Makerere University has launched a campaign to raise Shillings 15billion towards the establishment of a student’s Center.
The one-stop student center will be comprised of state of the art Auditorium with 2000 seating capacity and Hall of Fame, Conference facilities, Cafeterias, Internet Kiosks, Memorabilia Shop/Bookshop; Recreational Sports Arena, Entertainment and Social Areas.
Dr. Martin Jerome Aliker, the Chairperson Makerere University Endowment Fund (MakEF), says they intend to open the center during the centenary cerebration of the university in 2022.
According to Dr. Aliker, they have organised the Endowment Fund Run scheduled to take place on the Sunday, May 14 as one of the avenues for resource mobilization.
He notes that the move is aimed at creating financial independence for the university.
According to Dr. Aliker, the student’s center will serve as a collective place that reflects the dynamism of the 21st century student in the digital age. “It will correct the imbalance in access to socio-cultural amenities that was created by the increase in the student numbers. The center is one of our strategies to create a versatile and holistic graduate of Makerere University that will serve national needs effectively,” Dr. Aliker said.
Dr. Florence Nakayiwa, the Director Planning and Development of Makerere University, says they hope to kick start the construction work in two years’ time when they have raised some money. Prof. Edward Kirumira, the Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, says the fundraising will be a continuous process.
He appeals to former students to commit some resources towards the MakEF.
Prof. Kirumira says the university plans to have descent social facilities, saying the students center is aimed at increasing the visibility of students on campus, adding that the Shillings 15billion should not be seen as a lot of money that cannot be achieved.
Paul Kato, the Mak Guild President, appeals to students to buy tickets towards the run. He notes that while they continue to complain of the dilapidated halls of residences, poor and small lecture rooms, an opportunity for the endowment fund could lead to merging of resources to enable the university to get money to renovate the buildings.
Students are paying Shs10,000 for the run while the rest can either get a silver ticket for the run at Shs25,000 or gold ticket for 50,000 to participate in the 5Km and a 10Km run.
Universities globally rely on Endowment Funds to support research and development. Havard University, for instance, has a fund up to the tune of US$ 37billion that has leveraged its Endowment Fund to support and boost research.
Makerere University maintains its initial seed of US$1.5billion with Crown Agents Investment Management Limited in the United Kingdom. Dr. Aliker said that the fund is separate from the Makerere University accounts and noted that there will not be any form of misappropriation.
The custodian of the fund is Standard Chartered Bank which is locally managed by General Africa Limited.