Makerere University Vice Chancellor launches EPICA Project

On 12th April 2018, Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe delegated the Principal Mak-CEES Prof. Fred Masagazi-Masaazi officially launched the EPICA project at EPICA Open Day Event. EPICA is one of the new projects at CEES. It aims at contributing to addressing the skills-gap through a process of co-design, adaptation, implementation and validation of an innovative and scalable Competency-Based ePortifolio.

EPICA Project will bring together businesses, organisations and universities in both Europe and Africa to design an innovative, scalable ePortfolio, which will improve the quality, visibility and availability of new skills. This joint effort is made possible by co-funding from the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme

The first session of the Open Day was chaired by Associate Professor Jessica Aguti and Dr Jamiah Mayanja all from the Institute of Open Distance and eLearning, Makerere University.  Associate Professor Jessica Aguti welcomed all participants at the event and invited the Principal CEES to give his welcome remarks.

Prof. F. Masagazi-Masaazi was represented by Associate Professor Paul B. Muyinda the Deputy Principal CEES who welcomed all participants and thanked them for having responded to the invitations to EPICA Open Day. He also informed participants that the College of Education and External Studies was one of the winning team that won the EPICA project call and thanked all staff members that participated in the process. Also thanked Associate Prof Muyinda who participated in writing the project grant together with other development partners. This is one the international project that CEES is implementing.

It is a very exciting project and our participation in EPICA Project is an indication of the growing reputing that Makerere University has built in the previous decades.  The College is proud to contribute to internationalisation of Makerere University through EPICA Project and also contribute to the Community.  As Teacher Trainers and Open Distance Pedagogy providers in the entire university, EPICA Project will enhance the capacity to increase on the employability of our teachers and integration of ODeL approaches in teaching and learning processes in all our academic programmes at Makerere University.

He thanked the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University for giving us support from his office to get committement from the university for different projects at the college and this support has helped the college to rebrand itself. The Principal called on each of the stakeholders to give us support whenever approached.

The principal then officially invited the MAK-VC to officially launch EPICA project at Makerere University and Uganda in general. The Delegate; Prof. Fred Masagazi-Masaazi delivered Makerere University Vice Chancellor Speech that started by welcoming all distinguished participants to Makerere University and thanked participant for joining Makerere University on the  EPICA Open Day.

He thanked the following development agencies for the key role they have played in the EPICA project; European Commission for Funding the project, International Council for Open and Distance Education the lead partner, Open University of Catalonia as the lead pedagogical partner, MyDocumenta in Spain Lead technical Partner, Maseno University implementing partner, The Open University of Tanzania implementing partner, Makerere University as implementing partner, African Virtual University as implementing partner and ICWE as an international media organisation which focuses on producing high quality communication material and organising events, by facilitating knowledge exchange and developing communities of practice. It engages in research, produces publications and reports, and curates portals to support the areas of expertise in which it is involved.

He also stressed that the EPICA Project at Makerere University is the Brain Child of the College of Education and External Studies (CEES). The Vice Chancellor thanked the Principal and Deputy Principal CEES for coordinating this project on behalf of Makerere University. He also said that Makerere University is proud to associate with other collaborating partners in this Project. Informed participants that they will be call upon on different project activate.  Also stressed that the EPICA Project is helping to propel Makerere University internationalisation drive. He ended by declaring the EPICA Project launched at Makerere University and Uganda in General

Associate Paul Birevu Muyinda gave an overview of EPICA Project-Co-Design Approach and after his presentation, participants were able to ask questions and Associate Professor Muyinda was able to respond to the queries raised.

He was followed by Mr. John Kizito who gave a presentation on ePortifolio-State of the Art- Competency-Based Approach.

Stakeholders were taken through the EPICA Process that comprised of Users Needs Analysis: Pedagogical and Technological Adaptations, pilots and Validation, Engagements of stakeholders: websites, newsletter subscriptions and social media links

EPICA Open Day Event Group Photo

Focus Group session was chaired by Mr. Kitumba Frank the Director Information and Communication Technology Support (DICT) Makerere University. Focus Groups and interviews with key stakeholders were organised and the Q&A feedback and evaluations were collected