ICT and National Guidance Minister Dr. Chris Baryomunsi speaking at the launch of Unicaf University
With branches in Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and learning centres across Africa, Unicaf University has launched in Uganda, joining 45 private Universities currently in Uganda.
Data from the Ministry of Education and Sports shows that Uganda has 54 Universities- 45 (private) and 9 (public).
Unicaf’s entrance makes it 46th private university in Uganda.
Speaking at the launch Tuesday morning at the Serena Hotel in Kampala, Vice Chancellor, Prof. George Nasinyama said the University intends to be a leading provider of education, combining e-learning with face-to-face instructions and to contribute to scholarly research which serves the interests of communities.
Quoting the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) report of 2021, Prof. Nasinyama said the number of higher institutions continues to expand rapidly in response to the growing demand, saying “this is truly a global phenomenon. Here in Uganda, the higher education sector continues to expand in terms of both student involvement and number of institutions.”
For example, he said “the number of students enrolling in Uganda at a tertiary education level is 6.2% which is far below the world average of 24% and even more so the preferred 40% which is needed to accelerate the economy. “
In this regard therefore, Prof. Nasinyama said Uganda needs more universities and college facilities to be able to enroll more students both high school graduates and as well as mature students.
He said that Unicaf is making higher education available and accessible to all by creating more flexible structures and providing life-long learning opportunities to all segments of society through technology based education model which he says builds on the next generation of digital learning environment.
As a result of the disruptions brought about by the covid-19 pandemic, Prof. Nasinyama agrees that online learning is increasing becoming well-known and popular and even touted as an efficient way of imparting knowledge and skills to students who live away from urban centres.
Unicaf’s ambition, therefore, Prof. Nasinyama said is to make a great contribution to the people in Uganda and in the region by offering qualify higher education which is easily accessible, flexible and affordable.
The Minister of State in charge of Higher Education at the Ministry of Education and Sports, J.C. Muyingo in a speech read by an official from the ministry, Timothy Sejoba, urged the university to ensure quality by putting up the Directorate of Quality Assurance.
Secondly, Muyingo tasked the University to carry out a survey and look at skill scarce areas and see how best to address such areas but above all, he asked the University to carry out relevant research to answer issues in society.
Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister in charge ICT and National Guidance while speaking as Chief Guest welcomed Unicaf University to Uganda.
“These are elements of a fundamental change,” he bragged.
Given Unicaf is more of e-learning, Baryomunsi said the government is working on fixing affordability and expansion of internet connectivity.
“We are in advanced stages of expanding connectivity to all parts of the country,” he said.
He commended the University for offering scholarships, flexible tuition payment options and friendly study schedules which favors learners.