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1988 graduate as Prof. Kagonyera challenges Higher Education system

A total of 1988 students have graduated from Ndejje University during the first part of the 21 st (A) graduation ceremony that took place at the university’s Main Campus in Luwero. (October 11, 2019) has been a sharp increase in the number of graduates from 2948 this year to 2144 in 2018 from both August and January intakes.

This year’s graduates for diploma and degree academic programmes comprise 51.5% male and 48.5% female Ndejje University however runs a two-intake system with the second (B) graduation scheduled to take place in March 2010 churning out 960 students. The graduation ceremony was presided over by the Ndejje University Chancellor Dr. Wilberforce Kisamba Mugerwa and former government Minister and veteran politician Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera as Chief Guest Prof. Kagonyera who is also Vice Chairman of White Paper Committee challenged the Higher Education institutions in the country to produce highly skilled graduates to deal with the rapidly changing and current societal needs. “Today’s labor market requires highly skilled personnel at all levels. The education institutions must therefore redefine and reinvent their curricular, pedagogy and assessment policies to ensure that all students have the desired attributes and competencies to contribute to the global economy,” said the veteran educationist.

He said he has visited industries and other re-employment places with all of them including government leaders expressing complaints of unsuitable graduates trained for the available jobs. Prof. Kagonyera wondered whether the complaints were fair adding,” in my view training for specific jobs is a specialised study, hence the need for special institutions for this purpose.” He called for the process of mainstreaming higher education in national socio-economic development in close consultation and discussion with universities, stakeholders at international and national to think more boldly about the policy design to address those issues.Prof. Kagonyera hailed Ndejje University for showing the relevancy of higher education in national development through research and innovation beneficial to the community adding that detachment from the society would be a misfit.

University Chancellor Dr. Kisamba Mugerwa challenged the country’s private sector to play the stakeholders role in designing the higher education curricular, training and promoting internship to meet the national socio-economic development. “The current curricula designed have been severely inadequate for both public and private sector demands which has exacerbated the problem of unemployment. Consequently it has led to de- motivation of those aspiring to pursue studies at higher levels which calls for serious advocacy for its mainstreaming,” he said. He informed the congregation about the tremendous achievements the university has attained over the years in the areas of sciences and research which have profited the community– robotics, renewable energy and water resources. “I am certain these technological knowledge will create more employment, promote capital formation and create surpluses for reinvestment in the community and in turn further strengthen the development of human resources,” said the Chancellor.

Dr. Kisamba disclosed the on-going process of expediting the accreditation of the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery Programmes after the recent opening up of the Diploma in Clinical Medicine and Community Health courses. He advised the graduands to showcase the relevancy of higher education through skills and quality of their lives at the workplaces and the community in line with this year’s graduation theme –Mainstreaming Higher education in National Socio-Economic Development The Vice Chancellor Prof Eriabu Lugujjo said there was an increase in the academic programmes offered at the university totaling to 135.. “Ndejje University has continued to sustain its Charter status by ensuring that courses offered are all accredited and curricula continuously renovated to respond to the needs and aspirations of the society and remaining relevant to the community,” the University Chief Executive emphasized He reported that the Strategic Plan 2017/18 – 2026/27 built on eight pillars has made strategic achievements in response to the call by the National Development Plans (NDP) to promote higher education as the heart of national innovation and development. Some of achievements he mentioned include the National Council for Higher Education approval of MSc. in Construction Project Management degree programme due to start in November 2019, development of Research and Innovation Policy, major international sports achievements namely, Dorcus Ajok winning a 800m bronze medal at the World University Games, retaining the East Africa University Games Champions trophy a record 5 times.

The other big landmarks include promotion of financial sustainability and efficiency, modernization of Kakute university farm with irrigation scheme which has become a source of food for the students, infrastructure and ICT development, improvement of the university visibility, development of strategic partnerships and collaborations and strengthening human resource capacity, among others. The Consortium Chairman, Rt. Rev.Dr. Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu was also variously congratulated at the function for being elected the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda. Flashback:  Ndejje University started in 1992 with two faculties – Education and Business Administration.  The first congregation of Ndejje University for conferment of a diploma and degrees was held on September 24, 1999 at Luwero Main Campus.  A total of 156 pioneer students were presented for the award of degrees and diploma at the inaugural graduation ceremony.  Only one graduand was awarded a Diploma in Project Planning and the rest degrees.  The graduation was presided over by Rt. Rev. Dr. Yokana Mukasa of Mityana Diocese Church of Uganda as its first Chancellor  Associate Prof. Ddumba Ssentamu was Caretaker Vice Chancellor.  Hon. Minister Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera was the first Chief Guest.

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