Busitema University last week held a graduation ceremony and awarded degrees and diplomas to 922 of its former students.
The institution also marked its 10th anniversary with the enthronement of a new chancellor in Prof Vinand Nantulya. As the official visitor, President Museveni commended the institution for its programmes in agriculture, public health, climate change, agribusiness, engineering and irrigation, which he said produced graduates who are job creators.
Before making his remarks, Museveni first visited stalls exhibiting different prototypes that students had developed as part of their research.
“I urge the university to develop these prototypes further; we shall support you so that you students can even make them your businesses,” Museveni said.
Prof Nantulya becomes the new chancellor, replacing Prof Francis Omaswa whose term ended in July after eight years. In his speech, Nantulya thanked Museveni for the honour, before vowing to do his best to ensure the university becomes the epicenter of science and innovation in the region.
“What we need from a university is to take the lead in social and economic transformation of our society through research,” Nantulya said.
The vice chancellor, Prof Mary Okwakol, said Busitema had grown by leaps and bounds from 153 students to the current population of 5,370 in the last 10 years.
The university has also grown to embrace five campuses in Arapai, Nagongera, Namasagali, Mbale and Pallisa, with each concentrating on different courses.
However, Okwakol said the university’s biggest challenge remains lack of funds to undertake many of its core activities as well as low staffing levels. She urged the president to consider increasing their funding in order to realise their development goals.