According to Balunywa, if there was any other university in Uganda with resources that are available to Makerere, the oldest institution in the country would be no more, thus challenging its management to look at ways of ensuring that the existence of the great institution is felt in the communities. But Yusuf Kiranda, University Secretary, blamed it on bad press.
Professor Waswa Balunywa, the Principal Makerere University
Business School, has stung Makerere university management on their failure to
make the praised university impactful in the community despite the enormous
resources at hand.
Prof Balunywa made the remarks on Thursday afternoon
during a stakeholders mobilization event which is the first of the many other
activities lined up in commemoration of Makerere’s centennial milestone as a
beacon of higher education in the region.
According to Balunywa, if there was any other university
in Uganda with resources that are available to Makerere, the oldest institution
in the country would be no more thus challenging its management to look at ways of
ensuring that the existence of the great institution is felt in the communities.
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Balunywa’s who was discussing a theme; 'leveraging 100
years of Excellence in Building a Transformed Society,’ was met with mixed reactions from participants and university
Dorothy Kisaka, KCCA executive director who was one of
the panelists at the event supported Prof Bulunywa’s argument noting that after
100 years of existence, Makerere is still changed on it outputting both in
terms of problem-solving research and student who can compete in the employment
On defensive, Yusuf Kiranda, University Secretary noted
that Makerere might have made several impactful works in several fields but
most of these have remained unacknowledged due to bad press and misinformation.
With professor Balunywa's argument on ensuring that
Makerere is felt in the communities, Lonah Magara, the University Council Chairperson, says that the
university management is aware of this challenge and has laid strategies to
make this achievement.
Magara accepts that besides merrymaking on the rich
history of the institution, there are great prospects for Makerere and its
shareholders to renew their commitment to making the university more impactful
in the years to come so that members of different committees and our societies
feel Makerere in their lives.
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Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, the University
Vice-Chancellor, also accepted that there is a need for Makerere University to
leverage the success it has achieved throughout the past 100 years to solve new
social problems. Prof Nawangwe however notes that all this needs to be properly
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Thomas Tayebwa, Government Chief Whip who represented
Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanya as chief guest commended Makerere
for its contribution towards higher education over years. He, however, raised
several issues noting that they need to be urgently addressed for the
betterment of the institution as it looks on to the 100 years.
Tayebwa highlighted that although the government is
pumping huge sums of money into the university, more so in human resources
there has been little or no value for money as many well-paid lectures end up
moonlight and fail to give the institution enough attention thus poor outputs.
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Tayebwa further advised that with all the aspirations and
after the long years of experience and existence, it's high time that Makerere
University thought of becoming a self-sustaining institution and stop begging
for a handout from donors and the government.
The government chief whip, however, noted that there is a
need for the government to amend the universities and other tertiary institutions
act and review policy on higher education in Uganda to enable institutions such
as Makerere to tap into their potential.
Next Makerere university will be marking 100 years of
existence. The institution, which is the oldest of its kind in
the region, traces it beginning in 1922 when it was opened as a technical
institution by the colonial government.
According to the organizing committee, Makerere will have
a yearlong celebration of their existence and excellence at the helm of higher
education in the country and the region.