Description: Fundraising for higher education is a recent phenomenon in Uganda where the government has supported education for decades. Recent structural adjustment and liberalization policies mandated by the World Bank and the IMF and internal financial exigencies have necessitated funding diversification in higher education in Uganda and increased the need for private financial support. In developed countries like the United States, Canada, and increasingly, the United Kingdom, private support from alumni, individuals, corporations, and other stakeholders is a key component of higher education funding. This study used qualitative methodology and a holistic case study research design to explore the fundraising function at Makerere University. Tierney's organizational culture conceptual framework was used and data were collected through semi-structured interviews, an alumni questionnaire, document analysis, and observations. The findings include a governance and management structure that does not adequately support the fundraising function, strategies that are adapted to suit the Ugandan cultural context, perceptions of corruption and lack of transparency; and internal conflicts that limit communication and damage the image of the institution. The findings show that Makerere University is not strategically capitalizing on its position as the oldest and largest public university in Uganda and the region to mobilize private support. Reforms addressing the issues and seeking to enhance student and alumni experiences are contributing to fundraising success in various units. The reform efforts include transitioning to a collegiate system, procuring enterprise- wide financial and student services systems, faculty and staff sensitization, outreach and community engagement. The focus on the vision, mission and operationalizing the strategic plan presents an opportunity to dialogue with stakeholders and resonates with potential donors. The findings highlight a renewed spirit of resourcefulness that leverages old paradigms to integrate economic, cultural and social contexts to proffer innovative models of funding diversification.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Niwagaba, Lillian Katono Butungi
Partner: UNT Libraries