While addressing at the 13th Higher Education Institutions Exhibitions, Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa the Deputy Speaker of Parliament said sought that Higher Education Research Fund be extended also to private institutions of learning in order to broaden research.
Mr. Tayebwa noted that currently the fund facilitates only Public Universities but it would be economically viable if it was extended to private institutions to save the country billions of shillings it spends on external researchers.
He pledged to spearhead the move of pestering government to increase the budget of the fund and including these institutions.
He went on to ask National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) to create avenues for institutions to access education online freely in the Open Distance e-Learning (ODeL)
Mary Okwakol the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has asked government of Uganda to increase the budget of the Research Fund to enable them execute new findings and innovations.
She revealed that such exhibition is aimed at bringing together all higher institutions’ stakeholders and the council for engagement on improving education standards.
In execution of Deputy speaker’s request of free access to internet, Ms. Okwakol pleaded to government to reduce internet rates in order for students to use it for e-learning and innovations.
Prof. Joy Kwesiga the Vice Chairperson of National Council for Higher Education revealed that the budget and materials of the Council are not enough to facilitate research and reach intended goals therefore government should consider bridging that gap.
Makerere is one of the 39 Universities that showcased at exhibition.
Joyce Muhanguzi from the Academic Registrar department of told press that unlike other exhibitions, they are using this to disseminate relevant academic information to students especially those who would like to pursue their career at Makerere.
She said that as Makerere celebrates 100 years, their focus is boosting research and E-Learning to comply with the requirements of the 21st Century.
She revealed that some students inquired on how they can join Makerere on private and she informed them that since 1994 when President Museveni commissioned Private Scheme at Makerere University, those with lower passes can also join and enroll them to certain programs.
It should be noted that at the moment, Makerere University has already publicized the list of Public Sponsored students awaiting those that will join on District Quarter.
This exhibition is organized annually for all higher institutions of learning to showcase their milestone, innovation and research and to acquire new knowledge that will help to improve education in the country.