BY STAFF WRITER
ganda Christian University (UCU) has revised the induction rules for students. Each student and their guardian are now required to sign a matriculation oath before being registered for a semester.
In the past, only first-year students would make an oral oath during the induction ceremony which takes place in the second week of their first semester.
The students would make the oath in groups according to their faculties led by their deans.
The Ag. Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Benon Musinguzi, told The Standard that the revisions in the induction process will enable the university to hold each student accountable for their actions.
“We have just realised that when students take the oath as a group, you can’t hold each one accountable in case of any breach of rules,” Musinguzi said.
During the oath-taking, students swear to abide by the university rules.
“The revision is nothing new, but just a different method of induction,” he said. “The only change is that parents and guardians also get to sign on the form.”
Asked why parents are also signing, he said, “There is no specific reason to include. It was just a board decision.”
The changes in the induction procedure come less than a year after students at the main campus in Mukono threatened to demonstrate over fees increment. After the incident, some students were expelled who later dragged the university to court.
Musinguzi admitted that the threat of the strike played a part in awakening the university administration to cover up the loopholes in the induction. “It could have re-awakened us but that was not a major cause of the changes,” he said.
The changes have however received criticism from the students’ community.
Enoch Akanduhura, a third-year student of Bachelor of Governance and International Relations, told The Standard that there are a lot of question marks about the changes.
“It makes no sense; the university already has other policies in place to guard against indiscipline. So making us sign these forms is wastage of our precious time,” he said.
When contacted for a comment about the changes, the Guild President, Prisca Amongin, said she was very busy to indulge in the topic at the moment.
Meanwhile, the turn-up for this year’s general induction ceremony for first-year students in Nkoyoyo Hall on January 24 was very poor, prompting Dr Musinguzi to comment about it.
“Over the years new students have gradually stopped coming for the induction ceremony,” he said. “I would have expected many more students.”
He reminded the few students who attended that excellence is not a one-day event but a process.
Musinguzi also left the students with a package to make right decisions. He said, “Blessed is he who doesn’t walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.”
He also advised the first-year students to shun friends who drag them to questionable places like bars. “Plant yourself by the streams of God’s word so that you can prosper and be blessed at the end of your time here,” he said.
The induction service was attended by notable personalities such as Prof Stephen Noll, the former vice chancellor, and Prof Dr Brad Shaw from Greenville University in the US.
The deans of the different faculties who were also in attendance included Dr Martin Lwanga of Business and Administration; Dr Michael Masanza of Science and Technology; Assoc Prof Mary Sonko Nabachwa of the Social Sciences; and Dr Richard Watuulo of Education and Arts.
This semester UCU is expecting 220 students to join both Kampala campus and the main campus.
Overall, 4,220 is the expected number of students on campus this semester. Of these, 3,480 are expected to be at the main campus in Mukono; 370 at Kampala campus, and 370 are for post-graduate courses.
Christa Oluka, the Admissions and Students’ Records manager, told The Standard that, “The registration process is still underway.”
The faculties registering new students for the courses this semester include Science and Technology, Social Sciences, Business and Administration and Education and Arts.