UNESCO-CFIT funding to Enhance the Quality of Technical Education Programmes

Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and sports (MoES) is implementing a 3- year project funded by the United Nations Education and Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and China Funds in Trust (CFIT) phase III project.

The project titled Higher Technical Education in Africa for Technical and innovative Workforce  is expected to last for 48 months covering 12 months of formulation and 36 months of implementation i.e. from October 2020 to October 2024. The project formulation phase and inception phase is from October 2020 to October 2021 while the implementation stage starts from November 2021 to October 2024.

On June 14, 2022 the University held the inception meeting, at the University inn . The projects coordinator Dr. Medard Twinamatsiko a lecturer from the Faculty of interdisciplinary studies  said that the project is anticipated to enhance the relevance of MUST to offer labor market driven courses and programmes that will address the unemployment and employability challenges in the region.

The project head Prof. Nixon Kamukama, and Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs  thanked all those present despite the busy schedule. The meeting included Faculty Deans, Faculty Administrators ‘’ Heads of Department and Student. s  he said the project aims at enhancing the capacity of MUST to expand access to enhance the quality of technical education programmes that equip youth with competences and skills relevant to the labor market and to their individual needs for lifelong learning, which ultimately contributes to sustainable socio-economic development in the participating countries with the upgrading of human capital and skills

‘’Through labor market analysis, curriculum review and conduct of short courses, the role of MUST as a premier institution will be strengthened and made relevant. Specifically, the practical training of graduates in agricultural and bio-pharma technology innovations will provide solutions to the employment gaps where most graduates have been joining the market with limited practical and entrepreneurship skills,’’ said Nixon.

The Vice Chancellor Professor Celestino Obua thanked the team members for their tireless efforts and the desire to solve community problems using science and technology-based skills.

He thanked the team leader and his crew for winning such a prestigious award.  “In Uganda, the grant was awarded to MUST and Makerere University”. He added that MUST now counts here self among the top Universities in African later in the world. He further urged the deans to encourage there faculty to write more papers and win grants, have innovative projects and carry our research.

The project anticipates an enhanced capacity of MUST in skills development and quality curriculum implementation and enhanced graduate employability and entrepreneurship abilities.

This is anticipated to be achieved through various pathways that include purposeful curriculum review and implementation where key practical and interpersonal skills will be incorporated into the proposed and current curricula. These are indicated in the projected outcomes below;

  • Effective utilization of information from labor market analysis, curriculum review, graduate tracer studies by MUST to improve the delivery of technical education.
  • Quality and relevance of the curriculum, and programmes improved at MUST, which meets labor market demands, enhances inclusiveness and promotes gender equality.
  • Improved assessment methods adopted to promote competence based training.
  • Cooperation between MUST and private sector stakeholders strengthened to inform labor market analysis, curriculum review, programme development, assessment reform and delivery of technical higher education.