Makerere University portrays itself as a reservoir of the country’s intellectual elite with the obligation to champion social, political and economic change in society through professional extension services and influencing policy (Strategic Plan 2000/01-2006/07:24)
For the University to achieve the above stated function it is working hard to put in place the following:
- Well-defined, structured and coordinated outreach programs and institutional policy that satisfy both the academic and development interests
- Competent and reward systems that motivate and encourage development-oriented services in the University
- Soliciting for financial resources from our development partners, the government and internally generated funds pool.
What would an effective University extension and Outreach look like?
- Makerere sees its Extension and Outreach function as an interface between research and training that would make a University relevant to societal needs or national development
- Extension and Outreach comprise of internships, consultancy, action research and short-term non-academic training programmes to a wide-range of clients
- Provide feedback for adaptation of curricula, learning approaches and research methodologies for relevance
- It is the space for joint learning and change for students, academic staff, community, university and its partners
- Highlights the critical areas for training, research and development interventions
Makerere within that context has registered success in a number of ways for instance:
- Improving community access to specialized competencies on a community basis
- Increasing and intensifying extension services
- Increasing Makerere University's involvement in influencing public policy (Makerere Institute of Social Research, Faculyt of Agriculture, Faculty of Social Science, Institute of Public Health and other units)
- A number of units in the University, particularly those in the science based disciplines are engaged in extension and outreach (Technology, Medicine, Agriculture, etc)
- Many of the Outreach and extension services have clear objectives and serve a multiplicity of stakeholders for academic and non-academic purposes - beneficiaries include private sector, farmers, secondary schools, etc.
- Makerere participating in the improvement of community access to specialized competencies
- Mounted model villages - Arua and Rakai Districts
- Steps taken to strengthen internships in University academic programs - New institutional guidelines for internships (towards a field attachment policy)
- Innovations of various products have been achieved and taken to the community e.g. Local building materials, sanitary pads from local materials, paper making from the banana fibre etc.
- Ability to attract donor funds for our efforts - e.g. SIDA/SAREC, NUFU, Indian Cooperation, USAID . Uganda Gatsby Trust , the Rockefeller Foundation , Carnegie and others.