By Taddeo Bwambale & John Masaba
Public and private universities should collaborate to boost Uganda’s human resources capacity instead of focusing on competition, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has advised.
He appealed to private universities against introducing courses that are not relevant to the market, leading to a skills gap and unemployment.
Mbabazi made the remarks while presiding over the Uganda Christian University’s 15th graduation ceremony in Mukono on Friday.
“Avoid the danger of planning for cheaper courses to run but which may not necessarily relevant to the strategic development needs of the country,” Mbabazi said.
A total of 1,239 students were awarded masters, degrees and diploma certificates. PHOTO/Henry Nsubuga
He said due to the skills gap, Government was relying a lot on recruiting expatriates for highly specialised jobs for which Ugandans have not yet developed capacity.
Mbabazi advised the youth to be innovative, dynamic and to develop a positive attitude towards work. He hailed UCU for its contribution to Uganda’s human resources growth.
A total of 1,239 students were awarded masters, degrees and diploma certificates. Of these, 22 students graduated with first-class honours.
Overall, the best two students with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.76 are Jonathan Tumwebaze (Bachelor of Development Studies) and Julius Izza Tabi (Bachelor of Divinity).
Archbishop Stanley Ntagali (left) and Premier Amama Mbabazi wave to the students. PHOTO/Henry Nsubuga
Archbishop Stanley Ntagali appealed to Government to exempt private non-profit universities from income tax.
“A difference must be recognised for universities like UCU, which serve the public good and plough back any surpluses to develop the institution. If they do not give out dividends to anyone, they must be left free of income tax,” Ntagali stated.
He hailed Government for introducing the Students’ Loan Scheme but called for equitable distribution of research funds from Government to all universities.
He appealed to graduands to to parents and their country by living responsibly, working hard and being patriotic.
“Do all in your power to promote peace and harmony in your country. Do any job that nurtures good and makes your country better,” he advised.
PM Mbabazi and Archbishop Ntagali featured in a group photo at the function. PHOTO/Henry Nsubuga
UCU’s vice chancellor, Rev Canon Dr John Senyonyi appealed to graduands to resist temptation to engage in immoral acts.
Speaking to New Vision, Lydia Ntono, who graduated with a bachelor of laws degree, said her graduation was miracle since she nearly dropped out in her final school year.
“My parents run out of money to pay my tuition. I was lucky to get a Madhvani scholarship. In return, I will offer free legal services in the course of my career,” she said.
Avoid unhealthy competition, PM tells universities