BY AGATHA MUHAISE
“What makes Uganda Christian University different from others in terms of discipline is the vigilance applied during the vetting process of both students and staff that are allowed into the community.”
This was said by Dr Alfred Olwa, UCU’s Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Development and External Relations, during a meeting with the Visitation Committee from Makerere University on February 3, which took place at the Principal’s Hall at UCU, Mukono.
“The nature of our interviews as far as students and staff entering UCU are concerned enables us to find people who are passionate about the disciplines they practice, and what they are going to offer. It is not just anybody who is looking to spend time. That in itself makes a difference,” he said.
The meeting, chaired by Dr Benon Musinguzi, the Acting Vice Chancellor, was with the Visitation Committee appointed by President Yoweri Museveni to inquire into the affairs of Makerere University following its frequent strikes from the students, lecturers, the non-teaching staff and then the abrupt closing late year.
The six-member team was led by Dr Abel Rwendeire, the chairperson of the committee.
He said the committee wanted to learn how the UCU administration runs its university and still lives in harmony with all the students and staff amid all the challenges.
“The matters that we are facing at Makerere University also concern you as a university because you face the same challenges. But we are here because, while there are repeated strikes from students, lecturers and non-teaching staff at Makerere University, we hardly hear anything of the sort about UCU. So what medicine does UCU have to keep calm?”
The meeting discussed how the UCU administration manages its human resource, the funding of the university, the infrastructure and how it affects the students welfare, and how discipline is maintained.
The UCU team explained the various ways that the university instills discipline among its students.
These included the different activities they engage them in like community worship, health awareness week, induction service, the semester denominations, the chancellor’s visit and the guild elections.
“These activities like community worship provide for both continuity of Christian faith to students who come when they are already Christians, and secondly we are creating a foundation and path for those who are not Christians before.
“That alone contributes to the uniqueness of the university and its management,” Olwa explained.
The Visitation Committee members included Mr John Muwanga, the Auditor-General of Uganda; Dr Proscovia Sentamu, the head of quality assurance and lecturer at Uganda Management Institute; Dr Florence Muranga, the CEO of the Presidential Initiative on Banana Industrial Development (PIBID); and Mrs Jolly Uzamukunda Karabaya, the principal education officer at the Ministry of Education and Sports.