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Makerere University 65th Graduation ceremony Kicks off

•Over 5000 candidates graduate from six colleges
•About 400 graduate from CAES
•Graduands urged to have a positive attitude towards “blue color jobs”and always remember sacrifices others have made towards their education and to be honest
•Management congratulates government for the support and accepting to take over the entire wage bill of Public Universities
•Ms. Ruth Morris Keesling awarded an honorary Doctorate of science.

Makerere University’s 65th Graduation ceremony kicked off on the 21st January , 2015. About 5000 candidates from six colleges were awarded diplomas, degrees and PhDs in different disciplines. 
The six colleges included the College Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, College of Health Sciences, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio Security, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology, and College of Natural Sciences.



  About 400 candidates graduated from CAES. Of these 12 were awarded Doctorates, about 73 awarded Masters degrees and about 300 were awarded Bachelors degrees . 


The Vice Chancellor Makerere University Prof. John Ddumba -Ssentamu described the graduation ceremony as part of the cherished culture of Makerere University, and one of the few opportunities that graduands, parents, guardians and members of Staff come together to celebrate a worthwhile journey. 

The Vice Chancellor congratulated graduands upon successfully fulfilling the requirements for the award of degrees and diplomas of Makerere University saying their success is the joy of Makerere University. 
“This is your achievement but you should always remember the sacrifices others have made to ensure that you stand here today. Therefore to all parents and guardians, we thank you for the support and sacrifices that you have made throughout the period of study of your children to make sure that they succeed. The best gift you can give your children is education, and you have done so.” 


In a special way, Prof. John Ddumba -Ssentamu congratulated members of staff graduating upon this academic achievement from which Makerere University would greatly benefit. He also express appreciation to the entire Staff of Makerere University for their dedicated service to the institution and the entire nation. 
The Vice Chancellor told the congregation that Makerere University has continued to register significant successes in terms of international scholarships won by members of staff to pursue further studies and acquisition of research grants from development partners to undertake research and also build capacity in different disciplines. 

He also acknowleged and thanked the Government of Uganda for the support including the Presidential Initiative that has enabled the university to engage in ground breaking research and innovations. 
“Owing to this support from the Government and Development partners, as well as the high dedication of our Staff; I am proud and honoured to inform you Mr. Chancellor Sir that Makerere University is ranked among the top five universities in Africa in terms of research output and publications” 

Noting that Makerere University faces a number of challenges and the most outstanding being the insufficient funding, the Vice Chancellor expressed appreciation to His Excellency the President of Uganda, Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, for not only accepting to take over the entire wage bill of Public Universities but also having pledged to enhance the pay of the Professor to the tune of 15m shillings. 
“We are also grateful to His Excellency for the symbiotic relationship constructed between the President and the MUASA leadership headed by Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke; the Student leadership headed by His Excellency Ivan Bwowe and the Makerere University Management. I kindly request the honourable Minister of Education, Maj. Rtd. Jessica Alupo, to convey our sincere gratitude to his Excellency and also to inform him that Makerere University will continue to support all Government Programmes”, The Vice Chancellor pledged. 

Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu informed the congregation that Makerere University has taken steps to becoming financially stable. Key among the various strategies, he said was the establishment of the Makerere University Endowment Fund to mobilize resources for the development of Makerere University and the Makerere University Holdings Company Ltd with a long-term plan of ensuring that Makerere University is financially stable. 

To the alumni, benefactors and relatives, the Vice Chancellor told them that the Makerere University Endowment Fund Board of Trustees through the Planning and Development Department was in the process of identifying ways of reaching out to them at national, regional and international levels. 
“We are optimistic that when we come to your organization or company, you will receive us with open arms and contribute generously to the development of our institution” 

Prof. John Ddumba - Ssentamu further told the congregation that there have been several new developments in the Colleges since the last graduation. 
He said, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) has continued to excel in research grant acquisition and innovations. He reported that the College has embarked on Earthworm breeding project to provide cheaper sources of protein to livestock farmers. 
Other innovations in CAES he said, included the developed new soybean varieties Maksoy 4N and Maksoy 5N which are rust disease-resistant. He further commended this College for successfully conducting the agriculture induction course to the UPDF officers. 

To the graduands, the Vice Chancellor advised them to be honest and use the acquired knowledge to transform communities and to remember Makerere University that nurtured them. 

 “As you leave the gates of Makerere today, please be honest in all that you do, for it is such honesty that will enable you to improve and fit in any society hereafter. Use the knowledge you have acquired not only to improve yourself but also for the positive transformation of your society”, 
“I call upon you to always remember and support this great institution which has nurtured you”. He said. 

