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From a humble start, UCU leaps forward

By Vision Reporter

Added 1st November 2014 05:37 PM

Every magnificent establishment you talk of must have at one point had its small start, as is with Uganda Christian University.

From a humble start, UCU leaps forward

Every magnificent establishment you talk of must have at one point had its small start, as is with Uganda Christian University.


By Watuwa Timbiti

Every magnificent establishment you talk of must have at one point had its small start that evolved into what is perceivable in the present.
 
The same can be said of Uganda Christian University, which evolved from a small, but powerful Bishop Tucker Theological College to one of the prestigious private universities in Uganda.
 
With the main campus in Mukono and subordinate campuses in Mbale, Kabale, Arua and Kampala, it is undeniable that the university has not taken higher education to the people, but has in the same breath etched out a permanent presence in the country’s higher education domain.
 
Leap forward
 
It is the invitation of the Christian Missionary Society, according to sources, that birthed Bishop Tucker Memorial College at Namirembe in 1903 and later in 1913 in Mukono, as Bishop Tucker Theological College (BTTC), on land donated by Hamu Mukasa, a county chief.
 
Alfred Tucker was the pioneer missionary Bishop after whom the college was named.
 
Mukasa also donated another land at Ntawo still in Mukono for purposes of agricultural training to students and sustaining the college.
 
Having started as a teacher and clergy training college, the institution made a leap forward in 1997 when the Church of Uganda conceived the idea to upgrade the college to a university. The Government granted the idea and in 2004, the university got a charter.
 
The university which now has over 10,000 students not only draws its population from Uganda, but from 13 other countries.
 
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The Archbishop, Stanley Ntagali (first in the line), at a UCU graduation
 
The university’s chancellor is the archbishop of the Church of Uganda and the first vice-chancellor was Professor Stephen Noll, an American Anglican priest, theologian, and missionary.
 
He guided the University to receive a Government Charter in 2004, the first of its kind in Uganda.
 
Stepping in Noll’s shoes came the current Vice-Chancellor, Dr John Senyonyi, a mathematician. He joined UCU as a chaplain in 2001. He rose through the ranks to become the deputy vice-chancellor for finance and administration.
 
Later he was to be the first deputy vice-chancellor in charge of development and external relations, the first such position in any Ugandan university.
 
The university’s greatest achievement is the reputation of its graduates and alumni, who are doing well in the various sectors they are working.
 
Attributing this to the nature and quality of training they get. The training the students get is a fusion of the mind, heart and the hands (integration of learning, faith and service with integrity.
 
A whole person is trained and taught with the intention of producing graduates who work with integrity rooted in biblical and ethical training.
 
Subsequently, this influences their personality. Just like any other institution, the university, also has challenges, with the growth has come challenges like, limited space and teaching and learning materials.
 
Global challenges have had a toll on the university operations, for instance, the increased inflation, has made the cost of management shoot up.
 
Similarly, the amount of aid from the institutions partners in the West has reduced and even the number of scholarships has drastically gone down.

From a humble start, UCU leaps forward

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