Uganda: Public Universities Embracing E-Systems a Progressive Sign

Conventional wisdom has indicated that private firms are more likely to embrace change than their state counterparts.

In 2009, Makerere University showed a sign of things to come, improving its database systems, and making it possible for graduands to obtain their transcripts on graduation day.

Increasingly, many other public universities are following suit. In 2012, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (Must) pioneered an e-governance system that made it possible for students to enroll and monitor their progress online, including academics and financial details. The university was also a pioneer in enabling e-voting for its guild elections.

Today, Makerere University has also improved its ranking in Africa by increasing its visibility online but publishing its research in various areas. They have taken it a step further, creating the Makapp, a software application that makes it possible to look at various aspects of life at Makerere on the mobile phone.

Kyambogo and Must have also gone further, setting up e-financial systems that make online fee payments possible. The move to embrace technology is increasingly being embraced by private universities.

Like Makerere and Makerere University Business School, the privately-owned Uganda Technology and Management University (Utamu) and Kampala International University (KIU) have also embraced e-learning.

Instead of saddling students with tons of books and other pieces of paper, Utamu and KIU are making content available online, including whole libraries.

This not only makes life easier for both students and staff, but frees up time and other resources to be more productive. As time moves on, a great future beckons.

The most modern university will in future no longer be the one with the largest library buildings, but the one where more content can be obtained easily; not the one with the longest queues for service provision, but where everyone is served fastest.

One looks forward to a time when, once studies are concluded, one can have their transcripts sent by e-mail, rather than waiting in line for extensive manual checks. The future is in e-systems and some universities are already staring at it.

Source: All Africa