Professor Ezra Suruma, the new Chancellor of Makerere University pledges to turn the institution into a Centre of Excellence within and outside Uganda.
Suruma made the commitment at his installation as the third non-head-of-state University Chancellor after Professor Apollo Nsibambi and his predecessor Professor George Mondo Kagonyera.
Suruma was appointed Makerere University Chancellor on 2nd December 2015 by President Yoweri Museveni following an approval by a five member committee chaired by Government representative to University Council Bruce Kabaasa.
The committee Suruma emerged the best contender in the race that also had Professor Charles Olweny, among others. He replaces Professor Mondo Kagonyera who has been the chancellor since 2007.
Suruma joins the university at a time it\'s faced with a multitude of challenges which include among others, the reported issuance of fake degrees, persistent strikes by students over tuition increments and lecturers over unpaid salaries and welfare.
But Suruma says he hopes to build on the strides made by Makerere University in academic research over the years, as well as its legacy as a hub of knowledge, to lift its standards and make it better.
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He says the founders of the university envisaged an institution that must stand the test of time and provide a solution to the country\'s human resource and knowledge needs to spur economic growth and development. He is optimistic that the dream set out close to 100 years ago by the founders will continue and thrive during his tenure.
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Professor Suruma says the challenge of the university is to ensure that the products of Makerere continue to shine and become role models to the next generations.
He says knowledge transfers, teaching and learning for which the university was established must be given due attention to ensure that the students meet the required job and life demands after their graduation;
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Professor Mondo Kagonyera, the outgoing Chancellor of Makerere University cites meager funding as a key factor that challenged his term of office. He says Makerere University management spends most of its time looking for money to address pressing needs of both students and staff.
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Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, the Prime Minister who represented the President at the ceremony pledges that government will improve its funding to both Makerere and other public universities. He says through the Presidential Initiative on Science, some funds have already been allocated to Makerere that led to research in production of Kiira EV and multipurpose tractors for farmers.