We badly need information literate citizens so that we may not be swayed by issues found on the internet - this site not excluded!
Let me tackle this: Makerere University has been ranked # 54 in Africa by WeboMetrics and in the past weeks, Ugandan newspapers have not only rechoed the said ranking, but also screamed and agreed to an untrue position about Makerere University - declining and in relation to other African univerities and world Universities - 54th best in Africa and 6,429th in the world! But what does the rank mean?
Objectives of the Webometrics Ranking (WR)The message is clear: Webometrics measured Makerere Univerity's commitment to web publication. Period. #54!? The lay information illiterate citizen could take it that Makerere University is not top in Africa for higher education. Webometrics robots might not know that Makerere University has two domain names asevidenced at URLs www.mak.ac.ug and www.makerere.ac.ug, that www.fcit.ac.ug, www.iph.ac.ug and www.idi.ac.ug which are different domains but true websites of faculties and institutes at Makerere University. The truth is that the rank #54 measured something different and not Makerere's quality of education.
Webometric indicators are provided to show the commitment of the institutions to Web publication. If the web performance of an institution is below the expected position according to their academic excellence, university authorities should reconsider their web policy, promoting substantial increases in the volume and quality of their electronic publications.
The Ag. PRO of Makerere University highlighted some issuses though couldn't live upto the age.
Here are other issues and reasons why #54:
- Makerere University has two domain names: .mak.ac.ug and .makerere.ac.ug. Which one was used to measure the web presence of MUK? Which is domain is official?
- Makerere university is being represented by several unique domain names like: .fcit.ac. ug, idi.ac.ug, dicts.ac.ug, .iph.ac.ug, .... Were these taken into account as being part of Makerere University's web publishing sites?
- Makerere University has no Webstrategy, no domain name policy or the domain name / website managment is poor if not both. Makerere University needs only one domain name.
- Makerere University's academicia are publishing else where and not at the university's website as a matter of policy. We need that policy.
- A bulk of Makerere University's publishing is still on hard copies and for donors! Improve on the e-publishing bit too!
Diclaimer: Henry Owera is only an alumnai of Makerere Univerity, and not its Public Relations Officer.