Tullow-CFK Model Milestone Achievement | The Council for Frontiers of Knowledge

Tullow-CFK Model Milestone Achievement

Posted by Mark

To contribute to Africa's sustainable development, Tullow Oil made a generous Grant to The Council for Frontiers of Knowledge (The CFK) to support students to pursue Masters Courses at Makerere University. The Scholarships were awarded to qualifying Ugandan Students to read for a two year Masters Course that commenced in the fourth quarter of 2011 at Makerere University in Civil Engineering, Chemistry, Environment and Natural Resources.

Specifically, the following activities were carried out using Tullow Oil’s generous funding: two year educational fees paid to zero balance, monthly stipends (two years), laptops and accessories, Tullow-CFK wireless internet (serving whole CEDAT Old Building), World-class Reference Library (CFK CEDAT Old Building Offices), ENVI Technology Software and Hardware (at CFK Office, serving Makerere University and beyond), higher degrees presentation room and high technology facilities, full funding to Tullow-CFK Session at the November 2012 CFK International Conference at Commonwealth Speke Resort and Conference Centre, Munyonyo in Uganda, sponsored students to present their research work at national and international conferences, offered international training and equipping to Makerere students with very specialised software and technology packages including: SEISAN Earthquake Analysis Software, CRISIS2007 and ENVI software in Dublin, Ireland. Please note that acquisition of SEISAN Software is available on The CFK website, while ENVI technology is installed at The CFK Offices, at West Wing, CEDAT Old Building, Makerere University.

International trips to Dublin, Ireland (June 2012 and May 2013), were funded from A-Z by Tullow Oil. The Dublin trips provided a valuable discussion venue for students with their Tullow mentors along with their Makerere University academic advisors. Tullow-CFK Sponsored Students clearly benefited by discussing their specific research projects, identifying objectives, and discussing limitations. Students also saw first-hand how the different sectors of the industry have to partner in order to achieve a successful commercial outcome. Similarly, they and their academic advisors from Makerere University learned more about the technical and logistic details of the challenges faced by Tullow Oil in the Albertine Graben. Prof. Chris Bean and Prof. Stephen Daly from University College Dublin also visited the group and met with the Makerere Professors and students. Ideas were spontaneously exchanged from both sides, and this definitely strengthened the overall education of the students as well as enhancing connectivity levels of Makerere Scientists.

Tullow Oil’s two year funding/partnership with The Council for the Frontiers of Knowledge (The CFK), made it possible for ALL the FIVE Tullow Masters supported scholars graduating, with distinctions from Makerere University, Uganda.

The students were robustly selected and the results of the stringent selection process of The CFK Scholarship Committee, international science and technology mentorship by the relevant CFK Directors and Tullow Dublin technologists, and of course, the SUPERIOR programme coordination with the standardised transparency and integrity by The CFK, were plainly evident in the exceptionally excellent performance both in coursework and research. All the five students had their CGPA’s far above 4.0, with two of the five obtaining the MAXIMUM CGPA of 5.0!!

The Tullow Oil-CFK and Makerere Partnership achieved two cardinal roles:

  1. Development of local content at postgraduate level: Tullow Oil’s partnership with The CFK has reinforced the institutional capacity of Makerere University and beyond to supervise highly specialised research projects to an international standard.
  2. In-country growth of oil and gas industry: The five Masters candidates are now fully equipped with exceptional skills needed for developing the oil and gas industry of Uganda and beyond.

The scholars all added another VITAL achievement to their list by graduating in less than the two-year stipulated time-frame, as NO MSc student has managed this in the Makerere University’s 90 year history! Specifically, before the end of the two years, ALL the five students had completed their postgraduate studies (concept definition and construction, field work, data collection and analysis, internal and external theses examination, dissertation public defence etc.) and been cleared for graduation!

The five Tullow Oil sponsored scholars, Bwambale Barnabas, Robert Tumwesige and Prossy Atolere all MSc. Civil Engineering, John Mugisa, MSc. Chemistry, Christine Ainabyona, MSc. Environment and Natural Resources, graduated (Tuesday 28th and 30th January, 2014) at a ceremony which was presided over by Makerere’s Chancellor Professor George Mondo Kagonyera.  The event was also attended by His Excellency Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi, the Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, Ugandan Members of Parliament, members of the Diplomatic Community, Cabinet Ministers, and of course family and friends of the graduates. Makerere’s Vice Chancellor Professor Ddumba-Ssentamu took the opportunity to thank Tullow Oil, saying the Tullow-CFK project contributed to the much-needed development of local content and in-country growth within the industry. The Vice Chancellor further encouraged other relevant stakeholders and programme managers, in the 64th graduation audience, to emulate the Tullow-CFK Model/Initiative so to enable Africa make tangible and lasting socio-economic growth and development.

Professor Fionn Murtagh, Chair of the CFK Board, and Professor Pankaj Vadgama, Deputy Chair, attested that “The standard achieved by the five students was fully on par with the very best of Masters outcomes that would be expected in any Irish or UK university”. Professor Murtagh added, "The great performance of the students, throughout their Masters work and in what they have accomplished, is testimony to their excellence. This is a great achievement also for their Makerere University supervisors. On behalf of The CFK Board, I would like to point to The CFK/Tullow Oil model that underpins this great success".