“The relevance of Higher Education”
Uganda Martyrs University
A THOUGHT ON HIGHEREDUCATION
By Isaac Kiiza ibasiima.
n any goodeducation sys-tem, we arehighly awareof the factthat educationmust meetthe needs of the societythat receives it. Over the years, universityeducation in Uganda has gone from beingoffered by just Makerere University tomore than 10 private universities andfive public universities. This creates achallenge for many of us in Uganda: howwill all the educated people be absorbedinto the working community. This isfurther worsened by the fact that as moregraduates leave university, their skillsleave a lot to be desired and so more andmore employers start questioning the na-ture and role of the university system andwhether graduates are receiving some-thing worth the money they paid.University education cannot be under-minned, not just because of the prestigefrom a university degree, but for thefact that one has received the requiredknowledge. At the moment, we in thefaculty of humanities are struggling tocope up with less research funds and lessstudents. This means we have to competein an unfair academic situation but also beat this cutthroat competition so as to prove our worth.Why would studying literature or historyor even geography be of importance? Iremember asking myself such a ques-tion when I was at high school. I guesscoming out of university with a degreein Literature put me in a queer position:after school, what next? One of the thingsI have come to realise is that universitytaught me the very basics of survival in amad world. They may think they do notneed us, but soon they will realise wedon’t need them; they actually desperate-ly need us.Humanities deal with the human person(and this is opposed to the human being).Personhood goes a long way in explain-ing who we are, our attributes and whatsociety and even ourselves expect of us.This means, humanities teach us to loveand respect who and what we are. Thesciences have always made us believethat the technological component in us isimportant for society: the truth is scienceand humanities must be balanced for a better world. People want to be listenedto, to be helped by a human being. Peo- ple want a human touch in almost every-thing. In studying literature at university,I had to learn more about how societieswork hand in hand with each other. Inmy teaching at university, I have hadto let students realise the importance of people in their work, not just academic or research work, but even life after school.Higher education becomes useless oncewe forget why we are here. It ceasesto make sense when we think we areseparated from those that we belong to.In Africa, it is sometimes hard (and I saythis with a lot of reservation) to separatethe individual from the community. Butit is also important for the individual to
Welcome to yet anoth-er edition of the UMU Newsletter. The theme for this one is “The Rele-vance of Higher Educa-tion” and we hope thatour writers have done agood job at dissecting thisinteresting theme.In the first article, our former vice chancellor Professor Michel Lejeune lays emphasis onthe fact that higher education is a necessarylink in the educational chain of the Africannation necessary for its development. In thesecond article, Isaac Kiiza Tibasiima dealswith how humanities are related to per-sonhood and in the third article Samuel H.Baligidde dwells on the need for co-operation by the stakeholders in search for funds toinvest in promoting higher education.We profile our academic registrar, Mr.Byuma I.M. We present an insight into hisCurriculum Vitae. He also talks about qualityat Uganda Martyrs University.On the student wall, Nkalubo Edwin Erichighlights the unique impact of Steve Jobson the global level through his innovativedevelopments and Alem Abebe is our facein the crowd. A former UMUSU chairpersonwho talks about the way he has been shaped by UMU.Finally, our columnist Jimmy Spire Ssenton-go argues that what has been labouriouslyresearched and put into dissertations should be disseminated and its practical applicationsexplored for the benefit of society.
Br. Aloysius Byaruhanga
Dean, faculty of Education
“how will all the educated people be absorbed into theworking community University education cannot be un-der-minned, not just because o the prestige rom a university degree, but or the act that one has received the required knowledge”