KAMPALA – Educationalists have asked government to start sponsoring students pursuing doctoral studies (Ph.D.).
According to Dr. Cyrus Seera Ssebugenyi, the principal higher education officer at the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), a student pursuing doctoral studies spend about Shs10m per semester for the respective courses which many ordinary Ugandans cannot afford.
“We are no specific Fund from government for sponsorship of Ph.D. candidates as it is the case with some of the other countries including Germany where the government fully sponsors the Ph.D. programmes. I believe this is a big challenge owing to the fact that the Ph.D. studies are very expensive. As NCHE, we accredited and approved several courses for Ph.D. at only designated universities,” Dr. Ssebugenyi said at the official launch of the Ph.D. programme at the Ndejje University Graduate School on Monday.
Dr Frederick Kakembo, the Ndejje University Deputy Vice-Chancellor in Charge of Academics, acknowledged the fact that even lecturers for the Ph.D. studies are few.
Justice Joseph Murangira, a high court judge and pioneer Ph.D. candidate at the Ndejje University Graduate School pursuing a management course, said the course presents a rare opportunity for him to explore chances of increasing on his capability to help the Judiciary improve and possibly deliver to its expectations.
According to Prof Buyinza Mukadasi, the director of research and graduate training at Makerere, the university is facing the crisis due to a shortage of senior academic supervisors, especially professors because Makerere has traditionally relied on supervising students instead of grooming young scholars to succeed them upon retirement.
“It is very clear in some departments where some senior colleagues retired without a succession plan by grooming somebody to take over from them, meaning we are grooming a decaying institution, not a research-led institution,” he said in August as Andrew W. Mellon Foundation released a Shs3.2 billion grant known as the early career scholars programme to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences to fund Ph.D. studies for 15 staff members.