MAKERERE – The Ambassador of Romania to Uganda, Her Excellency Julia Pataki on Friday paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, Makerere University with the irresistible offer to broker collaborations between Ugandan and Romanian Universities.
The ambassador was received by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs (DVCAA), Dr. Umar Kakumba and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration (DVCFA), Prof. William Bazeyo on behalf of Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.
Ms. Pataki, who was accompanied by H.E. Godwin Murungi, the Romanian Honorary Consul shared that Uganda is Romania’s priority when it comes to collaboration in the East African Region and looked forward to linking Ugandan VCs to Romania’s National Council of Rectors.
“The exchange of Research, Professors, Students, and courses is very important to us in this collaboration. I also must state it right from the start that Romania is looking forward to learning from Uganda and our collaborations are going to be mutually beneficial” reassured the Ambassador.
Ms. Pataki noted that previous research had indicated that Research, Agriculture and ICT were priority areas of collaboration on the African continent “and this collaboration will enable the Ugandan Vice Chancellors to plan strategically so as to align their collaborations with the Uganda Vision 2040.”
She thereafter extended an invitation through Makerere for delegations from Ugandan Vice Chancellors to visit Romania in the second half of June 2019.
The visit, she noted, would enable them to visit Romania’s leading Universities in the Capital Bucharest – with strong agriculture and veterinary medicine disciplines, in mid-Transylvania – with strong Medicine disciplines as well as many others in the North East bordering Moldova and other parts of Romania.
In his remarks, Dr. Umar Kakumba thanked her for choosing to make Makerere her first stop in this broad-based collaboration initiative.
He noted that Makerere offers various disciplines across a wide spectrum which has led to collaborations with the top universities on every continent.
“We are part of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) which brings together sixteen of the region’s leading universities to generate knowledge and make our researchers and institutions globally competitive. We will, therefore, be delighted to shared areas of joint research, academic exchange for our mutual benefit” said Dr. Kakumba.
The DVCAA further offered to extend the Ambassador’s offer to other Universities at the next monthly meeting of the Uganda Vice Chancellor’s Forum.
Prof. William Bazeyo on his part thanked Amb. Patika for the offer that presents a lot of opportunities for Ugandan Universities to collaborate with counterparts in Romania.
He spoke well of the Romanian field of Medicine, whose graduates have gone to share their specialized skills with colleagues at Mulago Hospital.
The Ambassador on her part concurred that the girl child still faces a number of challenges in accessing higher education even in more developed countries such as Romania. This, she added, calls for collective mindset change “We have to provide the necessary conditions for girls to access quality education even at lower levels and excel such that they can qualify for scholarships at higher levels.”