Government has vowed to increase support to Uganda Martyrs University (UMU), if the institution continues to prioritize teaching of science programmes.
Representing the education ministry, Jolly Uzamukunda, the commissioner for Higher Education and Training, said government is willing to support any institution that endeavours to teach sciences.
“I’m happy to learn that the university has prioritized teaching of science and technology programmes, as a result [the institution] was selected to host the World Bank-supported African Centre of Excellence for Agro-Ecology and Livelihood Systems,” she said in a speech at the University's 24th anniversary celebrations at Nkozi in Mpigi last week.
She explained that there are many opportunities for funding and linkages for institutions that put emphasis on sciences.
“That is just the beginning, the more emphasis you put, the more government will come in to support; also as a university, I’m happy that you have a number of collaborations with local and international universities.”
Uzamukunda commended UMU for its good-quality and dedicated education services to Ugandans and neighbouring East African countries.
The commissioner also urged the university to embrace the Skilling Uganda programme. In turn, the archbishop of Kampala, Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, applauded the government for supporting the institution through the 24 years and also assured students and lecturers that the institution would continue to be a centre of excellence.
“We have already turned our focus to teaching science and technology-related courses; this is aimed at attracting partners, as our vision and that of the founders,” he said.
He added; “UMU is a vision of Fr Joseph Kiwanuka back in 1964 and I thank President Yoweri Museveni for allowing private universities to start in Uganda, I promise that UMU will continue training leaders as it had done before.”
The UMU Day celebrations started with mass, led by Archbishop Lwanga, under the theme ‘Celebrating 25 years of excellence in the footsteps of the Uganda martyrs’.
The day was punctuated with music, dance and drama from students climaxing in a football match between female lecturers and students.
Prof Chrysostom Maviiri, the institution’s rector (vice chancellor), said the university was started in October 1993 as the second private university in Uganda.
Started by the Roman Catholic Church, it has its main campus at Nkozi, and others in Kabale, Lubaga, Nsambya, Masaka, Mbale and Fort Portal.
“At 24 years, we are ready to take the challenge because we believe God cannot give us challenges that we can’t handle,” he said.