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Who will preside at Makerere University’s 74th graduation?

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Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | More than 12,000 students are expected to gather at Makerere University Freedom Square for the one-week-long 74th Makerere University graduation ceremony scheduled to run from January 29th to February 2, 2024. The last such event was presided over by the former Chancellor, Professor Ezra Suruma, whose term expired in December 2023.

Consequently, Makerere University initiated the search for a new Chancellor. Simon Kizito, representing the University secretary Yusuf Kiranda, issued a call for nominations on December 1, 2023. The Chancellor holds a significant role as the titular head of the University, overseeing ceremonial assemblies, conferring degrees, and bestowing academic titles and distinctions.

The appointment of the Chancellor rests with the President, upon the recommendation of the University Council. Although the deadline for Chancellorship applications was January 11, 2024, the process is yet to yield results, raising concerns just a week before the anticipated graduation ceremony.

Referring to the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001, part 8, section 30(2), which outlines the Chancellor’s responsibilities, the law dictates that the Vice-Chancellor assumes the role in the Chancellor’s absence (part 31. (1) (b)). Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe told URN that the University is working diligently to complete the Chancellor selection process in time for graduation.

More than 120 students will be awarded Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees at the graduation ceremony, an increase from the previous graduation. Nawangwe expressed excitement about this development.

Nawangwe reiterated plans to ensure transcripts are ready for the 74th graduation ceremony.

An internal memo shared by Academic Registrar Professor Buyinza Mukadasi revealed their intention to issue transcripts daily during the graduation ceremonies, a notable change since Nawangwe assumed the role of Vice-Chancellor in 2017.

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The delay in transcript preparation, as noted during the 73rd graduation ceremony, was attributed to difficulties in obtaining necessary materials. Plans are now in place to issue transcripts promptly for the upcoming ceremony.

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