Saturday, May 8, 2010

Strong housecleaning...Makerere University


Maybe some other colleges and universities should take similar steps...like get away from votech courses.

"Makerere drops 30 courses"

by

Patience Ahimbisibwe

May 8th, 2010

Daily Monitor

A committee set up by Makerere University to restructure the institution’s academic programmes has recommended that 31 courses be phased out, 10 be merged while three others be suspended.

The committee, which submitted it’s report to the University Senate, the highest academic decision-making body on Wednesday, was appointed on December 4 by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba.

Chaired by Law Prof. Fredrick Jjuuko, the committee was mandated to analyse all academic programmes offered at Makerere to identify and eliminate duplication of courses, propose mergers and make recommendations where the new programmes will be housed. Prof. Baryamureeba said the move was intended to create a more collaborative and integrated system with less duplication and more emphasis on meeting socio-economic needs.

Verdict is...

The report states that most courses offered at the 88-year-old institution are duplicated and require merging while others should be eliminated. The committee noted that in order to resolve the duplication of courses and intra-faculty disputes over subject combinations, the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences should be merged into one administrative academic unit as soon as possible.

It was also recommended that Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Bachelor of Science in Finance and Bachelor of Science in Marketing be phased out as stand alone programmes but made options under Bachelor of Commerce Programme.

Cheating lecturers

The report further noted that some lecturers have a tendency of ‘protecting’ course units within their departments and also create additional irrelevant courses to claim more teaching hours to earn more money.

Other changes the committee recommended include the period of undergraduate for the programme of Mass Communication be increased from three to four years. “That students should undertake broad academic quality education for the first two years before embarking on the skilled courses of Mass Communication. The Post graduate diploma in Environmental Journalism and Communication and post graduate diploma in Mass Communication, will be phased out,” the report adds.

The findings further indicate that there were overlaps in Bachelor of Travel and Tourism Management, Bachelor of Leisure and Hospitality Management and Bachelor of Catering and Hotel Management.

The report suggested that the above courses be phased out and instead create a Post Graduate Diploma in Travel and Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality and Catering and Hotel Management. “If it is impossible to restructure or close a programme, alternative pathways shall be offered to students currently enrolled on affected programmes. Some of the units did not have adequate staff and they have adopted a number of coping mechanisms,” the report states.

It was also suggested that courses like Development Studies, Communication Skills, Computer Literacy, History, Philosophy of Science and Theories of Knowledge, Ethics and Human Rights, Gender and Development be taught across the university but be spread over the period of study.

Although there was little duplication in the science courses, the committee recommended that a review of the programmes be done immediately because they had not been reviewed in a long time. Courses to be reviewed include Bachelor of Architecture, Bachelor of Science in Quantitative Economics and Bachelor of Industrial and Fine Arts.

In the case of Bachelor of Sports Science and Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications Engineering, it was advised that admissions into those programmes be halted until their curriculum has been revised.

Ms Agatha Aturinda, a Bachelor of Music graduate welcomed the idea of phasing out Bachelor of Dance and incorporating it with Music and Drama saying they blend with each other. “You can’t do dance without music and drama. It’s a waste of time to study them separately. Combining them will help students get a variety of arts, adding value to the profession,” Ms Aturinda said.

Mr Fagil Mandy, a former Education commissioner, said the public should give an opportunity to the new Vice Chancellor to lead Makerere to attain its former glory as one of the top universities in Africa. “There is a lot of duplication of courses in the country and Makerere University is not a junior institution. Decision must be made. It is strategic for it to take the right direction and stick to courses that provide economic and social development internationally,” Mr Mandy said. “Let us not run the university as a business. Everybody has been complaining that Makerere is overcrowded.”

Call for quality

He said the university must look at providing quality education using the best capacity, equipment and facilities. “Makerere should provide the missing link; the human resource. The public should not be selfish. I am a dramatist, but if drama doesn’t have students, it should be shut down because for every course there is cost,” Mr Mandy added.

Phased out courses
B. Leadership and Governance
B. Office and Information Mgt
B. Procurement and Supplies Mgt
B. Human Resource Mgt
Bachelor of International Business
Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology
Bachelor of Wildlife Health and Mgt
Organisational Studies
PGD in Environmental journalism & communication
PGD in mass communication
Post Graduate Diploma in Education
M. of Religious Studies
M. of Hospitality and Tourism Mgt
M. of Science in Leadership & Governance
M. of Science in Entrepreneurship
M. of Science in Banking & Investment Mgt

Merged Courses
-B. Arts Human Rights to Faculty of Law
-B. Procurement & Supplies Management, Bachelors of Human Resource Management, Bachelors of International Business to make Bachelor of Business Administration programme.
-Media and Human Rights be reconciled with Media Democracy & Human Rights and the mandate given to M.A in Journalism and Communication.
-BSc Business Statistics with BA Statistics
-MA in department of Social Sciences and Arts Education
-M.A Ethics & Public Management and Master of Arts in Public Administration & Management

To be transferred
-Bachelor of urban and regional planning be transferred to Faculty of Technology
-Bachelor of Business Statistics Programme be housed in the Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics
-M.A in Educational Psychology to Department of Psychology

Suspended courses
Bachelor of Sports Science
Bachelor of Science (External)
Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications Engineering

Makerere University [Wikipedia]

1 comment:

Denis said...

In the long run it might increase study hours for the merged courses, and creates marketable studies. So i'll say: great choice