Friday, 21st May 2021 marked the end of the five-day 71st graduation ceremony of Makerere University with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) presenting a total of 2,136 students for the award of degrees and diplomas in various disciplines. Of the 2,136 students, 1338 were female and 798 male.
A total of 22 students graduated with PhDs. These included; Mr. Aleu Garang Aleu, Ms. Alidri Agatha, Ms. Ddungu Mugabi Rachael, Ms. Kaije Doris, Mr. Kakuru Robert, Mr Kannamwangi Kyanda Deogratius, Ms. Linda Lillian, Mr. Muhajubu Abudul, Mr. Okello Francis, Mr. Okeny Charles Kinyera, Mr. Sekito Zaid and Ms. Uwineza Mimi Harriet from the School of Liberal and Performing Arts; Mr. Atuhairwe Amos and Mr. Wandera Samuel from the School of Languages, Literature and Communication; Ms. Rita Nakanjako, Ms. Atukunda Gertrude, Mr. Jerome Ntege and Ms. Nanfuka Esther Kalule from the School of Social Sciences; Ms. Nyangoma Anicent and Ms. Akello Judith Abal from the School of Women and Gender Studies; and Mr. Ngabirano Evarist and Mr. Ngendo David Tshimba from Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR). According to the Principal of CHUSS, Dr Josephine Ahikire, the high number of PhD graduates this time round, is attributed to cohort PhD training largely supported by Gerda Henkel Stiftung in Germany and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York. The success is also attributed to a dedicated team of academic supervisors at the College.
A total of 200 students graduated with Masters Degrees, 1,912 with Bachelor’s Degrees and 6 with a Post Graduate Diploma in Gender and Local Economic Development. Out of the 1,912 Bachelors Degree graduates, 41 attained First Class Honours Degree. Overall, 12,550 students graduated from the 10 constituent colleges of the University with a record 108 PhDs.
Presiding over the graduation ceremony, Makerere University Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma congratulated all graduands and extended gratitude to the University Management and staff for the excellent job done. He appreciated the parents and guardians for the sacrifices made over the years.
In a special way, the Chancellor expressed appreciation for the research topics of the CHUSS PhD graduates, noting that they were highly relevant and addressed some of the most pertinent issues that touch the social, political and economic welfare of African countries. “I am truly impressed and encouraged by the relevance of their research topics. I am confident that the research will have transformative impact on the future of our country and the entire African Continent,” he said.
Makerere University Female Scholarship Foundation and MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Programme Awards
During the ceremony, the Chancellor presented Awards of Excellence to six graduates under the Makerere University Female Scholarship Foundation and MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme. The graduates namely; Ms. Ainembabazi Miracle with a CGPA of 4.73, Ms. Nabisenke Getrude with a CGPA of 4.54, Ms. Ajok Nancy Kyompaire with a CGPA of 4.45 and Ms Kamukama Jacinta with 4.40 in the Bachelors of Arts in Social Sciences, as well as Ms Kengonzi Regina with a CGPA of 4.45 in the Bachelor of Community Psychology received the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme Award. Ms. Kituyi Tracy with a CGPA of 4.42 in the Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences was presented the Makerere University Female Scholarship Foundation Award in recognition of her excellent performance.
In his farewell remarks, the Chancellor urged the graduates to exercise humility and resilience as they confront the challenges lying ahead of them. “Go home confident that the Lord who has brought you this far will never leave you nor forsake you. Despite the turbulence we experience in the air or on the high seas, God will make sure that we reach the destination for which He created us. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. He will deliver you from every trouble and every peril.”
Delivering his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe congratulated all graduates and parents, and applauded CHUSS for the achievements registered. “The College of Humanities and Social Sciences is undergoing a major transformation. With 22 PhD graduands at this ceremony, the highest number from any college, CHUSS is indeed celebrating a bumper harvest,” he noted. Citing various projects, the Vice Chancellor commended CHUSS as one of the leading research units in the University. “With support from the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), researchers from the College have greatly contributed to the fight against COVID-19 through various projects aimed at sensitizing and increasing public awareness about the pandemic. The Makerere Institute of Social Research under CHUSS continues to produce critical researchers for Africa through its special PhD programme, and the College is home to the first Rotary Peace Centre on the African Continent.”
Despite the tremendous progress in research, the Vice Chancellor decried the low level of knowledge generation on the African Continent. “Africa currently accounts for only 2% of knowledge generation. Africa needs to produce a lot more PhDs. All African Universities put together produce only 1000 PhDs a year, while China with the same population as Africa produces more than 50,000 PhDs per year, 50 times more than Africa. We need to invest more in PhD training and research if we are to transform our economies,” he explained.
The Vice Chancellor urged the graduates to use the critical thinking skills attained in the course of their studies to transform the country and continent at large. “We have trained you to be critical thinkers ready to face the job market, but also to be resilient entrepreneurs. Go out and create the jobs the country is yearning for. Those of you graduating with PhDs are now certified researchers. You are now truly global citizens. You must help change the situation in Africa,” he noted.
He thanked all local and international development partners for the enormous support extended towards research and academic training programmes at Makerere University.