Update Report from the Vice-Chancellor, August 2016

UPDATE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MAKENI, AUGUST 15, 2016.

Introduction

I would like to thank the Chancellor, Pro-chancellor and Council members for their continued support and efforts in our endeavour to build the University. This report will present a summary of activities for this academic year discussing opportunities and challenges for our university.

1 ACADEMIC FORMATION

Despite the Ebola crisis and its attendant consequences, we saved the academic year and examinations have commenced for the final semester. Class coverage on the whole has been satisfactory and student attendance regular. Students participation in the learning process has been enriched by class presentations, department workshops and seminars, incubators, booth camps and Inter- departmental debates combining both theoretical and praxis.

Registered student population for the academic year is as follow for all the Faculties:

Faculty of Commerce and Management: 490
Faculty of social Sciences: 582
Faculty of Education: 23
Faculty of Agriculture and Food sciences: 35
Faculty of Mass Communication and IT: 119
Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities: 3
Total: 1252
Academic audit was conducted on some of the Faculties with the following recommendations noted: the need for regular departmental meetings ; departmental evaluation of students work; recruiting staff for specialized areas within some departments and continuous staff development.

Senate has approved an external audit team headed by Prof. John Birchall from Cambridge University to conduct an audit on all programs offered by the University.

The first cohort of students for the professional course in visual impairment have been certified.

Two post-graduate students were on placement at UNIMAK from the University of Sheffield, UK.
A. Strategic Plan

We have completed a draft strategic plan for UNIMAK with the participation of staff and students and now requesting the input of Council members. Soft copies of the Strategic Plan will be posted to members for their inputs. The Strategic Plan has prioritized the following objectives:

Strengthening existing courses and introducing relevant academic courses with special reference to health sciences and technology; strengthening of staff capacity; development and enhancement of policies to guide university operations; improvement of university infrastructure; increase student enrolment and mainstreaming of ICT.

B. Staff Development:

We have provided opportunities for ongoing development of staff through regular internal trainings and studies abroad. The University has benefitted from visiting professors from the following Universities: University of Cambridge; University of Notre Dame; University of Sacred Heart, Milan; The State University of Milan; University of Birmingham; University of Ghana; Catholic University of Kenya and the University of TorVergata.

The following have been recommended for further studies in Ghana:

Mr. Moses Conteh, Masters in Management and Human Resources Strategy, KNUST, Ghana.

Mrs . Bernadette M Y Kanu, Masters in Finance, KNUST, Ghana.

The following students were recommended by the University and have been awarded scholarships:

Victoria Adama Koroma : ( Common wealth scholar ) LLM in Gender, Conflict and Human Right Law in Ulster University , UK.

Mr . Alhaji A. Sesay : Masters in Business Administration Pukyong, National University, Korea.

The following have returned from studies:

Mathew Kanu with a Masters in Journalism and Communications, China.

Isata Mahoi , Doctorate in Economic Policy, Catholic University of Milan, Italy.

Alieu Kabia, Doctorate in Industrial Economics, China.
C. Curriculum Review and New Programs

The Senate continues to provide oversight to the processes of curriculum review and the development of new programs. This process is a response to existing and emerging learning needs. A key feature in these processes has been the participation of stakeholders whose needs have been reflected in the programs. The following is the list of programs approved by Senate for recommendation to Council and they fall under already existing Faculties:

Certificate in Urban Planning

Bachelor of Science in Procurement Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Bachelor of Science in Economics

Masters in Education

A new Centre for Sierra Leone Studies has been approved by the Senate that will serve as the informed and respected place of study to and source of information available to those wanting to further their knowledge of Sierra Leone. This Centre is also hosting the prestigious Sierra Leone Studies Journal edited by a number of academics in Britain under the leadership of Prof. John Birchall

 

2. RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS :

Senate has approved a new committee working under the Directorate of Research and Publications.

Through collaboration and partnership Faculties continue to be engaged in research and projects:

1. Mental Health Project: 1. Strengthening Evidence for the scaling of psychological First aid in humanitarian settings : in partnership with War trauma foundation, Queens University Amsterdam.

2. Building Back Better, in partnership with Mental health Coalition and funded by German Technical Cooperation

2. UNIMAK has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Metabiota Institute on the project :

Preventing the Next Ebola Epidemic: identifying the animal reservoirs and novel hosts for Ebola Virus in West Africa.

3. UNIMAK has also an MOU with the Sierra Leone Judiciary on the project: Proposal for Law reporting in Sierra Leone: the law reports will be published under the name Sierra Law reports.

4. The Institute of Inclusion for Special Needs (UNIMAK) has been selected in partnership with Sight-Savers and CEFORD) for funding by the European Commission for the project : Education for Children with Disabilities in Bombali District

5.Arias A et.al (2016) Rapid outbreak sequencing of Ebola virus in Sierra Leone identifies transmission chains linked to sporadic cases, Oxford University press.

6. Experimental treatment of Ebola Virus disease with TKM -130803: A Single-Arm Phase 2 Clinical Trial

7. Charles A et.al (2016) Notes from the Field- Ebola Virus disease Cluster in Northern Sierra Leone

8. Smiths S et.al (2015) Genotype anomaly in Ebola Virus Strains circulating in Magazine Wharf area Freetown, Sierra Leone

3. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

1. The University of San Pablo, Madrid, UNIMAK and Makeni City Council hosted an international conference in Madrid, Spain on the theme: Planning the African City, the Case of Makeni, Sierra Leone. These partners are working on the proposal to host a UNESCO Chair for planning sustainable African cities at UNIMAK.

