Battle of brains as professors fight for Makerere VC job

  • by Gift Nalwoga
  • June 15, 2017

It was a show of management skills amongst the three professors,  Edward Kirumira  who is currently the Principal College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Barnabas Nawangwe the current Deputy VC Finance and Administration at Makerere and former VC Venansius Baryamureeba as they converged at  Makerere University main hall as Candidates for the institution’s Vice Chancellor job make public presentations.

Below are experts from their presentations.


Prof Venancious Baryamureeba

Prof Baryamureeba

As Chief Executive Officer of the University, I shall work with middle level and senior managers to handle the academic, administrative and financial affairs and public relations function of the University. My role as Vice Chancellor shall be to provide effective oversight and supervision while ensuring an efficient and effective working and management environment. I shall promote higher education, research and innovations, knowledge production and advance learning. I will focus on the maintenance and development of educational and research infrastructure. ICT shall be aggressively promoted as an enabler of the affairs of the University. Before end of 2018, I will ensure that Makerere University is fully computerized to enable transparent, efficient and effective service delivery in all operations and processes.

I will aggressively mobilise financial resources, diversify sources of revenue, implement the investment strategy of the University and deploy prudent financial management practices to ensure financial sustainability of the University. My focus will be on developing University idle land for commercial and education purposes, undertaking public-private partnerships and fully operationalizing Makerere University Holding Company. The intention will be to increase the university revenue base by 25% every year I am in office.

As Chief Public Relations Officer, I shall coordinate and manage the public relations function of the University through established systems and structures. Makerere University has a diverse group of stakeholders who require engagement to realise mutually beneficial relationships. My focus will be to engage the press to develop the brand of the university and to engage the different stakeholder groups with an aim of ensuring reputable image building.

In the next five years, I will focus on initiatives for improving teaching and learning infrastructure, promoting e-learning and learner-centred and andragogical methods through staff and student training as well as mainstream open, distance, e-learning, m-learning and tele-education approaches. In order to promote global education, the University Library will be fully automated to enable access anytime from anywhere by 2018.

Makerere University will continue to produce human resources required at national and global levels. So increasing quality and access of higher education and human resources development shall be prioritised. I intend to work with relevant bodies to implement a fully-fledged semesterised system. From 2017/2018 academic year, we will ensure that programmes that attract a minimum of 100 registered students per intake are fully semesterised by having an intake each semester. Open, distance and e-learning shall be mainstreamed in the University. Makerere University will start ‘’Makerere University Open Campus’’ that will use online teaching for programmes. This will lead to having online campuses across the globe to provide e-education. Day and evening programmes will be timetabled Monday through Friday. We shall introduce weekend programmes that shall be supported by the e-learning platform. The plan is to have at least 100,000 students pursuing degrees under Makerere University Open Campus and 50,000 on the weekend programmes by 2022. Through these interventions, we will increase university income from Appropriation in Aid while cutting down on programme delivery costs.

We shall focus on strategic infrastructure development. We shall establish the College of Health Sciences Teaching Hospital in Katalemwa, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in Kabanyolo, and The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-Security at Buyana Stock Farm. We will explore the possibility of turning Nsamizi Institute of Social Development into the campus for the College of Education and External Studies and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. We shall review the Makerere University investment plan and work towards having commercial buildings on the land in Kololo and Makindye.

As a collegiate University, there is still need for devolution of powers and functions to the colleges from the centre. Under my leadership, I pledge to work with relevant stakeholders to ensure that Makerere University delegates the academic, administrative and financial affairs to the constituent colleges in conformity with the delegation levels stipulated in the Makerere University constituent colleges statute.

I intend to work towards ensuring that each college is research-led with a well-established grants office. The focus will be on strengthening existing research centres, institutes, business incubation and innovation centres and establish new ones. We shall emphasize commercialisation of innovations and exploitation of intellectual property rights. This will involve incubating business startups in partnership with venture capitalists including those in Silicon Valley. Makerere University shall buy equity in promising startups and should be able to own shares worth at least USD 1 billion by 2022.

My passion is to bridge the gap between academia and practice with an aim of making Makerere University relevant in spurring development in Uganda and beyond. I will work with relevant groups to ensure knowledge and technology transfer, to achieve dissemination of research findings, technologies and innovations as well as influence policy and address real world challenges.


Prof Edward Kirumira

Makerere University was and should be a pathfinder University not only in the region but also on the African continent. By its very dictum – We Build for the Future – it signifies the role and importance of Higher Education in the development of the African people and their place in the world economy. This is the bigger picture of re-claiming the position of Makerere University as a leader in Higher Education, research and innovation in Uganda for fast socio-economic growth and re-positioning her to be a competitive University internationally, in the 21st century.

Strategic Planning: The 2008/2018 University Strategic Plan, for which I am privileged to have been the Chair of its development, lays out three important legs of which Makerere University must be identified by. Namely, teaching and learning, research and innovations, and knowledge transfer partnerships and networking. I envision Makerere University (i) consciously and strategically investing in her academic, administrative and support staff; (ii) putting emphasis on harmonization of her programmes, courses and general students services provision; (iii) playing a critical leadership role in research, innovations and improvement of evidence-based policy and decision making in the public and private sectors; (iv) initiating and nurturing public-private partnerships and growing her internationalization; and, (v) supporting and training academic staff for other public and private universities and tertiary institutions to improve on the quality of higher education institutions and impacting the secondary and primary education sectors in the country.

Prof Kirumira

In order to achieve this vision I intend to cultivate strong multi-institutional/agency national, regional and international partnerships, emphasize competence-based academic programmes delivery through increased research and innovation throughput and a student responsive leadership. In doing this my strategic vision will be based on a performance-based untilisation of the academic and administrative staff which is critical to determining the academic standards, research portfolio and good standing of a 21st century Makerere University. The university governance structures and systems must of necessity be strengthened and a commitment to allowing the development of a robust semi-autonomous committee and unit structure within the Collegiate dispensation. In addition, a strong and reciprocal working relationship with the Government of Uganda and its national development plan agenda cannot be over-emphasized. This is a Public University and it must be appreciated as such without of course unduly constraining academic freedom that underlies the capacity of a 21st Century University to respond and be responsive to emerging development challenges.

Prof Barnabas Nawangwe

Makerere University is the 4th in East Africa and 500th in the whole world but we don’t have a hospital. So I plan to bring one.

The university is going to have a five star and three star hotels to replace the university guest house as well  as five apartments for students residing in halls of residence.

Staff have had a salary enhancement, because me and colleagues did something.

We need a well-motivated, skillful, resourceful and vibrant staff.

We want satisfied and focused students. Can we put in place measures to ensure that they concentrate? No strikes.

I have given myself deadlines to achieve all my plans. We can transform our society if we work together.

We do not want Makerere to keep closing. We want to work with all stakeholders.