MUST-UTAMU PhD Student Shares Doctoral Journey

health geneva; font-size: small; font-weight: normal; line-height: 200%;”>He holds a Masters in Management Studies from Uganda Management Institute (UMI), a Master of Public Administration, a Post Graduate Diploma in Project Planning and Management, a Bachelor of Public Administration, a Diploma in Public Health Dentistry and a Diploma in Dental Technology.

Besides his careers as a professional Dentist and a Police Officer, Tukei is also married with four children. This extremely ambitious, jolly PhD scholar dreams of becoming a professor one day.

We caught up with him and below are the excerpts.

QN: why a doctorate?

AN: I have always loved to acquire more knowledge. I have always had that feeling that I haven’t exploited my full potential. I have this dream of becoming a professor someday.

I am particularly interested in pursuing an academic career especially in the field of management.

When I was joining the Police Force in the late 80’s, I thought I was highly qualified to perform my duties diligently as a police officer.

But with time, I realized I was a ‘nobody’. The public has always challenged us that the police personnel are failures in academics saying, the institution is meant for school dropouts.

This prompted me to read on. Surprisingly, each time I complete a course, I feel there is still a gap. I first enrolled for a Diploma in Public Health Dentistry but when I completed, I realized I still had a long way to go.


I was awarded with a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and a masters’ degree in the same field.

When I enrolled for my first masters’ degree, I decided to start teaching in Dental School just to appreciate the fact that I was now a knowledgeable person who did not need to sit on my knowledge but share it with others. Was that Masters’ degree enough?

No, it wasn’t. I still felt that I needed another qualification. Professor Basheka inspired me to enrol for a PhD. The question I have always asked myself is that, if others have made it, why not me?

I am highly motivated and I strongly believe that I will be able to make a lot of contribution to myself, my family, my department, my institution, my country Uganda and the entire world. This PhD course will enable me to contribute to the existing knowledge in my field of study.

QN: How has your journey been so far?

AN: The PhD journey is a lonely one but quite interesting. What I like about research is that you discover the problem yourself and then look for a solution.

You go through a panel to discuss findings which to me is neither easy nor difficult. What I also know about research is that it is a boring subject that can be made interesting. Starting anything has never been easy. I am copying with the situation.

The only challenge I face is that of tuition because I am sponsoring myself. But I am sure I will complete this PhD program.

I know PhD is a competitive program but I am way determined to accomplish it.

QN: What is special about the MUST-UTAMU PhD programme?

Joint institutional capacity building programme. UTAMU is part of the joint institutional capacity building programme of selected universities in Africa. This partnership will bring immense benefits to the education sector in Uganda.
Innovative programmes. This is another area where UTAMU has a competitive advantage over other universities. In this 21st century, people need to be very much innovative and competitive in nature and I think UTAMU should be given credit for its innovative and creative programmes.
Credible and successful leadership. As the saying goes, when you walk with the successful people you will also succeed. Under the leadership Prof. V. Baryamureeba and his team, I believe we shall conquer the world. Everything he has done in Makerere and elsewhere is visibly clear and I believe with his innovativeness, the sky is the limit.

Excellent Research supervision. UTAMU-MUST partnership has supervisors who are committed to their duties and responsibilities. I have been to universities but I haven’t found one where a research supervisor keeps on reminding scholars to submit their work for correction and constant supervision. Many universities only ask students to pay their dues. Nobody cares about the quality of their work. Whether you pass or not, no one cares.

QN: They say a PhD course is not for the fainthearted. What has kept you going?

AN: Of course there are challenges here and there just like in everything we do. All I can say is that PhD can at times be very stressing and you feel like giving up on it.

But with a lot of sacrifice and determination, a PhD is achievable. I used to have a lot of time for social life especially after work. I could go and watch soccer. But when I started this PhD program, I don’t find time for such fun anymore.

I am always inspired by PhDs holders. They motivate me a lot. The phrase that keeps on ringing in my mind is that, “if others have made it, why not me?

QN: Where do you see yourself in the next four years?

AN: I will be one of the best lecturers in Uganda. I will be proud to share my knowledge with everyone. I will be lecturing in different universities both local and international.

I will also participate in publishing a number of articles in the international credible journals since my goal is to become a professor.

QN: What lessons has this PhD course taught you about life?

AN: I have learnt several lessons from this programme but the biggest lesson is that PhD requires utmost patience and commitment.

QN: How have you managed to juggle this course, work, family alongside other responsibilities?

AN: I have learnt to manage time because it is the most important resource that is freely available. I also plan and prioritize my responsibilities.

Determination and the zeal to be an achiever in life have greatly strengthened me.

I have sacrificed many things including my happiness. I ended up marrying a second wife called laptop and third one called internet in order to excel.

QN: Any message to fellow PhD scholars?

AN: PhD is a project that requires to be managed based on the principles of Project planning and management.

As a project Manager, I would like to advise my colleagues in the struggle to adhere to all the principles of management of a project right from its inception to termination.

You chose the programme yourself. So, go ahead and finish it. Put in an extra effort, manage your time well, be active, involved, remain focused and you will surely make it!

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