2. Completed a strategic planning with Association for Development Cooperation (AGEH) on resource governance and have appointed a technical consultant for our Governance Program with logistical support .

3. With Plan International, supported by Irish Aid, the Institute of Inclusion and Special Needs, UNIMAK, has completed the training of thirty seven teachers from schools in Bombali district and other educational stakeholders on special needs education in Sierra Leone.

4. A National Conference on the Transition from the Millennium development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals in Sierra Leone was organized by the our graduates in Sustainable Development studies with support from UNDP and other stakeholders.

5. The following seminars and workshops were also conducted:

: With UNDP on Post 2015 Agenda and sustainable development Goals.

: Training of pastoral ministers on social transformation and ministry by the Centre for Social Transformation, UNIMAK.

: With the IMF , Economic Report of IMF on Africa, 2016.

: The Makeni Business Forum organized by the MBA Class

6. Mental health Centre, UNIMAK continues to provide services for the training of nurses and community health workers on mental health counselling services.

7. Our Law Clinic continues to provide legal aid services to the community.

8. A delegation from the Saint Lawrence Foundation, Italy visited the University in a bid to strengthen collaboration and partnership.

 

4. INFRASTRUCTURE AND FINANCES

a. The building to host the Department of Public Health will be completed in September at the Sylvanus Koroma Campus.

b. With the support of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority and Chancellor, work is in progress on road construction and maintenance of the Fatima Campus.

c. We have discussed with the Chancellor the need for more lecture halls and an additional Library at the Sylvanus Koroma Campus.

d. Construction of a perimeter fence of the Fatima Campus and students canteen is in progress.

e. An audited report of the finances for the last two years has been conducted by the Bum and Doherty Auditing firm.

f. A number of benefactors have donated scholarships to students in the university: the Diocese of Makeni; Friends of Bombali District; Saint Lawrence Foundation Italy, Amici della Sierra Leone, Italy; Makeni Trust Fund , UK; Family without Borders, USA; Management of Sierra Leone Airport; Red Cross Sierra Leone; the Church of Latter Day Saints and Commodity Investment Company, SL.

 

UNIMAK launches Centre for Sierra Leone Studies

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The country of Sierra Leone has a long and interesting history. It holds a unique place in the development of the continent of Africa. As such it deserves to have an academic institution, based on its own soil, that serves as the most informed and respected place of study and source of information available to those wanting to further their knowledge of the country and its people.

We hope that, over a period of time, we can develop a centre of learning that attracts scholars from across Africa and elsewhere. In order to commence this ambitious project, we will use all the modern digital tools available to us. We will begin by building both an anthology of materials available in all academic disciplines and providing a detailed bibliography of work stored elsewhere and currently being researched and where this maybe viewed and incorporated into the work of scholars studying  and writing on all aspects of Sierra Leone.

read more about this development …

UNIMAK Congratulates Alumni

The University of Makeni is pleased to congratulate two of its alumni on their continuing academic success:

Dr Isata Mahoi - UNIMAK alumna.

Dr Isata Mahoi – UNIMAK alumna.

UNIMAK alumna Isata Mahoi has graduated with a  Ph.D in Economics from the Catholic University of Milan.

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Meanwhile UNIMAK female lawyer Victoria Adama Koroma ( the best student of the Sierra Leone Law school in 2015) becomes a Commonwealth Scholar to pursue LLM in Gender, Conflict and Human Rights Law at the Ulster University, Northern Ireland, UK for the 2016/2017 academic year.

Lebanese Ambassador Mr Nidal Yehya visits UNIMAK

Reporter MATTHEW KANU writes:

The Lebanese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Mr Nidal Yehya has paid a courtesy call on staff and students of the University of Makeni (UNIMAK). Welcoming the Ambassador on Friday 12th August 2016 the UNIMAK Vice-Chancellor, Rev Joseph Turay said the visit of the Lebanese ambassador to UNIMAK is timely and a step in the right direction that will not only create partnership but will benefit Africa as a whole and Sierra Leone in particular.

He said the University of Makeni was established in 2005 to positively contribute to the development of Sierra Leone after the civil conflict that ravaged the country, particularly the education system. Over subsequent years there are many countries, institutions and organizations that have contributed in rebuilding the Sierra Leone education sector, and the Lebanese community is one of them. “As an institution of higher learning we want to acknowledge the contribution of the Lebanese community in the development of education in Sierra Leone, … establishing partnership with the Lebanese embassy in Sierra Leone will make higher learning a viable tool for measuring our development strides and challenges after the Ebola outbreak “ he said.

Addressing students and staff of UNIMAK Ambassador Nidal Yehya stressed the significance of his visit to the UNIMAK. “This is not only an outreach activity for me and my entourage but one that will create a bilateral relationship that will promote higher institution of learning and national development. It is only education that will increase our full potential as a nation and one that will measure up to our expectations in making the world a better place to live “ he emphasized. Ambassador Yehya promised to establish links between UNIMAK and universities in Lebanon and to assist students who are doing well but cannot afford to pay their fees.