Makerere ranking has done us proud
Posted Monday, January 7 2013 at 02:00
To other universities, both public and private, this impressive report about enhanced research should prompt them to borrow a leaf from Makerere University.
Makerere University has entered the new year with great news. A fresh report on research and scientific output by the Schimago Institute Rankings (SIR) 2012 has ranked the university the ninth best research institution in Africa. This is a commendable leap, by three places, from the 12th position the university occupied the previous year. Makerere is the pioneer and biggest public university in the country.
In a country whose image has been tainted by mainly reports about the rampant theft of public funds by government officials, poor delivery of social services as evidenced by the sorry state of roads, lack of drugs in public health facilities, dilapidated public schools, etc), the report about the university’s enhanced continental ranking in research brings in fresh air to the nation.
With plans to increase the university’s student population to at least 100,000 by 2015, the SIR report will contribute a great deal of confidence among the prospective students, who would be joining one of the best learning institutions in the Pearl of Africa and beyond.
The improved performance of Makerere in the field of research must be instructive to the government. According to Dr Vincent Ssembatya, the university’s director of Quality Assurance, there is need for the government to invest more in research if the university is to further improve its ranking. Dr Ssembatya says the university currently relies largely on development partners such as Sweden, Norway, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Carnegie Foundation for funding.
At the launch of the university’s 90 years celebrations since its establishment in 1922 last year at the Freedom Square, President Museveni promised to support scientists and researchers at the university with more than Shs10 billion to enable them expand their various undertakings. We believe the government now has better reason to fulfil this pledge.
To other universities, both public and private, this impressive report about enhanced research should prompt them to borrow a leaf from Makerere University. They should upscale their students’ knowledge and research to internationally recognised standards.
Most importantly, despite the many challenges Makerere still faces, including inadequate resources, space, equipment, etc, the institution should remain steadfast in pursuance of excellence. It is the way to go.