Presentation on theme: "Challenges to Building Institutional African Research Collaborations in a Global Knowledge Society: A case of Makerere University Mathias Bwanika Mulumba."— Presentation transcript:
Challenges to Building Institutional African Research Collaborations in a Global Knowledge Society: A case of Makerere University Mathias Bwanika Mulumba School of Education Makerere University
Background Scientific research is regarded as the foundation for growth and development in any country. The ever increasing investment in knowledge globally has made the concept of research and education more relevant than never before (Levacic, 2006; Hite, 2001) A knowledge society is one in which knowledge becomes a major creative force, a major component of any human activity (Balloni, 2010: 21)
Background And education and higher education in particular is increasingly becoming a foundation on which a knowledge society is anchored In recent years, there has been increasing interest among researchers in the concept of research collaboration (Katz & Martin, 1997). Research collaboration is viewed as a measure of pulling together resources, some of which might not be available in the local setting, in order to create knowledge or add onto the existing one
Background Several factors contribute to collaboration in research but the issues concerned with funding, recognition, and the desire to obtain cross- fertilisation across disciplines are worth mentioning in research collaboration (Katz & Martin, 1997) In Africa, there are very few organizations that rely on research from universities to develop products and carryout necessary innovations
Background Makerere University has been at the forefront in carrying out basic, applied and evaluative research. Many of the research collaborations in Makerere University are established with higher education institutions that are located in the developed world.
Background Table 1: Research Collaborations between Makerere University and other Institutions Collaborating InstitutionCountryNature of CollaborationPeriod Bergen University CollegeNorwayAcademic and Research Collaboration 18 th August 2010 – 17 th August 2015 O’Reilly Institute College Dublin DublinResearch Partnership19 th August 2010 to 30 th September 2013 Bergen University CollegeNorwayAcademic and Research Collaboration 2 nd July 2010 – 01 st July 2015 London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine UKCapacity Development in Malaria Research 1 st July, 2008 – 30 th June 2013 Orange (U) LtdUgandaICT Application Development, Research, Development & Knowledge 2 nd July 2010 – 01 st July 2015
Source: Legal Office, Makerere University 7% of the research collaborations (in the last five years) between Makerere University and other HEIs are within institutions located in the East African region and Africa in general compared to universities in the developed world. This kind of scenario has led to low volumes of research activities between Makerere University and institutions within the East African region and Africa in general.
Background Since research is one of the channels through which knowledge is obtained, research collaborations between HEIs are increasingly becoming common, although at Makerere University this doesn’t seem to be the trend.
Methodology A case study was used to guide the study The respondents included staff at the School of Graduate studies, Legal Office, International Office, and senior members of the academic and administrative staff who are engaged in collaborative research. Interviews, focus group discussions, and documentary analysis were the major mode of inquiry.
Methodology Data was coded and organized into meaningful categories for easy interpretation. Categories were further analysed to establish relationships among categories, meanings and interpretation of the collected data.
Results Funding/financial constraints -Dwindling financial support from the government. -Shortage of finding has pushed departments and faculties at Makerere University to collaborate with institutions in the developed world because in most cases the latter funds the projects
Confidence/ trust issues Has pushed some of the staff at Makerere University to collaborate with institutions in the north Shortage of expertise -Makerere Univ. lacks expertise in some areas e.g. petroleum exploration, heart surgery
Results Structural Issues -Lack of academic units that are predominantly research based. Technical challenges -minimal levels of exposure to competitive research -Similar areas of specialisations among institutions in E. Africa and Africa in general
Recommendations Revitalization of institutions that are primarily research based. Introducing research units in all departments with full time staff A need to write research projects that address African issues. Makerere University should increase on the budget line for research
Recom… Makerere Research policy should be operationalised