Presiding over the Graduation ceremony, the Chancellor Makerere University Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera congratulated students upon this academic achievement describing it as the vehicle towards a better future. The Chancellor also thanked parents, Guardians and sponsors for staying committed to educating the graduands. 
“Dear graduands, I congratulate you all upon reaching this coveted milestone in your academic journey. You are graduating in various disciplines that you have chosen as the vehicles towards a better future. In the process, your families, your country and even the world, benefit from your knowledge”, The Professor advised. 

The Chancellor expressed the University commitment to promoting internal and external confidence in her academic services provision through the Quality Assurance Policy to ensure zero tolerance to alteration of marks . He thanked the University Management for the tough decisions and actions taken 

Prof. Kagonyera encouraged the graduands to strive to greator heights to attain Doctorates. He thanked those awarded Doctorates for remaining focused and further extended his appreciation to everyone who had nurtured, supported and mentored graduants to that level. 
“ Always hold such people dearly. The best way to reward such rich hearted people is to put your Doctorate to good use by contributing to the creation of knowledge through research and publications, rising to the rank of Professor, nurturing and mentoring others, participating in activities aimed at retention of the next generation of academics and above all, using the knowledge acquired for the betterment of humanity and transformation of societies”, The Chancellor further advised. 

The Chancellor extended appreciation to the Government of Uganda for the support given to the higher education sector in Uganda and the recent commitment to take over the remuneration of staff at public universities. 
“I sincerely thank the Government of Uganda for accepting to take over the entire wage bill of Makerere University effective the next financial year 2015/2016.I also thank the Ministry of Education and Sports and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Development for prioritizing Makerere University’s development agenda.” Prof. Kagonyera stated. 

Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera commended the Makerere University Council and Management for coming up with a Resource Mobilisation Strategy and bringing on board the private and business sector through the Makerere University Endowment Fund and the Makerere University Holdings Company Ltd and said, 
“Let this gesture inspire our graduands, the alumni and Ugandans at large to contribute to Makerere University development programmes as well as participating in Makerere University activities and programmes when called upon”


  “ Some of these activities include: the Fundraising efforts for the Makerere University Students’ Complex ahead of the Mak@100 Centennial celebrations, H.E. Mwai Kibaki Presidential Library Project and an endowed Chair in Economics and the commercialization of Makerere University research outputs.” He added. 

The Chancellor applauded the entire Makerere University community for the advances in research and innovation in different fields that have transformed communities. He also thanked development partners for supporting research at the institution. 
“With the support of our development partners at both national and international levels, Makerere University has continued to improve her teaching and learning processes, produce high quality graduates for the nation and beyond, and come up with cutting edge research and innovations for the betterment of humanity and transformation of societies. We will forever be eternally grateful” 

In his Special Message to the graduands focused on Attitude, the Chancellor noted that whereas this academic excellence is commendable for all the youth, the attitude that comes with it has meant that most of them who are unable to get employed by their preferred employer shun other opportunities. 

Quoting from a 2010 report by Population Action International which revealed that the rate of unemployment is even higher for Graduates who live in the urban areas, the Professor attributed the unemployability of graduates to lack the vocational skills demanded by employers with jobs to offer. 
“This could partly be a result of ‘white collar’ graduates shunning ‘blue collar’ jobs. I urge you from this day forward to have an all-encompassing approach towards work, guided by a desire to make the much needed differ-ence in our community. You will be amazed at how many opportuni¬ties will come your way if you have a positive attitude towards work and life in general.” 

At this graduation Ms. Ruth Morris Keesling was honored with an honorary Doctorate of Science. Ms. Ruth Morris Keesling, for the time, effort and resources she devoted to research and wildlife conservation to revive the once-threatened Mountain Gorilla population and in so doing advanced academia as well as improving the livelihoods of various communities. 


The 65th graduation ceremony  will take three days . On Thursday 22nd January, 2015, the College of Education and External Studies plus Makerere University Business School will present their candidates. The ceremony will end on Friday, 23rd January, 2015 with candidates from the School of Law, College of Business and Management Sciences and the College of Computing and Information Sciences


By Friday, a total of thirteen thousand seven hundred and seventy six (13,776) students will have graduated. Of these 49.5% are female and 50.5% are male. The university will also witness a record-high attainment of 67 Doctorates. Of these 67% are male and 33% are female. The best student in the Science disciplines and best overall student, Mr. Adriko Rodney attained a CGPA of 4.88 with First Class Honours. Mr. Adriko will graduate with a Bachelor of Information Technology degree on Friday 23rd January 2015. The best overall student in the Humanities, Mr. Sewante Luke attained a CGPA of 4.81 with First Class Honours. Mr. Sewante will graduate with a Bachelor of Leadership and Governance from the Makerere University Business School tomorrow Thursday 22nd January 2015. 



Report compiled by 
Jane Anyango
Communication Officer - CAES




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