The Coordinators of the Master of Science Degree in Technology Innovation and Industrial Development held a dissemination workshop on the 16th and 17th of December 2014. The workshop aimed at evaluating the progress of the Masters’ degree from its inception in 2011 to date.
The workshop was attended by delegates from the industrial sector, from companies like Steel and Tube Industries, Kakira Sugar Ltd, Roofings Group, Uganda Manufacturers’ Association, Nile Breweries, Century Bottling Company and Nice House of Plastics. It was also attended by representatives from different universities, including Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Busitema University, Ndejje University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology.
The program was implemented by the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT), Makerere University and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management. This unique program aims to develop a closer partnership between university and industry. It also utilizes guest lecturers from industry, especially entrepreneurs and those engaged in research and development to inspire creativity and a culture of innovation among graduates. The TIID program seeks to provide students with knowledge in industrial development, innovations and running of organizations in an efficient and effective way.
Not just an Idea
The Msc. TIID program was birthed after long meaningful consultation with different stakeholders in Industry like Uganda Manufacturers Association, Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry (MTTI), Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), among others. It provided useful insight into what is really required by companies from University graduates and hence assisting in the development of a richer, more industry-relevant program for students.
After the program was accredited by the National Council for Higher Education, it went on to admit its first cohort of 13 students. 10 of these have since graduated. The TIID programme has since its conception had a total of 74 students.
Even though the TIID program originally targeted graduates coming from industry or having an extensive industrial background, it has since then diversified into one that encourages participation from most science fields that include a mathematics background. Females have also been especially encouraged to participate in this program. In the past, women had lower admission numbers, compared to men, they were seen to have special problems of pregnancy, taking care of their children, their careers, etc. This made it even more difficult for females to pursue entry into the program and for those that were successful, retention on the program was especially difficult.
The TIID program, with the help of NORAD established a special fund to mitigate the problem of low admission of females to the program. NORAD established a fund which facilitated day-care services for the children as well as carrying out ensitization of female applicants. This went a long way in improving the numbers of women admitted to the program and those that graduated from it.
The TIID graduates have carried out research in the Implementation of Uganda’s industrial policy, Technology transfer of university research results through business incubators, Energy in small scale foundries, Quality of maize flour manufactured in local grinding mills, Quality of biogas made in small scale digesters, Reduction of quality losses from 0.5% to 0.1% for a large steel industry, among others. These findings from these research projects provided results that are geared at improving efficiency in industrial products and processes.
Future of Programme
While addressing the group of participants in the workshop, the programme coordinator, Assoc. Prof. Joseph Byaruhanga said the program intends to maintain admissions at 15 -20 students per year, Strengthen Collaboration with industry even further, Establish a centre to certify industry skilled workers such as welders, maintenance personnel.
The guest of honour Mr. Kigozi Ssebagala, the Executive Director Uganda Manufacturers’’ Association, also Chairman of the program’s advisory board said he was proud of the achievements of the program, especially its gender initiative. He said called on the TIID graduates to be the drivers for industrialization. “Our President has emphasized the issue of industrialization, and it is you people (graduates of TIID) to lead others in this movement of Industrialization,” Mr Kigozi said.
“The opportunities and resources are available in this nation. It is up to you to be courageous enough to start.”
The guest of honour on behalf of the Uganda Manufacturers’ Association, pledged continued support to the program and said they will keep encouraging members of the association to not only employ graduates of the TIID program, but also to encourage them to sponsor more of their members of staff to pursue the program because of the great amount of value it adds to their different professions in industry and manufacturing.
For more pictures of the workshop, please visit our gallery