My postgraduate duties have recently involved listening to all of the 45 first year master’s students presenting their preliminary plans for the research with a panel giving them advice. 51 second years have submitted dissertations over recent weeks. We have sent them out to 2 examiners for each student, and then the decisions and revisions go back to the student, come back for checking and so on – a process we shall try to get through for as many as possible to graduate in November this year. The second years have also all had oral examinations. These students are studying for their master’s of education, business studies, community development and a few in theology. On completion, many of them will be in leadership positions such as head teachers; I hope that my teaching on research methods and particularly ethics will bear fruit.
In July we had the first St John’s research conference with a surprising variety of presentations. It was only “in house” this time; we hope to include other institutions now we have run through all the logistics. It was a good opportunity for staff to grow in confidence and share ideas across faculties. We are planning 2 workshops for October and November for staff and postgraduates who are about to graduate. Although most students are not on campus now, we have plenty to keep us busy until they get back.
I have been working on developing international collaborations; as a young university we lack capacity in many areas. As a result of this we recently had a visit from a senior member of a German university, and we hope to be able to host elective medical students and do other collaborative work with them.
We recently did the 6 hour drive to Haydom where we used to work, as I am on the Haydom School of Nursing Board – this school of nursing is doing a good job in a very rural area and we are keen to support and encourage their efforts, and have been getting books for their library.
Plenty of surgical work going on in the eye department, now that people are no longer busy on their fields. As well as in Mvumi, there is work now in Dodoma itself.
We are also teaching a new group of nurses to be ophthalmic assistants – people at nursing level who specialise in detecting and treating eye diseases in their patients.
Our interdenominational sunday service is going on as usual, though it is a challenge ministering to a congregation whose members are constantly coming and going. We hope a pastor will soon join our team, meanwhile members of the congregation are contributing their time and wisdom to the services.
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