The Embassy of China to Uganda has awarded two categories Scholarships; the Ambassador’s Award for Excellence and the Ambassador’s Award for Friendship to Makerere University continuing students. Officially launched by the State Minister for Higher Education Hon. John Chrysestom Muyingo on behalf of the Minister of Education and Sports Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni, the Scholarships Award was received by the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Prof. William Bazeyo on 8th August 2018.
The Scholarships Award worth UGX 85 million will enable 30 continuing students with a genuinely disadvantaged socio-economic background to pursue their studies at Makerere University for the academic year 2018/2019. The Scholarship process is being administered by the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate on behalf of Makerere University. According to the Chairperson of the Scholarships Selection Committee, Dr. Jessica Norah Aguti, the first cohort of the beneficiaries was selected from the 10 Colleges of Makerere University.
“The selection exercise was handled with transparency and with the highest degree of integrity. Every college was given an opportunity and the gender element was considered. We were looking for candidates with great academic potential who were willing to commit to the selection process. We received 373 applications and the 30 students selected were the most deserving. I appreciate the selection committee for the commitment. The whole process was as open as possible, she explained.
Representing Hon. Janet Kataaha-the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. John Chrysestom Muyingo, congratulated the award winning students upon meeting the necessary requirements for the scholarships and urged them to fully utilize the opportunity to achieve their goals.
“As you continue with your studies kindly bear in mind that this is Chinese tax payer’s money that has enabled you to realize your goals. Someone out there in China is paying your tuition, therefore use it well and ensure that when time comes and there is need to support a cause, you don’t hesitate to contribute towards somebody’s future,” Hon. Muyingo urged the students.
He thanked the Ambassador of China to Uganda, H.E. Zheng Zhuaiang, for realizing the need to support Higher Education in Uganda and for offering 30 scholarships to Makerere University students. He also commended the long term relationship between China and Uganda that has enabled the two countries to strengthen their areas of cooperation and development.
“The scholarship offer is an indication of the greater and stronger corporation between the Chinese Embassy and Makerere University. This initiative also expresses the Ambassador’s love to improve Higher Education in Uganda. We appreciate your support and the support from the people of China,” he remarked.
He applauded Makerere University for its tremendous academic research and innovations that have helped the country to find solutions to its social, political and economic problems. He called for zero tolerance to hooliganism and urged students to exercise the highest degree of discipline.
The Minister appealed to the University Management to implement the policy on discipline and Morality to ensure a favorable learning environment at Makerere University.
“I strongly condemn the intolerable indiscipline and hooliganism at Makerere University and I am going to support the University Management to ensure that the policy on morality and discipline is implemented for the sake of creating a conducive environment for learning at the great institution,” he emphasized.
The Ambassador of China to Uganda, H.E. Zheng Zhuaiang, congratulated all the award winning students upon reaching the tremendous milestone. “It can be said that your dreams are the ‘Ugandan dream’, Makerere University is providing you knowledge as a tool to realize your dreams. The Chinse embassy has provided the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship of Excellence and Friendship to set the journey for achieving this dream and chose Makerere University as the first cooperative partner of the scholarships because we think the best students from Uganda are here,” he said.
He commended Makerere University for being the key player in building human resource capacity in Uganda and saluted the various contributions the University has made towards Uganda’s development. According to the Ambassador, there is urgent need for strategic investment in the young generation in order to have the much needed human capital that is ready to drive the country’s planned growth and transformation.
“If the young are strong, the country will be strong: if the young are knowledgeable, the country will prosper. A nation will prosper only when its young people thrive; a country will be full of hope and have a greater tomorrow only when its young generations have ideals, ability, and a strong sense of responsibility,” he said.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Prof. William Bazeyo thanked the Chinese Embassy and the Government of China, for sponsoring Makerere University staff and alumni for post graduate studies.
“I applaud H.E. Zheng Zhuaiang for securing fifteen (15) ‘Chinese Ambassador’s Award for Excellence’ and fifteen (15) ‘Ambassador’s Award for Friendship’ scholarships. These scholarships will enable 30 Ugandan children achieve their dream. If you ask the award winning students here, you will realize that each one of them has a very big dream. Today we are witnessing the fulcrum for the journey to the long awaited dream,” he stated.
On behalf of Makerere University Management, Prof. Bazeyo assured the Chinese Embassy of the necessary support to the award winning students. He acknowledged the long term relationship Makerere University has with the People’s Republic of China, the various institutions and universities in China and the Chinese Embassy in Uganda that has contributed to Makerere University’s research and academic excellence.
In the same spirit, he appreciated the support from the Government of Uganda that is enabling over 2000 Uganda students to access university education at Makerere University and other institutions of higher learning every year.
“Since 2001 Makerere University has been offering scholarships to students who excel academically but are unable to afford University Education because of their poor social economic background. With the various partners including; the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the MasterCard Foundation, the Governments of Sweden and Norway, a total of 1029 both male and female students have successfully graduated and are selflessly serving mother Uganda as Lawyers, Chief Executive Directors, Programme Mangers, Bankers, Lecturers, Teachers, Medical Doctors, Church Ministers, Social workers and many others. The Chinese 30 Scholarship Awards sums it to 1059 scholarships,” he stated.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Prof. William Bazeyo thanked the Chinese Embassy and the Government of China, for sponsoring Makerere University staff and alumni for post graduate studies
He commended the good work done by the Gender and Mainstreaming Directorate to screen and select not only the best students, but also students who genuinely deserve the scholarship awards.
The Acting Director of Gender Mainstreaming, Dr. Euzobia M. Baine, said that the Directorate will make a follow up on the academic performance of the students to ensure that they maintain their good grades. She appreciated the sponsorship from the Chinese Embassy and called for more support towards helping young Ugandans realize their dreams.
“Numerous bright but socio-economically disadvantaged children in Uganda still face challenges in accessing higher education. Many children from less privileged, geographically disadvantaged districts and locations, children from refugee/displaced communities, ethnic minority groups and youth with various disabilities still face financial challenges,” she mentioned.
Ms. Ritah Namisango, the Principal Public Relations Officer at Makerere University encouraged students to join the Chinese language and culture learning course at Makerere University Confucius Institute. “Learn the Chinese language and widen your opportunities and networks. This is a generation of social networking with various business developments, and hence, an international language like Chinese is vital,” she said.
On behalf of the beneficiaries, Ms. Agaba Vanita, a student of the College of Natural Sciences; pursuing a Bachelor’s degree of Science physical thanked the Chinese Ambassador for the tremendous support. Also Mr. Khisa Emma, a student at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-security, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree of Biomedical Laboratory Technology said that, “I thank the Chinese Embassy for the opportunity and we promise that we shall not let you down.”