By Joyce Namutebi
Government is to come up with new policies that will support private universities in research and development, a senior education official has announced.
The Executive Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports, Dr. Charles Okou represented minister Jessica Alupo at the second graduation ceremony of Cavendish University Uganda held at Speke Resort, Munyonyo on Sunday.
He stressed that private universities have an important role to play in education, a sector that is key in making the country make a mark in the global market place by being a major hub for new ideas, for business innovation.
He said there is need for diversity in education in Uganda. "That is why we are moving from a system focused on efficiency to one that promotes flexibility and a diversity of educational pathways. That way we stand the best chance of nurturing diverse talents," Okou said.
He warned students against specialising early saying "we want them to develop an interest across disciplines" for better employment prospects.
He advised universities to take students for exchange programmes abroad and attachments saying it would help them learn about other countries and open opportunities for them.
A total of 360 students graduated, of whom 137 were non- Ugandans. Also Out of the 360, 166 were female and the rest male. Their awards were conferred upon them by the Vice Chancellor of the University David Game who stood in for the Chancellor, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, former Zambian President, who was not able to attend on account of his health, a university official said.
The graduands and their relatives jubilated as they received their awards. Present were ministers and MPs. The university started in 2008with 27 students, but now has 4,860 students.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor. Dr. Frywell Shaba Chirwa stressed the role higher education plays in socio-economic development of societies, but that in Africa there has been "seeming lack of consistency in its mainstreaming in the national development planning processes."
He urged graduands to continue working towards enhancement of better higher education.
Chirwa revealed that the University has taken steps to establish a faculty of science and technology.
Game said Cavendish is happy to be partners with government in investing in education and hailed President Yoweri Museveni for manner in which he has developed higher education in Uganda.