By Mubarak Mugabo
KAMPALA - The Islamic Call University (ICU) on Friday passed out 23 graduates of bachelors of Islamic Studies and Arabic Language. ICU’s first graduation ceremony was held Friday morning at the University campus located at the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) headquarters.
During the colorful event, the chancellor of the University also the Mufti of Uganda, Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje hailed the students for entrusting ICU with their resources for higher education.
Sheikh Mubajje, said students trusted the university even when it was only offering one degree course. He revealed that the University will also continue offering many secular courses.
“This University will not only teach Islam, it will also offer more secular programmes to support Government and its programmes,” Mubajje said.
ICU was established in 2011 as a private University with only one National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) accredited academic undergraduate degree.
The University Vice Chancellor Dr Hussein Muhammad Bowa, ICU is now offering more academic programmes accredited by NCHE in 2017/18 academic year.
“The University raised the number of courses to 14 including Business Administration, Human Resource management and procurement, among others,” said Dr Bowa adding that ICU also awarded Islamic Studies and Arabic language certificates to 71 students.
The state Minister for higher Education, Dr JC Muyingo represented by the assistant commissioner for higher education Dr Muzamir Muwatampola, urged ICU to engage the private sector in designing academic programmes for a skillful labour force.
Dr Muyingo applauded ICU for complementing Government in offering higher education, however, he noted the need for passing out graduates with skills.
“As a country, you are aware we have been accused of poor quality graduates who lack the actual skills required for the job market. Government encourages ICU to closely work with the private sector in designing programmes, which will give necessary skills for the market,” Dr Muyingo noted
ICU’s financial need
The Chairman of the university governing council Eng. Badru Kiggundu asked all Muslims and well-wishers to come to the rescue of the university’s financial need.
“We launched a fundraising programme for ICU last December and we have managed to collect sh24m so far, we need more money for the University’s operations,” Dr Kiggundu said.
ICU was established as a branch of the Islamic Call University of Libya with the blessing of the former Libyan leader, Col Muammar Gaddafi who had pledged to support the university in most of its financial and logistical needs.
ICU suffered a setback when Ghaddafi was killed in 2011, the same year ICU was licensed by NCHE to start operation. The world Islamic Call Society of Libya owning ICU-Tripoli, which was funded by Ghaddafi couldn’t fulfill his pledge according Mufti Mubajje.
Minister Muyingo urged ICU to tap into the opportunities put in place by Government like the students loan scheme established in 2014.
“The University should encourage parents and students to take advantage of this scheme,” Muyingo advised.
The University is currently using facilities of the UMSC mosque but with the growing number of students, the facilities can no longer accommodate them.
Amidst financial challenges, the university is proposing new structures on its land at UMSC headquarters, Mukono Kiyunga, which is the proposed university main campus and City campus in Mutungo Biina.
ICU is the third Islamic University in Uganda after Islamic University in Uganda and Kampala University.