Technology makes man a master, instead of a victim, of nature and the environment around him. The four phases of the industrial revolutions (Industry 4.0/4IR) have emerged unevenly on the globe due to differentials in national and therefore institutional governance perfections. Most of the innovations that have led to scientific and social innovations have taken place through the leadership of free educational, research, industrial and commercial social institutions in nations that are managed well enough to give fertile minds the security and liberty to think. It is therefore in societies that are well managed to give thinkers and the whole population the assurance of security, liberty to think, freedom to access information, ability to enjoy the pleasure of goods and services and to freely associate that have led the globe in scientific and social innovations. Since institutions are rarely managed better than the way their host societies are managed, it is no surprise that the four phases of the industrial revolution have emerged unevenly on the planet. The 4th industrial revolution may also skip Africa unless we manage ourselves and therefore our institutions well. This paper will review the role of the Ugandan university and how its management impacts on its research and teaching functions and consequently on the country’s national innovation, research and development capacity. It is proposed that since the university is the site of knowledge and high-level human resources production needed to drive Uganda into the 4th phase of the industrial/technical revolution, we must transition this institution from a mere teaching to an innovative and knowledge producing institution. To do so, however, the Ugandan university management model must be changed to one which permits the university to become a free, responsible and accountable to the public.
Prof. A.B.K. Kasozi (PhD) is a research associate at Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR). He is the founding Executive Director of Uganda’s National Council for Higher Education (NCHE).
He holds a B.A. in History, a PGD from Makerere University, Uganda, and a PhD from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He has taught at Makerere University, the Islamic University in Uganda, the University of Khartoum and a number of universities in Canada. In 2007, he got a Fulbright New Century award and was, from September to December, a visiting scholar/professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
He is the author of University Education in Uganda: Opportunities and Challenges for Reform of Higher Education (Fountain Publishers, Kampala, 2003); The Social Origins of Violence in Uganda, 1964-85 (Montreal/Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 1994), The Crisis of Secondary School Education in Uganda, 1960-70, (Longman, 1979); The Spread of Islam in Uganda (Oxford University Press, 1979), The Life of Prince Badru Kakungulu (Progressive Publishers, 1996), Islamic Civilization in Eastern Africa (Ed.) (Istanbul: IRCICA, 2008): Financing Uganda’s public universities (Fountain Publishers, Kampala, 2009) and several articles.