Jimmy siyasa


UCU upperclassmen reinforce value of ‘soft skills’ to younger peers

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By Irene Best Nyapendi
As she waits to graduate, Doreen Mbabazi Naiga is already giving back to Uganda Christian University (UCU) through equipping the continuing students with what most call “soft” but nevertheless vital skills. Naiga, who will receive her Bachelor of Laws degree when she graduates in July,  partnered with Solomon Esadu, also a student pursuing a Bachelor of Laws in his fourth year, to reinforce employability skills of communication, teamwork and more.


“We saw that after finishing school, students face a challenge of getting jobs because they lack some of these soft skills like perfecting their Curriculum Vitae,” Naiga said.

Some of the students who attended the May training at UCU’s Nkoyoyo hall.
Some of the students who attended the May training at UCU’s Nkoyoyo hall.

Naiga said they wanted to be proactive at offering students knowledge on some of the softer  skills they need to get a job. Along with their organization, United Nations Association of Uganda (UNAU), Naiga and Esadu organized a one-day workshop on May 27, 2023, at UCU on the theme of “Career exploration and professional developing: Mapping your future.” UNAU works in conjunction with UN agencies to achieve aims and objectives of the UN.

Naiga and Esadu were among 20 delegates selected by the Africa UNAU. Naiga was inspired to join the fellowship because she wanted to be part of the solution. 

“I wanted to be in a position where I am able to help and influence communities,” she said.

Esadu joined UNAU because he is passionate about leadership and social development.

As delegates, they were offered a skilling program, mentorship, training and workshops where they learned about what they need to do in their community. At the workshop, the two passed some of this knowledge along.

“We learned that more people in society would love to obtain the same skill, so we brought it to our brothers and sisters at UCU to help them understand the skills they ought to have as they go to seek for jobs,” Esadu said.

Esadu noted that with so many graduates hunting for job opportunities in the competitive work world, soft skills make one stand out.

Esadu cautioned students about spending many hours on the internet just watching fun videos, but rather invest that time networking on the various social media platforms and learning about potential employers.

Doreen Mbabazi Naiga training students on how to stand out in a competitive job market.
Doreen Mbabazi Naiga training students on how to stand out in a competitive job market.

He also encouraged students to volunteer while they are still in school so that by the time they graduate, they would have acquired more experience needed and desired by employers.

He commended the university for the soft skills it offers through the undergraduate course units of Writing and Study Skills. However, he observed that students don’t realize how important the course unit is early in their studies, necessitating that students re-study it later. 

“The students were able to learn and re-learn some of the pertinent issues they have not been paying much attention to such as resume writing,” Esadu said of the workshop. “When the speakers emphasized them, they got to understand them more.”

Skills offered

Eborty Ntami, a governance and peace fellow with the United Nations Development Program, taught students how to write an attractive Curriculum Vitae (a resume), how to answer interview questions, how to prepare for an interview, among other skills.

“I urge you to aim at having an attractive CV, to read about the job details and understand them before you apply and carry out research about the organization you are applying to,” Ntami said.

Ntami emphasized that having knowledge about a company before going for the interview not only increases the student’s chance of being hired, but also helps that student decide whether the company will be a good fit.

According to Ntami, knowledge, networking, empowerment, inclusiveness and persistence are key in determining what people become. She encouraged the students to be ready for opportunities when they come and to leverage on Information Technology to overcome in the dynamic world.

“Interviews are always tricky,”  said Alex Kaitale, a student pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration, after the workshop. “I am now prepared for the marketplace. I am sure I will submit the appropriate documents and respond to interview questions in the right way.”

Elijah Biimbwa, a second-year student of a Bachelor of Tourism in Hospitality Management, said he learned about the importance of networking.

“I learned that we need to network to increase our access to job opportunities, increase our visibility and advance our career. It is important for us to engage with others,” he said, adding that he also learned to make the best use of his social media platforms to network.

UCU Alumna Shines as Outstanding Graduate at LDC

By Irene Best Nyapendi

Jemimah Jehopio, an accomplished graduate of Uganda Christian University (UCU), has emerged as the most exceptional graduate at the 50th Law Development Centre (LDC) graduation ceremony.

