Makerere University and Karolinska Institute strengthen partnership


14th June 2018


A delegation from Makerere University visited Karolinska Institutet on 7-8 June for talks on strengthening the collaborative partnership between the two universities.

The delegation, which was led by Makerere University’s vice-chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, met with the Karolinska Institutet (KI) management led by President, Prof. Ole Petter Ottersen to discuss the long-standing collaboration between the two institutions. The partnership, which began back in 2003 with the first memorandum of understanding, enables doctoral students to obtain a joint PhD from both universities.

During their meeting at KI, the delegates agreed to jointly fundraise for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs). They also underscored the need to develop capacity in managing the growing incidences of NCDs, particularly cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory infections that can lead premature death.

KI and Makerere University are now working on strengthening their research and collaboration in the NCD field and will be launching a pilot study in August on conducting longitudinal studies of risk factors for cardiovascular disease in Uganda.

“The partnership with Makerere University is one of our most important and far-reaching international partnerships, including as it does student and teacher exchange, joint doctoral education and research collaboration,”
says KI president Ole Petter Ottersen.

Building on the collaborative history and mutual commitments between KI and Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS), opportunities are being explored to address common research interests, such as different aspects of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs). The global economic burden of NCDs is large. In almost all countries, development of health systems that are responsive to the challenge of prevention and treatment of NCDs is a priority. NCDs consist of a vast group of conditions, but in terms of premature mortality emphasis has been on cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. The challenge is truly global. The generation of knowledge is global, and research results a global public good. Strategic alliances are essential.

The MOU was in 2016 extended for a new five-year period. An implementation Agreement was signed on 11 February 2015, regarding a Joint Doctoral Training towards degree of Doctor of Philosophy PhD, under which a substantial number of students affiliated to Makerere University College of Health Sciences have completed a double PhD degree at KI and Makerere University in the past years. As of 2018, there have been 37 PhD thesis defended as a result of the collaboration. Over 200 students and teachers from KI and Makerere University, have taken part in exchange studies on undergraduate and advanced level, financed by the Swedish Linnaeus-Palme program.

To read more on this subject, please visit Makerere University's article here or Karolinska Institutet's here.

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