Victoria University Chancellor, Prof. John Opuda-Asibo has implored the central government to heed to financial aid requests made by the institution.
Prof. Opuda-Asibo made this crucial plea yesterday, while addressing a congregation of graduands, their parents, invited dignitaries and other stakeholders, during the university’s 6th graduation ceremony held at Commonwealth Speke Resort, Munyonyo.
He revealed that the institution needs sufficient funds to be able to fully participate in the normal transformative roles, including national human resource development and research, vital for uplifting the international image of Uganda through globalized education.
“I also through you, request the first Lady and Minister for Education and Sports, that may the government of Uganda accept any request from us for support, that government may extend even to private universities,” Prof. Opuda-Asibo said.
He also voiced his sincere appreciation to the First Lady and the President of Uganda HE.Gen Yoweri Museveni, for their execution of the tasks and processes of granting Victoria University a charter on July 31st, 2022.
“We are now proud to join a family of private chartered universities and the public universities in Uganda…….its our duty to sustain that wish from government and to maintain the university as we provide the much needed human resource for national development,” added Prof. Opuda-Asibo.
The Chancellor also commended the University board of directors, council management and the graduands for their resilience and patience, vital for propelling the institution to national and international fame, and called upon all university stakeholders to carefully strengthen its reputation and image, that could spur its growth.
Also in attendance was the state minister for Higher Education Dr. John C. Muyingo, who represented the Minister of Education and Sports Hon. Janet Museveni as the chief guest.
He encouraged the graduands to use the knowledge they acquired from the University, not only to look for jobs, but to also take advantage of the enabling environment equipped with many opportunities around them, to create other opportunities.
Minister Muyingo congratulated the Ruparelia group of companies, which assumed full control of the institution in 2013, and all stakeholders in general for the university’s attainment of a charter status.
“Victoria University has taken commendable strides and has become a chartered university, a charter, some of you may be wondering, what does that mean? you try to explain. But I can say it’s a recognition by law that a private university is as good a university, as any public university, and other few chartered universities. Victoria University, congratulations,” explained minister Muyingo.
Nevertheless, he also underlined the remarkable efforts by the University management and staff towards the drastic transformation of the country’s education delivery landscape, steered by a very effective, interactive and seamless learning management system that is hardly found in any of the institutions of higher learning in Uganda, whose effectiveness has been rated at 81.9% by the state’s education regulators.
Also while addressing the congregation, the university Vice Chancellor Dr. Lawrence Muganga congratulated graduands upon reaching this marvelous milestone, and urged them to expeditiously take part in the process of job creation, using knowledge acquired from the institution.
“We welcome our honored graduands and congratulate you for completing one of life’s great events. So dear students, you have confirmed that the decision we took to be brave and offer education to transform lives was a wise one……. it was not about the online teaching platforms, that are convinient to allow you to enjoy education wherever you are, or the practical learning that we continue to roll out, it wasn’t all about that, but our ambition was and is still to share the real world with you, the world where you are the drivers, and not the passengers, I certainly don’t expect you to be just passengers, we need you to be the drivers, the world where you are not the led, but rather leaders in every right,” said Dr. Muganga.
He announced new study programs instituted at the University to enrich learners’ intellectual spectrum and the kind of education at campus. For the first time ever, according to Dr. Muganga, the University will be teaching a masters degree in Block Chain and Financial Technologies, the first to be offered in any universities in East Africa.
Important still, the University willl also be teaching masters of Laws in six categorizations, namely; Natural Resources Law, Construction and Engineering Law, Criminology, Penology and Criminal Justice, Media, Mass Communication and Journalism Law, Sports and Entertainment law, in addition to Masters of Science in Health Safety and Environmental Management.
Note has to be taken that a total of 296 students were awarded certificates, diplomas, degrees and masters degrees at Victoria University, during yesterday’s ceremony. 12% of the total number of graduates were the first in their respective families to earn a university degree.
Better still, the average age of those who graduated is 27 years old, with the youngest graduate being 20 years old, while the oldest was 59 years.
Also important to point out, 60% of the graduates were females, and it is estimated that it took them an average time of three years and four months to attain a university degree.