By Michael Mubangizi
The Uganda Christian University Council has approved “professionalism and character” as the overarching niche for the Church of Uganda provincial university. The endorsement took place at a UCU council sitting on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at the university’s main campus in Mukono.
The UCU niche constitutes what the university wants to be known for, the uniqueness of her graduates and services, what it does best and her competitive advantage over other universities. It is what distinguishes UCU, her products, staff and way of doing things from other universities.
Commenting on the development, UCU Vice Chancellor Rev. Canon Dr. John Senyonyi said, “We shall, therefore, be expected henceforth to work toward ensuring that our services and our product [students] exhibit and make this niche the focus of our work and education.”
This niche follows other UCU core statements. These include her vision, which is “A Centre of Excellence in the Heart of Africa”, her mission, “To Equip Students for Productive, Holistic Lives of Christian Faith and Service” and theme, “A Compete Education for A Complete Person”. These core statements espouse a sense of purpose and a quest for the highest goal attainable, especially among our students. A brief write-up giving a rationale of the UCU niche is presented below.
UCU Niche: Professionalism and Character
The vision of Uganda Christian University (UCU) states as follows: “A Centre of Excellence in the Heart of Africa”. Her mission is: “To Equip Students for Productive, Holistic Lives of Christian Faith and Service”. And UCU’s theme is: “A Compete Education for A Complete Person”. These core statements, and others that UCU has, espouse a sense of purpose and a quest for the highest goal attainable, especially among our students.
For this reason, it is proposed that UCU’s niche as a university shall be, “Professionalism and Character”. The following is the rationale to this niche.
That UCU can draw from her Christian ethos to inculcate exemplary professionalism among her products. The graduates from UCU, as well as UCU’s services, shall be expected to exhibit distinguished methods of work, standing, and practices that are ahead and above the ordinary, putting to best use the training received, as well as always aiming at excellence in everything. A professional is well equipped for his/her vocation, puts service to the customer first, and aims to work beyond the call of duty. The professional presents oneself with dignity and appropriate decorum. Professionalism will mean we walk and work an extra mile.
Professionalism in Uganda declined over the years of political misrule and has degenerated further amidst the current ambivalence about what it really is. Self-interest, partisanship and social discrimination replaced equity. Unfortunately, it is easier to pull down the values and virtues of society, and quite another to rebuild them.
Character is a function of virtue, integrity, mores, and moral and ethical qualities in an individual. It is assumed that people learn character, especially from culture and from religion. UCU is able within the scope of her resources to give both. The university purposes to create a community bound together by our common core values of: Christ-Centredness, Diligence, Integrity, Servanthood and Stewardship, which, in themselves, demonstrate character. Each of them is a character quality.
UCU’s graduates have distinguished themselves for their virtue and dependability at work, and for other character qualities of positive influence. This is without a doubt the legacy of UCU’s Christian identity. The Gospel of Jesus Christ undergirds the influence and formation of character in UCU students. It has been said, “People are hired for their skills; but they are fired for their character.” The former wins one a job, the latter makes one dispensable or indispensable at the job.
There is no more exciting employability and vocationalisation than a worker who exhibits Professionalism with Character.