The humanities and social sciences are some of the oldest sets of disciplines at Makerere University. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) is the largest college with five schools (i) Psychology (SPY); (ii) Women and Gender Studies (SGWS), (iii) Social Sciences (SSS); (iv) Liberal and Performing Arts (SLPA), and (v) Languages, Literature and Communications (SLLC); one institute - the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) and nine centers. CHUSS at present has 39 fully-fledged academic programmes made up of 11 undergraduate and 24 graduate programmes. Although, the student population has been fluctuating (undergraduate in 2015/16 were 3315) and 3762 in 2017/2018; graduate 473 in 2015/16 and 456 in 2017/2018, the College intends to progressively reduce on undergraduates and increase on post graduate students.
1.2 Summary of Past Strategic Plan Performance
The College has made significant strides in implementing the previous strategic plan. Our students have continued suiting the current marketability trends despite the national challenges of limited jobs. The College hasstrengthened and established new collaborations and attracted capacity building grants for research, graduate and post- doctoral training. Examples of development partners: the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Gerda Henkel Foundation, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Democratic Governance Facility, Norwegian Agency for International Development (NORAD) through the NORHED,the Austrian Development Cooperation. The College signed over 25 MoUs with local and international universities and organizations. The above partnerships and collaborations have increased the number of PhD holders, research outputs/publications and academic staff promotions and created an environment that enhances research and innovations.
To enhance the quality of scientific, multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional research, scholarly writing and publications, the College established the Makerere University School of Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee (MAKSS REC). A total of nine (9) centers and institutes (e.g Confucius Centre) have been established to promote unit specific training and research, and the Department of Performing Arts and Film acquired land and laid foundation stone for the Performing Arts Center. In addition, the College organized international and national conferences, symposia, forums, seminars and dialogues to disseminate and discuss research findings; debate the future of humanities and social sciences, and global and national development concerns. The College developed new programmes in line with the current international and national demands. The College has continued to support government in areas of gender mainstreaming and management. These achievements have contributed to the increased visibility and improved ranking of Makerere University globally.
1.3 Contextual Analysis
In line with the current Makerere University Strategic Plan, CHUSS Strategic Plan 2020-2030reflects global, regional and national concerns. These include increased conflicts/wars, natural disasters/climate change, corruption and discrimination leading to poverty, increased cases of migrations and mental complications, and gender inequalities. This is happening in spite of the existence of legislation and policies. For example,the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); and the Sustainable Development Goals, and African Union’s Agenda 2063. The above have informed the national legal regime such as the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, Vision 2040, the National Development Plan II, theGender in Education Policy,Equal Opportunities Commission Act, and the Public Finance Management Act. These legal frameworks and policies promote observation of human rights, human development and economic growth of nations. The College Strategic Plan is aligned to the legal regime and other relevant national policies, laws and strategies.
From the environmental scan [strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT)], the College has a number of strengths such as a large body of multi-disciplinary undergraduate and graduate programmes, capacity for discipline specific research solutions to support government policies and private sector, academic support to other universities and institutions, and capacity to offer gender related backstopping services to government and private sectors. Although the college has ensured that her programmes and products remain relevant to national development, regional and international relations and cooperation, the college has some weaknesses such as limited internal funding for teaching and learning facilities and research activities; limited capacity to address academic challenges faced by staff and students; and compartmentalization and politicization of some programmes.
A number of opportunities were observed particularly the growing demand for university education and other services such as training in languages, communication, and gender mainstreaming, and providing counseling and psychological services. In addition, there is increased scholarship offers and donor funding for research in the humanities and social sciences. The College is facing a number of threats particularly the large student numbers in some courses which affects the quality of teaching, negative/hostile government policies towards humanities and social sciences, lack of financial autonomy. Inadequate visibility of women in academic and administrative structures and negative attitude and publicity from government and the public about gender programmes.
1.4 Emerging Issues
The major challenges for the College remains the large numbers of undergraduate students, lack of adequate funding for teaching and learning facilities including computers, teaching space, and low levels of academic staff; limited capacity to address academic challenges faced by students particularly in internship programme and issues of sexual harassment. Teaching and supervision of graduate students is affected by the large number of graduate students, lack of graduate teaching facilities, and low morale of lecturers. There is also the issue of compartmentalization and politicization of some programmes and non-cohesion among schools. Continued limited numbers of female academic and administrative staff. In addition, much of the research funding for students and staff is donor funded which results in limited flexibility in research activities.