The Makerere University Visitation Committee has called for establishment of task-force that will oversee the implementation of a cocktail of its recommendations.
The Makerere University Independent Transformation Task Force (MUTTF), the visitation committee recommends, should be set up by government for a period of three to five years. The necessity of the implementation task force is informed by management deficiencies that have bedevilled Makerere for years.
The task force, according to the visitation committee report, should “develop a twenty (20) years’ comprehensive Operational Viability Analysis (OVA) detailing strategic goals, strategy, governance and management structures, legal framework, required resources, job analysis, cost structures and revenue streams.”
The task force is also supposed to “develop an Implementation Plan for Makerere University Reforms, and provide strategic oversight for the implementation of the Plan including the recommendations of the Rwendeire Committee.”
The Taskforce should be situated in the Ministry of Education, according to the Visitation Committee report, and should be composed of up to seven members with competences in corporate governance, legal, finance, strategic planning, human resource management, ICT and higher education curriculum development.
President Yoweri Museveni and First Lady and Minister of Education Janet Kataha Museveni on Friday received the report at their Rwakitura home in Kiruhura district. The report was handed over to the president by acting chairperson, Justice Ketra Katunguka. The committee chairperson Dr Abel Rwendeire died in October after saying he had accomplished the task and was awaiting the president to receive the report.
President Museveni in November 2016 established the visitation committee to probe into the management of Uganda’s oldest university at the peak of strikes that led to Makerere’s closure for two months.
Key among the visitation report recommendations is the decongestion of Makerere University by transferring undergraduate programmes in the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) to Kyambogo University, those in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) to Nsamizi Training Institute of Social Development and College of Business and Management Sciences (COBAMS) to the Nakawa-based Makerere University Business School (MUBS).
“The remnant Colleges should then focus on graduate training and research. Additionally, virtual platforms should be fully utilised to deliver programmes to offsite students,” the report says.
On management and accountability, it recommends that money lost due to irregular financial practices should be recovered. “The IGG should investigate the financial malfeasance highlighted in the Report with the view to recovering lost funds and bringing those culpable to book,” the report says.
On leveraging the premier brand of Makerere University, the visitation committee says the Government should restructure the public universities into a National Public University System similar to the Indian Institute of Technology, University of Malaysia, Monash University in Australia, University of Michigan, University of California or University of London Systems.
“This would progressively transform public universities established up-country into upcountry Colleges of Makerere University. For example, Muni University would become Makerere University Muni and Busitema University would become Makerere University Busitema,” the committee recommends.