29 January 2013

Uganda: Makerere University Wants to Recruit Lecturers

Makerere University has asked the Government to lift the ban on recruitment of staff to enable them solve the staff shortage problem at the institution.

Speaking at the university's 63rd graduation ceremony last week , the chancellor, Prof. Mondo Kagonyera, disclosed that the university was operating at less than 50% staff structure "which is unacceptable."

Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ddumba Ssentamu revealed that the total number of academic staff at the institution had remained static at 1,400 for over six years despite the skyrocketing student enrollment.

He said staff shortage had bogged down the university's academic standards and affected the quality of graduates.

With about 50,000 students, Ddumba said: "We have an academic staff of only 1,403, of whom 54% have PhDs."

Of the PhD holders, Ddumba explained that only 5.2% are professors and 10.6% associate professors.

"A university is worth its name if it has professors and an adequate number of academic staff," said Ddumba.

"On a sad note, our academic staff - student ratio is unacceptable by all standards. I am, therefore, appealing to the Government to lift the ban on recruitment of staff at Makerere University."

Kagonyera appealed for more government funding for Makerere in the next financial year.

A total of 12,555 graduands will graduate during this year's four-day graduation ceremony. Of these, 47.1% are female and 52.9% are male.

The university is awarding 61 PhDs this year, majority (82%) of which, are male.

Graduands yesterday included Police commissioner for public relations Judith Nabakooba, who graduated with a Master of Arts in human rights and education minister Maj. Jessica Alupo, who got a Masters in international relations.

Minister without portfolio Richard Todwong, Uganda ambassador to DRC James Kinobe and UPDF's Maj. Flavia Byekwaso also graduated with masters degrees.

The university also passed out the pioneer class of post-graduate diploma in investigative journalism, a special donor-funded programme that aims at enhancing the quality of journalism in the country.

New Vision reporters Francis Kagolo, Chris Kiwawulo and John Masaba as well as deputy news editor Sidney Miria were among the 20-man pioneer investigative journalism class.

Ddumba, who was presiding over his first graduation ceremony since he became vice-chancellor, said his five-year tenure will focus on helping Makerere attain competitive academic and research standards that are benchmarked internationally.

Alupo commended Makerere University upon its recent rank of the 9th best university in Africa in terms of scientific research.

She, however, called upon managers of universities to consider the quality of academic programmes they offer, saying it was high time universities focused on courses relevant to the job market.

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