By Yasiri J. Kasango
Uganda Christian University (UCU) has launched a PHD programme in the fields of journalism, media, communication, and business ministration. This followed the accreditation of the programmes on August 21, 2023, by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), a board gazetted by the Ugandan government to monitor services provided by institutions of higher learning.
The new programme is meant to shape the academic world as well as influence policies. The programmes are tailored around producing a holistic person since all of them have a Christian perspective. The new accredited programmes are primarily looking at improving research in the country.
The Dean School of Journalism, Media, and Communication site that they conducted a survey discovered that there is a gap in the quality of research in Uganda.
“We conducted a needs assessment, and we found that there is a gap in capacity for research and strong teaching skills,” said Chibita. She went on to add that they also found that there is a big problem in the pipeline in teaching capacity in schools of journalism. Therefore, if we produce a PHD, we shall cover the shortcoming of teaching capacity.
The programme is aimed at catering to the dynamic media industry in Uganda. The dean of the School of Journalism, Media, and Communication, Prof. Monica B. Chibita, said that the programme’s aim is to bridge the gap in the teaching field to meet the changing media industry.
Chibita added that the School of Journalism, Media, and Communication is collaborating with some universities, like NLA in Norway, the University of Kwazulu Natalu in South Africa, and the University of Rwanda.
The Norwegian government has been instrumental in the process of establishing this PhD programme through the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED 2) project.
The programme will initially look at media democracy and development, media identity and representation and participation, media risk, and media and science in health communication.
The UCU vice-chancellor Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, encouraged the journalists in the field to seize the chance and study the PHD in journalism Media and communication. Journalists, you also have the chance to talk to doctors in your field of expertise, said Mushengyezi.
The Director of Academic Affairs, Vincent Kisenyi, stated that these new PhD programmes impart knowledge to students that will be used in dealing with practical problems. He said that the accreditation of the PhD in Business Administration will improve research in the field of business.
He stated that the programme will specialise in accounting, finance, procurement, logistics management, and strategic management. “These are very critical areas within business where we need more researchers,” said Kisenyi.
The NCHE re-accredited a number of courses at the UCU, which include a PhD in Journalism, Media, and Communication, a Master of Nursing Science in Nursing Education, a Bachelor of Nursing Sciences in Completion, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Literature. Postgraduate Diploma in Christian Ministries, Doctor of Philosophy degree in Theology, Master of Art in African Studies, PhD in Development Studies, Higher Education Certificate-Physical Sciences, Master of Literature, Doctor of Ministry, Bachelor of Science in Economics and Statistics, Master of Social Work, Master of Library and Information Science, Bachelor of Laws