The Executive Director of the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Prof Mary Okwakol, has called for more funding for PhD students in the country.
Speaking at the 13th Blended Higher Education Institutions Exhibition held at UMA show grounds in Kampala on Thursday, 22 September 2022, Prof Okwakol said of the 12,000 lecturers and tutors employed in higher institutions of learning, only 1,900 are PhD holders, a number she said is still very low.
Prof Okwakol asked the government to reinstate scholarships for PhD students to increase their numbers in the country.
“Years ago, the government used to sponsor PhD students but these were abolished. Government should review this because of its importance in developing and leading research, as well as supervising master’s students at the university level, hence their importance cannot be underrated,” Prof Okwakol said.
Some universities such as Makerere University does not hire lecturers without a PhD, hence they possess 50 percent of PhD holders in the country.
She also tasked Parliament to intervene and make the cost of data cheap for institutions of higher learning.
According to Prof Okwakol, most institutions for higher education were not accredited to carry out online teaching during Covid-19 due to failure to afford Internet and ICT equipment.
In response, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Thomas Tayebwa, who was the chief guest at the function, said he has discussed with Uganda Communication Commission and the ICT ministry to formulate a law that calls for free rating for schools websites.
A number of institutions were exhibiting innovations their students have developed over years.
Kyambogo University, for instance, were showcasing electromagnetic cranes, baby incubators and a solar slashing machine, among others.
International University of East Africa on the other hand had innovated more than 150 electrical motorbikes, electric tractors, smart light and green stoves, among others.