With an impressive collection of awards that included the prestigious Director’s List, LDC/Agaba Muhairwe Prize, and Inspector General of Government Award, Jehopio left no doubt that she had soared above her peers at the Kampala campus graduation held on June 23.

Overwhelmed with joy and delight, Jehopio expressed her excitement upon receiving the highest number of awards at the graduation ceremony. “I am extremely thrilled to receive these awards; they represent the fulfilment of my dreams. These accolades acknowledge my dedication and are pivotal for my future career endeavours,” said Jehopio, her eyes, gleaming with joyful pride.

Jehopio’s journey through LDC was not for the faint of heart. It demanded her time, energy, and unwavering commitment. But she approached it with an unwavering determination to give it her all. Having traversed the world of theory during her undergraduate years at the UCU School of Law, LDC became her gateway to unravelling the intricacies of the law, transforming her into a true legal professional.

Jehopio on her graduation day. Courtesy Photo

“At LDC, I had the privilege to apply the theories I acquired during my undergraduate studies through seminar sessions, court visits, and interactions with government agencies, enabling me to witness firsthand how the law operates,” explained Jehopio.

A beacon of inspiration, Jehopio fervently urges fellow students embarking on the same journey to seize every opportunity that comes their way. She knows all too well the whispers of doubt that can cloud one’s path, but she advocates for silencing those voices and embracing steady self-belief. “As students, we must exercise unwavering self-discipline. When the weight of work threatens to overwhelm us, it is in those moments that we must push harder, challenge ourselves, and remain steadfast in our pursuit of excellence,” Jehopio advised, her words infused with the wisdom of experience.

Jehopio attributes her victory to the unwavering emotional and financial support from her parents throughout the demanding and costly journey at LDC. Currently working as an advocate at Sebalu & Lule Advocates Law Firm, Jehopio expresses her deep passion for teaching and plans to pursue a career in academia.

Receiving a congratulatory call from UCU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, further amplified Jehopio’s joy in recognition of her remarkable achievements. Prior to achieving First Class Honors in Bachelor of Laws at UCU, she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Chemistry from Makerere University.

Jehopio has also been the recipient of numerous awards, including the John H. Jackson Moot Court 2020, the National Disability Rights Moot Court 2019, the Nuremberg Moot Court 2019, and the Uganda National Mathematics Contest 2015.

Furthermore, she has held significant leadership positions, including Guild Vice President and Guild Minister of Education and Sports at UCU, as well as Firm Leader at the Law Development Centre.

UCU Graduates top LDC list in 2023

In the Law Development Center final examination results released a few months ago this year, students who graduated from Uganda Christian University (UCU) topped the list of first-class graduates.

Out of the total number of 20 first-year students from the bar course, at least nine had gone through UCU’s law school. The rest, according to the list were from across the universities.

Among the first classes, the top four were all from UCU. The nine include Emmanuel Okia with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 4.90, Shamira Kitimbo with 4.80, Reagan Ahumuza with 4.75, and Jemimah Jehopio with a CGPA of 4.70. Others are Ernest Ayesiga with a 4.55, Samuel Odiye with a 4.50, Josephine Namagembe with a 4.40, and Martha Uwizeye with a 4.40.

Students marvel at innovation

UCU Robotics Students Spark Innovation at Ntare School in Mbarara

By Irene Best Nyapendi

On June 24th, students from Uganda Christian University (UCU) in the Department of Computing and Technology in collaboration with Google, through the UCU Google Student Developers’ Club, paid a visit to Ntare School in Mbarara to inspire secondary students with their impressive innovations.

The Ntare School Robotics Colloquium saw the participation of at least four secondary schools: Bweranyangyi Girls Secondary School, Mbarara Secondary School, Nyamitanga Secondary School, and Kigezi High School.

During the colloquium, UCU students showcased several projects aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These projects aimed to address various community issues through innovative solutions.

Google Students Team at Ntare
One of the UCU Robotics team members exhibits one of UCU’s homemade robots. to Ntare students Photo/Irene Nyapendi

The exhibition not only allowed the UCU students to demonstrate their practical skills but also provided a valuable learning experience for the Ntare School students.

