Uganda Martyrs University
Uganda Martyrs University was established in 1993 by the Uganda Episcopal Conference, and its Main Campus is located at Nkozi, 83 km South of Kampala Capital City. UMU is committed to its mission of “providing quality higher education, training and research for the betterment of society guided by ethical values” and its vision of being “a University that is nationally and internationally recognized for excellence in teaching, learning, research, advancement of knowledge and community engagement”. It is further projected to be “… a student-centred university, a research-intensive university and a university that is uniquely Ugandan in character, a university that is imbued with Christian values, an institution that is of national and international acclaim, and an institution that is responsive to the needs of the Church and the people of Uganda.
Following the vision and mission that guide its activities, UMU joins global, regional and national goals to tackle difficult societal questions in areas of disease, unemployment, hunger, environmental conservation, co-existence, livelihoods, and poverty by carrying out creative and innovative teaching and research aimed at providing solutions to these problems. With this, UMU aligns research and teaching with the global agenda of transforming our world using the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the African Agenda 2063 that looks at “The Africa We Want”; The East African goal of Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS); and Uganda National Development Plan III (NDP III). In doing this, UMU treasures strategic partnerships, local and international, in teaching, learning and research for mutual benefits in line with the university’s vision and mission. Among other things, it engages in joint researches with government institutions, civil society agencies and universities. It develops joint curricula to be delivered by partnering universities and uses community outreach as the anchor of disseminating knowledge to the community.
Uganda’s national demographic indicators show that the majority of Ugandans (40%) are youth and that many of them live in situations of want (UBOS 2020). Such youths ought to be given affordable science-based technical skills to fight unemployment and improve welfare. Knowledge, skills, values and attitudes are necessary for job creation and sustained livelihoods. It is now known that collaborative research initiatives among countries, universities and organisations tremendously improve technical capabilities in local contexts (cf. Ruland 2013; Aarts & Greijn 2010)
Objective of the agenda
To promote national and international recognition of UMU while working to achieve the national, regional, continental and global sustainable development goals.
- To ensure that ICT technology which is the driving force of the century is fully harnessed.
- To enhance research and development.
- To promote innovation and scaling innovations to industry and communities.
- To facilitate the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge and research for the betterment of life in Uganda in particular, and elsewhere in general, in a way which will contribute to the promotion of our cultural heritage, climate and environment.
- To promote service outreach to the community, especially the vulnerable and the marginalised.
- To create an academic community characterised by the non-negotiable values of service, solidarity, justice and respect for the other.
Research in faculties/schools/Institutes will be carried out under the following themes:
- Human Capital Development
This theme addresses the following:
- Building capacity in practical skills in Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
- Skilling in clinical and modern biomedical sciences.
- Skilling in the use of locally available construction materials that are affordable with low cost aligned with the environment.
- Training lecturers/ teachers in innovative and transformative approach to teaching and E- learning pedagogical practices. This will involve the re-designing of curricula to embed skills needed for employment.
- Reduction of vulnerability and gender inequalities through research and improved teaching and awareness creation (publication and policy influence).
- Supporting development of a productive labour force through integrated and ethically responsive education.
- Alleviating child deprivation, child labour and domestic violence through social and mental health research.
- Building capacity in research and teaching of gerontology, mental health and counseling.
- Developing a business model that is affordable and can provide skills that change the mindset and values that support social impact through social entrepreneurship.
- Developing a model that builds competencies for graduates, entrepreneurs and school dropouts that foster independent and lifelong learning.
- Building capacity in product value chain development.
- Promote ethical practices and professionalism in national development initiatives, science and technological innovations, and service delivery.
- Combating Hunger Vulnerability
This theme addresses the areas contributed to by the University in food security and reduction of vulnerable populations. This is achieved through the following:
- Research in better and more resilient varieties of crop and livestock
- Community outreach in the areas of food security and vulnerabilities
- Community outreach in areas of combating post-harvest losses
- Community engagement in demonstrating organic farming and food security
- Establishment of a meteorology station that will inform the public on the weather patterns for the purposes of better planning
- Carrying out research, both student and staff in areas of resilience, food security and sustainable agriculture.
- Promoting agro-industry tailored to the different commodities in these centres established.
- Developing biotechnology for breeding of resilient and preservation of indigenous varieties.
- Building capacity in livestock development and animal production management.
- Research in the area of refugees and other vulnerable groups like the elderly, orphans, widows, Peoples With Disabilities (PWDs) and people affected by natural disasters.
- Research in sustainable environment management and minimising effects of climatic change.
- Improving Quality of Life and Livelihood
Under this theme, UMU contributes in the following areas
- Research in areas of Agro-industrialisation especially aiming at creation of agricultural cottage industries
- Product value chain management aimed at creating finished products from the raw materials especially in the fields of agriculture, pharmaceuticals, minerals
- Harnessing biotechnology in the fields of agriculture, diagnostics for both human and animal disease, development of biologicals targeting endemic and epidemic diseases in both humans and animals.
- Research in biomedical and clinical sciences aimed at improving health
- Skilling human resources for providing health care…
- Sustainable construction technologies (traditional/vernacular)
- Climate responsive design approach for the tropics
- Heritage and historical studies (preservation of heritage sites for tourism)
- Urban and regional planning
- Promoting Commerce and Trade
Through joint ventures and promoting modern business practices, the collaboration will enable:
- Student and staff exchange for business ideation.
- Setting up business incubation centers for student’s entrepreneurship practical skills.
- Creation of business opportunities for both countries.
As essential stakeholders in society, UMU as an academic institution has a special role to play in the transformation of society. This, however, requires that we work within strategic partnerships that involve multiple stakeholders with different attributes, experiences, power and means, both from the Global North and Global South. It may be difficult to do it alone, we need funding, and we need support from government and other agencies. This agenda will be operational only if each member of the university community works to build a community of researchers. It is incumbent on each member of the UMU community to search for partnerships and funds that can bring meaningful research. It is through this that UMU can achieve her vision of being “… a University that is nationally and internationally recognized for excellence in teaching, learning, research, advancement of knowledge and community engagement”.
Aarts, H. a. G. H., 2010. Globalisation, Knowledge and Learning: Developing the capacities of higher education institutes. In: Higher Education and Globalisation – Challenges, threats and opportunities for Africa. s.l.:Maastricht University and Boston College, p. 14.
Ruland, D., 2013. Enhancing Research Through International Collaboration. [Online]
Available at: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20131114184121685
UBOS, 2022. Statistical Abstract, Kampala: Uganda Bureau of Statistics.