Universities in Uganda, South Africa and Norway work together to build capacity in the media sector in Uganda to strengthen research and training. RENU, the research and education network in Uganda facilitates this task by providing internet accessible and high capacity.
“We offer students the opportunity to study for a doctorate and master’s degree in Journalism and Media, largely through the network. These programs can become a nightmare if you do not have a reliable internet connection,” says Monica Chibita, Associate Professor and Director of the Department of Mass Communication of Uganda Christian University, UCU.
“These programs can become a nightmare if you do not have a reliable internet connection”
The programs have been developed in collaboration between the UCU, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa and the NLA University College in Norway. Over 90% of our classes are taught in Norway and South Africa and all jobs are submitted and evaluated online. Some of the courses of the Master program require a broadband-intensive and often must be transferred audiovisual files great extent. Referring to doctoral students, only the first year living in the UKZN but spend much of their remaining years in Uganda during which continue to maintain contact with their supervisors.
“Therefore, our main concern in the planning phase has been, if the capacity of existing Internet would be sufficient to maintain the components of the teaching and supervision of programs. But once you connect to RENU, we had to no longer worry by broadband, “says Professor Chibita.
Brian Semujju, a doctoral student, says he has been able to receive, send and access the study material without any problems.
“An internet connection accessible and high capacity such as we are using right now is critical for me as a doctoral student. I find it very useful for dissertation work but also when writing a paper to be published,” he says.
According to the Director of the Department, Monica Chibita, the department now has two cohorts of students of the Master program and four of five doctoral students are progressing significantly to finish their studies this year. The UCU also plans to submit a distance education component to the Master program with the support of the capacity of the network RENU.
Engineer Isaac Kasana, Director General of RENU expects other research and education institutions in Uganda are inspired by the way the UCU uses its connection RENUNet.
“This type of service utilization NREN is very gratifying and we are delighted to offer a service that meets a need for a fundamental collaboration of a very committed member institution. I want to appeal to other institutions of research and education connected to RENUNet for make the most of their network partners collaborating with research and education within and outside Uganda, “he says.
Curricula PhD and Master in Journalism and Media are part of an agreement between the UCU and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) through the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Building in Higher Education Research and Development (NORHED ).
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