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- The professor further said Makerere University, having been in existence for over a hundred years, holds the moral authority to educate members of the public on the difference between the two in order to give appropriate credit to actual Doctors of Philosophy that academically work hard for their award.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof Umar Kakumba, has slammed a section of honorary doctorate holders who adopt the title doctor, saying that it should be a reserve for PhD holders who have done actual academic work to earn it.
Honorary doctorate degrees are awarded by institutions of higher learning to individuals who contribute towards certain strengths in society and are not necessarily part of an academic journey.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor, who was speaking during the 27th Annual International Management Conference of Makerere University Business School in Kampala, under the theme “Leveraging Governance, Human Capital and Technology for Sustainability,” urged members of the public to differentiate between actual PhD Holders and Honorary Doctorate Holders.
“A PhD is a highly revered award across the world. These days we see people calling themselves Doctor, including these ones who pay some $2,000 and $3,000 in some colleges in North America, Latin America, then they are given honorariums and go and wear beautiful gowns. Unfortunately, they don’t know the meaning. They put doctor so and so and then in brackets they put PhD, and yet they are talking about honoris causa. We must be able to inform them the difference,” he argued.
The professor further said Makerere University, having been in existence for over a hundred years, holds the moral authority to educate members of the public on the difference between the two in order to give appropriate credit to actual Doctors of Philosophy that academically work hard for their award.
The Principal of Makerere University Business School added his word on the matter urging the honorary doctorate holders to state clearly the honorary doctorate award whenever they are talking about it for their audience to be able to differentiate it with an academic PhD.
“We are saying, it should be clear. There is a PhD through research and dissertation and there is also that PhD that is honorary. It is important that somebody mentions that it is honorary once you talk about it, so that we can differentiate between those that have studied PhD to create knowledge and those that are being honoured for what they have done before. That’s the difference,” he said.
The remarks from the educators come after Makerere University raised the bar of lecturers to PhD graduates, with Masters graduates being given a minimum of five years in order to continue lecturing at the institution.