Makerere University plans to reduce undergraduate admissions by 10 percent to increase its research capacity, the Education News has learnt.
Mr. Yusuf Kiranda the acting University Secretary explains that much as Makerere University previously thought it was generating revenue from the big number of student admissions, the current student population of 35,000 is overstraining the university resources.
Mr. Kiranda says that more admissions are making the university incur losses because of maintaining the additional students.
Makerere University has for years been recording contradicting students’ statistics which has put the institution’s integrity in the spotlight.
University places its official figure at 3, 6000 students.
In 2016, the University Management and Council communicated to members of staff that the payment of incentive was not financially sustainable due to the declining student numbers that led to a significant decline in the University revenue.
Makerere University internally generated revenue has dropped from UGX 120 billion to UGX 90 billion over a period of 10 years while the cost of inputs has gone up considerably.
Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the Makerere University Vice-Chancellor, however, says management wants to raise the number of students on graduate programs from the current 6,000 to 10,000.
He, however, adds that Makerere University has adequate facilities to cater to the student population, quickly noting that they instead want to increase the number of students studying online.
Makerere University has 760 PhDs out of the 1300 academic staff making it one of the universities with one of the highest quality of academic staff on the African continent.
“More than 60% of our staff now have PhDs, by the end of the SIDA program, 80% of our staff will have PhDs and everybody else have a masters,” said Professor Nawangwe in a recent interview.
Makerere University last year launched a 10- year strategic plan to transform Uganda’s premier higher learning institution into a research-led university.
The plan was developed through a consultative approach. Prof Nawangwe says the approach taken during drafting strategic plan has harmonised ideas at the institutional, national, regional, and global levels and will produce the desired blueprint for transforming Makerere University into a world-class research-led university by 2030.
Makerere University produces 3% of all the research produced in African.
“We are also ranked very highly in terms of all aspects of quality in research and training. They rank us as number five in the whole African continent,” Prof Nawangwe added.
Prof. Nawangwe said most of the research, 50% of it is coming out of the College of Health Sciences, then Agriculture is maybe 25% so, the two colleges account for 75%.
“So how can all the other 8 accounts for 25%? Yet the potential is there. So, we want to make use of this potential to enhance research,” Prof Nawangwe added.