The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) has presented the highest number of PhD graduands for the Makerere University 72nd Graduation that started on Monday 23rd to 27th May 2022. Out of the 100 Doctorates across all colleges, CHUSS presented 25 PhDs.
This is the second time CHUSS is taking lead in the production of PhDs. During the 71st Graduation ceremony held on 17th- 21st, May 2021, the college presented 22 PhDs out of 108 Doctorates across all colleges, the highest of all.
On this fifth and last session of Makerere University’s 72nd Graduation Ceremony CHUSS also presented over 165 Masters and over 1,500 undergraduates. The college also presented 07 candidates for the Diploma in Stratery and Warfare.
“I congratulate the College of Humanities and Social Sciences on producing a record 25 Candidates for the conferment of the Doctor of Philosophy Degree,” The Vice Chancellor Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe said.
A total of 12,474 graduands received degrees and diplomas of Makerere University during the 72nd graduation ceremony. Of these, 100 graduands graduated with PhDs, 1,236 with Masters degrees, 10,998 with Bachelor’s degrees and 140 with undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas. 52 % of the graduands were female and 48 % are male. Forty of the 100 PhD graduands and 492 of the 1,236 Masters graduands were female, representing 40% in each category.
The Chancellor’s remarks
Presiding over the ceremony, the Chancellor Makerere University, Prof Ezra Suruma thanked the Makerere University Council led by Mrs. Lorna Magara for their untiring efforts in supporting the administration to ensure the smooth functioning of the university. Prof Suruma also recognized the contributions of the Senate and the academic staff who have done so much to guide the graduands through the complexities of academic life.
The Chancellor acknowledged the contributions of various institutions and organizations towards the University notably, the Government of Uganda, staff, students, the development partners and religious leaders and all stakeholders, especially the parents, for the vital role played in supporting Makerere University to pursue its educational vision .
Prof. Suruma commended the graduands for enduring hardships that included mental stress, financial deprivation, social alienation and continuous intellectual harassment otherwise known as testing and examination adding that having survived all those hardships, Makerere University has awarded them survivors’ certificates to testify that they have been tested and found fully fit for tough duties anywhere in the world.
“I thank you very much for enduring and finishing what you came here to do. You have brought glory not only to yourselves but also to your loved ones, to your parents, to your friends and to God.
The world which you are now entering is filled with both old and new challenges. For example, the war between Russia and Ukraine has altered the global geopolitical environment. The prices of fuel have shot up dramatically, and many other commodity prices have also been affected. We now have to find solutions for survival in this new environment. I believe that we have to be more aggressive and creative in the face of this war. We need to change our economic system and even ideology, to respond to these new challenges”, the Professor advised.
Prof. Suruma told graduands that fortunately, there are also new opportunities such as the expansion of the East African Community to include the Democratic Republic of Congo that may be the most important market opportunity for Uganda since independence. He urged them to wake up and aggressively respond to this great opportunity.
The Chancellor noted that despite the severe limitations on employment imposed by the lack of capital and the cost of capital, there is need to intensify creativity to find ways to break these financial limitations and to realize that this challenge is a continuation of the African struggle for freedom. He added that colonialism has never ended but just continues in a new form hence the need to wake up to that challenge to set themselves free.
“Let us endeavor to stand firm on our principles even in the face of neocolonialism…
Fighting against slavery and colonialism and imperialism has never been easy. Each generation must wake up, define the problem and make its contribution to the solution. We must wake up and not fall asleep when our house is on fire”, The Chancellor stated.
Prof. Suruma reminded the congregation of the upcoming Uganda Martyrs celebrations who made stand for what they believed and paid with their lives stressing that ss long as the challenges of poverty and injustice remain, there is no choice but to struggle for solutions for survival in our world.
He told the congregation that Uganda’s challenges range from the microeconomic struggle at the household level in the parish to the national and regional and international struggles for markets for coffee and oil and therefore need courage, commitment and organization to resolve these problems.
The Chancellor also stressed the need for everyone to ask God for wisdom to do what is right in the face of the hard challenges and thanking God for the gifts of time, education, of being alive where many have passed, the gift of a sound mind, the gift of eyes and hands and a strong heart and body.
The professor also advised graduands to extend a helping hand as they pass through this world, then their lives, gifts, will not be in vain, nor be wasted. This, he said is not all about doing big things, making news and getting applause but even small things matter.
