program start date (virtual): February 2025
  • In-person program: Sept – Dec 2025
  • Program end date: February 2026

Please contact Jose Jackson-Malete at jacks184@msu.edu or +1 517-353-6989 with any questions.

Source: AAP

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