Makerere University students and staff participated in a two-month exchange programme at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) in the United Kingdom (UK). This was under the Erasmus + International Credit Mobility Programme between NTU and Makerere University. Makerere University has had a partnership with NTU for more than 10 years. The partnership which was initially between Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) and NTU, and later expanded to include the rest other schools in the College of Health Science and other colleges within the university. In addition to MakSPH, the partnership currently involves the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (COVAB), College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES) and under College of Health Sciences (CHS) the Department of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pharmacy and Department of Nursing. The exchange programme aims at enabling exchange of knowledge and skills, personal development, capacity building, fostering new research collaborations, and cross-cultural learning between Uganda and UK for both students and faculty.
Some of the Makerere University students at the global lounge at NTU.
This year, a total of 27 undergraduate and post graduate students from Makerere University under the support supervision of 10 faculty travelled to NTU for a 2-month exchange programme. These were from various disciplines such as public health, environmental health science, pharmacy, microbiology, nursing, veterinary medicine, forestry and geography. The students and faculty arrived in the UK on 29th May 2022. While at NTU, they participated in several activities such as research seminars, conferences, writing workshops, and field trips. The microbiology and pharmacy students spent most of their time at the NTU Clifton campus where they engaged in microbiology laboratory related work. Students from forestry, geography and veterinary medicine spent most of their time at the Brackenhurst campus where they carried out GIS practicals, forest walks, and animal care activities among other learning activities. The public health and nursing students participated in activities such as hospital visits, research studies and lectures at the city campus.
In addition, students and faculty from all the disciplines participated in joint activities such as writing retreats and cultural exchange sessions. Some students also participated in conferences such as the Glow Nursing conference in Birmingham where Ms. Phiona Nambi, an undergraduate nursing student participated in a nurses’ competition and won the second runner up position. 10 students from various health related disciplines also presented at the 10th International Festival of Public Health conference (IFPH) at the University of Manchester where Ms. Prossy Nakito, a Masters of Public Health Student was awarded the best oral presenter. All students attended lectures on professionalism, as well as writing retreats which enabled many of them to start or finalise with their theses and manuscripts. Faculty were involved in knowledge exchange and sharing through the different seminars and research work at NTU. Their continuous engagements with fellow faculty members at NTU created a base for establishing several research and project activities. For example, Mr. Samuel Kyobe a Lecturer in the Department of Medical Microbiology teamed up with Dr. Jody Winter and other NTU microbiology staff and wrote a grant application on antimicrobial resistance.
At the end of the programme, a seminar which was titled “Connecting globally” was organised for all the mobility students to reflect and share their experiences while at NTU. This seminar was attended by students and staff from, NTU, Makerere University, Mt. Kenya University and Jomo Kenyatta University from Kenya.
Special thanks to the partnership leads, Dr. David Musoke a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health at MakSPH and Prof. Linda Gibson a Professor of Public Health, School of Social Sciences at NTU for spearheading this mobility programme.
What some students and faculty had to say:
“My time at NTU has been incredible and it will always be one of my most treasured memories. Studying while learning about various cultures was the most fruitful and enjoyable experience I've ever had. Most importantly, it has expanded my networks to support the development of my career. My professional, intellectual, and personal development have all benefited greatly from these priceless experiences. Mary Anne Radmacher said, I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” Prossy Nakito, Masters of Public Health student
“The NTU Brackenhurst campus was a great centre for experiential learning, with fully equipped and easy to access facilities. It was a place of great comfort and bliss as we obtained hands-on experience with what we had known and didn’t know. Reptilian, rodent, feline and caprine husbandry all checked out despite some of the phobia we had to fight through. Special thanks to the volunteer program and management at the animal unit for they handled us like their own. We are certainly grateful” David Wagaba, Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine
“Through this exchange programme, I have been in position to continuously engage with other scholars at different levels as well as building peer support and networks. The academic benefits therefore are of great value in strengthening my academic career, of becoming an accomplished scholar and mentor of upcoming academics as well as establishing a platform for long term collaboration in research.” Faridah Nalwanga Ssendagire, Lecturer, School of Forestry, Environmental & Geographical Sciences
Makerere University Erasmus + mobility students and staff pose for a photo with NTU Pro Vice Chancellor International, Professor Cillian Ryan (in white shirt) at the Connecting Globally Conference in Nottingham.