The Vice Chancellor is responsible to the University Council for the academic, administrative and financial affairs of the University. The Vice Chancellor is also the Chief Public Relations Officer of the University. I have performed these responsibilities before with distinction having served as the 14th Vice Chancellor of Makerere University (2009-2012) and Founding Vice Chancellor of Uganda Technology and Management University (2012-2015).
The vision of Makerere University is to be the leading institution for academic excellence and innovations in Africa. Its mission is to provide innovative teaching, learning, research and services responsive to national and global needs. The current Makerere University Strategic Plan 2008/09-2018/19 expires in June 2019. As Vice Chancellor, I shall guide the University to develop the successor 10-year Strategic Plan 2019/20-2029/30. The objectives shall provide operational mechanisms for the University management to focus on in the next 5 years. I shall lead the Management team to achieve Makerere University’s vision through implementing the University Strategic Plan.
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.
Quality assurance, gender and internationalization shall continue to be mainstreamed.
As Vice Chancellor, I will implement the University Strategic Plan through building winning teams in the University.
Professor Venansius Baryamureeba, PhD