Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs Meets With International Students



Date:

10th August 2022

On Thursday 4 th August 2022, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, Assoc Prof Umar Kakumba met with a cross section of international students in his office to discuss academic issues affecting them as international students . The meeting which was attended by the Deputy Registrar (Undergraduate admissions and Records) Mr Charles Sentongo and the Head of International Office Ms Martha Muwanguzi had undergraduate and postgraduate students from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Comoros, Nigeria, Tanzania, Cameroon, South Sudan, among others.

Dr Kakumba welcomed the students and told them that he was also an international student like them when he was doing his masters studies in South Africa and also for his PhD in London. He was so passionate about international students and therefore very willing to assist them in whatever way possible as DVCAA. He thanked the International Relations Officer Ms Muwanguzi for organizing the meeting so that they solve the problems together.

Led by Rochel Noumechi, a fourth year Cameroonian student pursuing a Bachelor of Pharmacy, presented the issues on behalf of the group.

First is the requirement by applicants to equate their academic documents with UNEB while they are outside Uganda. This required buying a ticket to Uganda, stay in a hotel for a week while waiting for papers to be equated, then apply, submit and then return to your country when not sure that whether you will be admitted or not. It was very expensive for applicants. Secondly, there was no feedback after submitting your application whether it was received or not. This leaves them in suspense and therefore keep inquiring with the International Office.

Thirdly, was new students not having University Identity Cards and therefore could not get student passes at Immigration. This had multiple effects because when one’s visa expires, even the telephone numbers are blocked by the telecomm companies yet they use the phones/tablets for studying. This does not happen with nationals. There is additional requirement of presenting your Semester results to Immigration before you can extend your student pass yet the semester results are released late.

Lastly, is getting academic transcript and certificates on the graduation day. If they are not issued that very day, it becomes costly when they return to their countries and miss job opportunities.


The DVCAA Assoc Prof Umar Kakumba (middle seated), Deputy Registrar Mr Sentongo(seated R), Head International Office Ms Martha Muwanguzi (seated L) after meeting with international students in his office

In his response, Dr Kakumba thanked the students for airing out their grievances but encouraged them to be calm and patient as matters are solved one by one. As a University, our strategic direction is to be come an internationalized university. One of the benchmarks is the number of international students, no. of international collaborations and partnerships. Although Makerere is doing badly in international student numbers at both levels, for some programmes, the quarter allocated to internationals is not utilized not filled up. Majority of our lecturers were trained abroad so they understand internationalization very well and will be willing to assist the students in their academic endevours. When you compare Makerere with other universities, the fees are low and fair yet our standard of learning is quite high and so should be able to attract more and more students.

The DVCAA and the Academic Registrar had a meeting with the Executive Director of UNEB to have a desk for Makerere to ease the process of equating academic documents , The Deputy Registrar for Undergraduate admissions and Records Mr Sentongo informed the students that Ms Joyce Nyiramahoro in Room 3.16 on Level Three was helping the students with receiving students documents and sending them to UNEB. Alternatively, applicants could apply online through the UNEB’s eservice portal accessed at https//eservices.uneb.ac.ug/ requesting the National Examinations Body that issued the students’ academic document to send a Verified Copy addressed to the Executive Director, UNEB by email at equating@uneb.ac.ug. The Academic qualifications that are not written in English language are translated at the applicant’s cost. Documents from East Africa are charged differently from those outside the East African region. This information about equating foreign academic qualifications will be put as a link on the website ease application process for international applicants.

For two years now, the Application Portal is using anew system ACMIS which does not indicate whether ones application has been received or not. There is no provision to give feedback about the status of the application. The DVCAA promised to request the DICTS to study the system and include the aspect of online feedback and status of the application once submitted.

In the recent past due to Covid19, there has been short period s between semesters. Before lecturers finish with marking and releasing results, another semester begins. He promised to encourage staff members to release end of semester results as soon as possible to enable international students extend students passes. The short term students will also be able to get their transcripts to take back to their universities to continue studies and graduate.

Dr Kakumba pledged more interaction with students for improvement of service delivery .He urged them to engage in university activities especially the forth coming Mak@100 celebrations due in October.


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