Research should be mandatory at higher institutions of learning (Daily Monitor (Uganda))


Every university must hold at least one international conference in every academic year and also run an internationally peer reviewed journal as a standard and best practice in Uganda.

In Uganda many universities and other degree awarding institutions have positioned themselves to offer a wide range of training programmes and courses. Many universities assume to be empowering both the individuals and organisations and assume that their products will make the training institutions survive in all situations. This has promoted a number syndrome by increasing enrolment and filling graduation books and schedules as well as ensuring the courses are accredited by National Council of Higher Education (NCHE), “the regulator”.
While this trend may make business sense to the universities, it makes research and publication either a second choice or a corporate social responsibility which must not be the case.

Although we do not have a Ugandan standard of ranking universities and other degree awarding institutions, at the continental level some countries and one university in Uganda have taken permanent positions. What makes Makerere University stand out needs to be understood and a deliberate effort made so that other universities can rank better in the region.

In my trade as a consultant in marketing for the International conference on governance and service delivery in developing economies under the theme: Managerial Solutions to Governance Challenges in Africa organised by Uganda Management Institute (UMI) in Collaborations with International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA) gave me chance to share with 27 universities and colleges in Uganda, issues regarding organising conferences, publications and research.

My conclusion was that the regulator of higher institutions of learning ought to set standards which make research mandatory. What makes an institution to qualify to be a higher institution of learning if in their operations research is made secondary.
The regulator therefore ought to demand that universities organise local and international conferences, and running internationally recognised peer reviewed journals and not only give chance to local scholars, academicians, and practioners but also reduce the limiting factor which is the cost of attending conferences outside Uganda when institutions are complaining of budget constraints.

Presenting and publishing in an internationally peer reviewed conference does not only help in providing local solutions to local problems but is also useful in career growth and promotions. The question is how many internationally recognised conferences do Ugandan universities host to allow the local faculty to present and publish at low cost.

Among other benefits, the forth coming international conference will provide an arena to scholars, students, researchers, and practitioners to collectively explore managerial solutions to the governance and service delivery challenges in developing economies. More specifically generate practical strategies for improving governance processes, curbing corruption and improving service delivery.

It will also enhance the establishment of linkages and networks among researchers and institutions. Avail an opportunity to scholars and practitioners to exchange ideas through presenting papers and networking.

Good governance is generally characterised by participation transparency and accountability as the citizen’s exercise their political, economic and administrative authority in the management of a country’s affairs. This may be the reason why the Quett Ketumile Joni Masire, the former president of Botswana has been invited as a key note speaker because he is seen as a champion for Africa in service delivery, governance and development.

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