Uganda has in the last decade seen a substantial proliferation of universities and degree awarding institutions.
Currently about 45 of these are operational in the country, only 12 of which are government owned.
Available information however does indicate that the blossoming of private Universities has not been well matched with increased numbers of students taking up courses therein.
Majority students are still inclined to the old and established universities for several reasons as credibility, affordability and academic performance.
92 year old Makerere University for instance (whose population now exceeds 40,000) is ranked Africa’s 7th best, topping the rest in eastern central Africa
But owing to the changing dynamics of education world over, the emerging new universities are positive. This is only a temporary trend, which will be altered in the near future.
Vice Chancellor of Victoria University Dr Stephen Robert Isabalija tells Chimpreports, the long held perceptions are fading fast and that the monopoly of the traditional Institutions is gradually being broken by the blossoming private universities.
“Education isn’t what it used to be 20 years ago. Times have changed now; people no longer go to universities to look for knowledge alone, but essential skills they will take with them to the job market,” he said.
He says, owing to the never-dying complaints from employers about half-baked university output nowadays, at Victoria University, it’s more of a hands-on training, not just academic and theoretical class work.
“Our students are out there in the field. The University is owned and managed under the Ruparelia Group of companies, and some of our business students are sent to work in the banks, and other companies in the big franchise.”
“Majority of our lecturers and facilitators are diplomats and seasoned industrialists-cum-academicians. I personally had a 10 year working experience before joining Victoria and I am the current Chairman UEGCL,” he added.
Situated in the heart of Kampala, (Plot 1-13 Jinja Road near the Railway grounds), Victoria University Dr Stephen says, offers the best in terms of conducive learning environment.
In a guided tour around the university on Tuesday as we shall run in our weekend edition, our Chimpreports team was introduced to a spacious and neat environment that student enjoy at the Institution.
The University, albeit being near a busy Jinja road, students attend completely undisrupted lecture rooms, well air conditioned with modern PASs, smart boards and much more than expected of an ordinary learning Institution.
Dr Stephen stresses, “We believe here that a student must have the best of conducive environment to focus on studying.”
In the middle of Kampala city, he says, Victoria University is easily accessed by students, since quite a number of them have jobs around town.
“In fact we plan to turn this into a University Street. We forecast acquiring most of these buildings around us and turning them into university structures soon.”
With now about 15 affordable courses and an array of other short courses, the VC says Victoria University is firmly on its way to overtaking its old counterparts in the tertiary education realm.
He believes the inviting modern teaching facilities, excellent teacher-student ratio and the university’s student-centred approach uncommon to most universities in the country, would work a positive spiral in growing and expanding the institution to the top in a not-so-distant future.
ClicK on the link http://www.vu.ac.ug/ for more details about the fast-rising University