The State Minister for Higher Education Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo has urged various Universities in the country to emulate the advancements of curriculum in research department at Kampala International University (KIU).
The minister raised the call during the 9th Uganda Vice Chancellors’ forum conference, which was held at KIU’s library under the theme; higher education.
The conference gathered University Vice Chancellors, Deputy Vice Chancellors, and other different heads of tertiary institutions across the country to brainstorm on issues concerning higher education in Uganda, and drafting of resolutions to foster the sustainability of research and quality education in the country.
According to the minister, the core value of a University is to be an actor in helping the state in problem solving by producing graduates of value.
“The Universities that we have are supposed to be addressing problems of Ugandans. Unfortunately, problems have persisted because Universities these days serve the interests of those who pay the money and forget their core role in the society,” said the minister.
Before the minister’s address in the conference, a debate on Dr. A. B. Kosozi’s and Professor John Mugisha’s presentations on the quality of education in higher levels of learning sparked different reactions on the way forward in shaping the future of learning from theory to practically solution seeking.
Dr. Ssengozi Bagenda from African Rural University in Uganda said the declining number of people holding PHDs is one of the major reasons the education system is not producing solution based graduates.
“if we had many of these people, they would document different findings that are rooted in solving problems in our community,” said Ssengozi.
He raised an opinion that Universities should collaborate in different fields to fasten the amount of people who get PHD qualifications.
Mr John B. Alege, the Dean for School of Public Health at Clarke International University backed up Dr. Ssengozi’s idea by calling for a collaborative approach amongst Universities in Uganda.
“Many of our Universities don’t have partnerships among ourselves. That is a major point of weakness we should work upon,” said Alege.
He said in order for a country to achieve an increased number of higher level scholars, partnerships in mentorship should be prioritised locally even before considering having partnerships with other Universities in the overseas.
The KIU Vice Chancellor, Dr. mouhamad Mpezamihigo said that however much having partnerships amongst Universities is a good idea, there is need for the National Council for Higher Education and the Ministry of Education and Sports to draft accommodative regulations that permit partnerships.
“I feel that in order for us to beat specific target of the number of quality PHDs, we need an enabling environment that allows collaboration of Universities in producing them,” said mpezamihigo.
The conference resolved to involve all stakeholders in national planning, Government continues investing in research, Universities should have their specific Law / Act, and Government change the way university education is funded.
They are also decided to Make Makerere a Postgraduate Research Based University, Government should assist universities to create more PhDs, Education structure be examined in relation to A level and Higher education should be relevant to national development.