“It is a big dark world out there. There is a desperate need for a helping hand. Please take your candle and shed some light wherever God has put you. You might not make the national or international headlines. But to those whom you give a helping hand you will be the most important headline of their life”, The Chancellor guided.
The Vice Chancellor’s Remarks
The Vice Chancellor Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe said, despite the disruption caused by the COVID 19 Pandemic, the university council through the support and guidance of the university Council to push through and minimize the time lost, extending appreciation to staff and students for soldiering on in spite of the devastation and embracing the Open, Distance and e-learning.
With more than 1000 of our academic staff holding PhDs, Makerere is a formidable research institution currently ranked No. 2 in Africa as far as research is concerned. Globally Makerere University ranks to in collaborative research and in clinical research”, Prof Nawangwe said.
The Vice Chancellor said Makerere today competes favorably with any other top universities in the world as far as quality research is concerned due to heavy investments in human resource and infrastructure development by government and development partners.
Prof. Nawangwe reported that the College of Humanities and Social Sciences CHUSS has continued to strive for greater academic excellence, research and community service with several staff of CHUSS are involved in research and are part of international research networks.
Through CHUSS, the Vice Chancellor said, Makerere University secured USD 800,000 for archival research funded by the Mellon Foundation, USA. The project entitled: “Archiving, Memory and Method from the Global South”, is aimed at building the capacity of staff and students to study formal and non-formal archival repository institutions, community archiving and intangible archives such as folklore, dance, music and other oral forms.
Through these oral forms Prof. Nawangwe said the countries rich cultural history can be disseminated, preserved and handed down to the next generations. The project is also aimed at enhancing the teaching and learning in the humanities and social sciences.
“In our internationalization efforts, the university signed a Memorandum of understanding with Yunus Emre Institute of Turkey aimed at enhancing international communication and building strong relations with Turkey. By signing this protocol, Turkish language courses will start at Makerere University. Both Makerere and Yunus Emre Institute will be developing joint research, organizing joint academic, scientific and cultural events and, reviewing academic curricula”, Prof. Nawangwe read.
In addition, he said, collaborative efforts have been concluded to link Makerere University with Kyoto University, Japan through a program initiated by the Ministry of Education, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan known as, “ Innovative Africa: Educational Networking Programs for Human Resource development in Africa’s SDGs. This collaboration involve international exchange which is essential in enhancing knowledge and academic activities as we aspire to be a research-led University.
Relatedly, the Vice Chancellor said, the CHUSS launched a new Masters program in French Language Studies to build professional capacities in the mastery of the French Language, develop skills in the pedagogy of French and impart knowledge on the cultural and political relations of the Francophone world. The programme is hosted by the Department of European and Oriental Languages. In a nut shell, CHUSS has provided renewed leadership in the expansion of language capacities in African languages as well oriental languages. In this way Makerere becomes a leader in regional integration and development.
Prof. Nawangwe commended CHUSS for remarkably being active in the MAK@100 celebrations.
“One of the many activities in these celebrations was a biography recital in honour of “Zadok Adolu- Otojoka one of the highly celebrated icons of music education and professional music performance in Uganda and East Africa. He served as Head of Department of Music, Dance and Drama (now Performing Arts and Film) at Makerere University in the mid- to late-1990s and was particularly famous for his charismatic conducting of the university anthem and the mesmerizing leadership of the academic procession during Makerere graduation ceremonies. This celebration of a living legend was very commendable and was highly appreciated by Zadok himself and the larger performing Arts fraternity”. The Vice Chancellor appreciated.
Prof. Nawangwe recognized the Government of Uganda for the release of UGX 21 billion for the reconstruction of the iconic main building. He also invited the congregation to participate in the celebrations to Mark the 100 years of service to humanity whose climax will be on 8th October 2022.
To the graduands as they leave Makerere University, the Vice Chancellor urged them to always be proud of their Alma Mater and be her good Ambassadors.
“Go and put to good use the knowledge you have received from one of the best universities in the world to change your communities, your country and humanity. Put your trust in God and honor your parents and opportunities will be opened for you. Do not forget the Gates of Makerere”. Prof. Nawangwe advised.
He also informed graduands that transcripts for graduands on 4 and 5-year programmes were ready for picking the following week and for those on 3-year programmes, transcripts will be ready for picking beginning the second week of June 2022.