"This is the surest way to transform this country into an industrial state."
Universities in Uganda have been challenged to invest more in research and practical learning instead of focusing on mostly theory.
The deputy executive director for the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Rev. Canon Dr. Alex Mugisha Kagume said most universities are emphasizing more on theory using outdated teaching materials.
"There is need for our universities to involve the youth in research activities. This is the surest way to transform this country into an industrial state," he said.
He feels government should allocate funds to private universities for research, as there exists so much talent that goes to waste because of lack of funding.
"It is unfortunate that our universities continue to churn out graduates who end up not being economically productive because their fields are saturated. If we are to move this country to the level of the Asian Tigers and the western countries, then we need to promote research and innovativeness.”
Kagume was speaking at the fourth Team University graduation at Pope Paul Memorial hotel in Lubaga, Kampala.
Over 500 students graduated on Friday. (Credit: Danielle Nalukenge)
‘Research not a luxury’
Meanwhile, the university’s chancellor Prof. Tarsis Kabwegyere said universities need to be involved in the development of knowledge that is both transformative and innovative.
"Countries that have made huge strides in development are those that have promoted research. African countries will continue to import skills and expertise because they have channeled little resources into research," he said.
Knowledge economy is the one driving new information technology essential in ensuring business efficiency, added Kabwegyere (pictured below).
"We must invest and support research. Research is not a luxury. Research is very vital for our prosperity, our security, our health, our environment and our quality of life," said the minister for general duties.
On his part, vice chancellor Prof. Lutalo Bbosa said the institution is developing a capacity-building programme in research and innovation.
They have also opted to pay more attention on distance learning or distance education which would cater for more learners, he added.
"The distance learning envisaged is the modified one because of the available technologies. The mode of delivery would enable us reach more potential learners at affordable rates.”
Nyanyi Cultural performers entertain the guests during the graduation event. (Credit: Danielle Nalukenge)
As many as 512 students were awarded certificates, diplomas, degrees, post graduate diplomas and masters' degrees for various disciplines in business studies.
Of this number, 306 were female and 206 male, with Augustine Murunga emerging the best with a CGPA of 4.95 in a diploma in Business Management.
William Beijjuikye, who also graduated, urged the public to do a health check for Hepatitis B virus, so that immediate treatment can be given to those found with the virus before it develops into liver cancer.
"I am a victim of the virus and treating it needs a lot of money. For I thank God that I am alive today to tell the story, please people go for the test," advised the Ruhaama County MP.