Students’ Thoughts on the innovation expo

Rachel Mbeiza Isooba, a student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, was thrilled to participate in the exhibition and inspire her fellow students. She shared, “Being able to showcase our projects to the Ntare School students and witness their enthusiasm was incredibly rewarding. I hope it encourages them to explore their own innovative ideas.”

Joseph Miiro Luutu, another UCU student specializing in artificial intelligence and robotics, recognized the impact of such events on students’ growth. He stated, “It was an honour to be part of the exhibition and share my knowledge with the Ntare School students. By introducing them to robotics and technology, we hope to inspire them to pursue their passions and make a difference in their community.”

The Ntare School students were captivated by the innovative projects presented by the UCU students. The practical demonstrations left a lasting impression, igniting their curiosity and motivating them to delve deeper into the world of robotics. With the guidance and support from innovation-driven institutions like UCU, the students are poised to unleash their creativity and drive positive change through technology and innovation.

Other voices

Martin Kubona, a tutor in the Department of Computing and Technology, explained that their participation in the exhibition was intended to inspire young people to leverage innovation in solving problems within their communities.

He emphasized the significance of exposing their students to different communities across the country, allowing them to gain a broader perspective on various issues. He stated, “At the department, we emphasize project-based learning, allowing our students to put what they learn in class into practice and exhibit their work to the community.”

The event served as an enlightening experience for their students, as they witnessed how other young individuals were tackling problems through innovative projects. “Inspiring the younger generation aligns with our department’s goals. When secondary students observe UCU students exhibiting their projects, they are motivated to explore and see if they can achieve similar or even better outcomes,” said Kubona.

He further highlighted the uniqueness of the exhibition, specifically how secondary students aligned their projects with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He noted that while many people come up with projects, often those projects fail to address any specific problem.

Ntare students

Wilson Ndeze, the Deputy Head Teacher of Ntare School, expressed gratitude to UCU for providing hands-on technical knowledge to his students. He explained that since the government transitioned from a knowledge-based to a competency-based curriculum, the UCU team’s involvement in skilling young innovators held immense significance.

“We are extremely grateful to UCU for sharing practical knowledge with our students and inspiring them to embrace innovation as a means to solve problems within their community,” Ndeze said. He emphasized that these learners reside in societies facing numerous challenges, and exhibitions like these help open their minds to innovative solutions.

Joseph Twinomugisha, a senior three student from Ntare School was inspired and motivated by the UCU team to embark on his own projects. “Today I’ve learnt from the UCU team that if you have an idea, you need to involve other people so that they can advise and finance you to grow your project,” Twinomugisha said.

He adds that he is so grateful to UCU because robotics has been a silent element of endeavour in the study of sciences, at their school. “We appreciate UCU for bringing us samples of their work and helping us get ideas of projects to work on,” Twinomugisha said.


Triumphant UCU Alum Achieves Engineering PhD at Renowned Japanese University

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By Pauline Luba
“A name is so important. A surname connects you to your past, to your family.” This quote is attributed to Canadian author Kelley Armstrong. 

On life at UCU

The life of Joyce Nakayenga, a new recipient of a PhD in engineering, is aligned with the writer’s assertion. Named after her paternal grandmother, Nakayenga grew up knowing that she had to uphold that matriarch’s legacy of hard work and overcoming challenges. Nakayenga’s grandmother struggled to educate her children despite having so little. 

When Nakayenga was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering – Civil and Environmental Engineering from Hiroshima University in Japan on March 23, 2023, and as other members of her family as well as friends looked on, her grandmother’s spirit was ever present. With the degree, the 31-year-old also won three prestigious university awards.  Her research earned her the Best Presentation Researcher, Academic Encouragement Award and the 2022 Hiroshima Excellent Student Award.

For many who know Nakayenga’s academic ability, the latest attainment likely isn’t surprising. In 2015, she was not only a recipient of a First-Class degree in Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Uganda Christian University (UCU), but also had the best marks in her class. For that feat, she earned an academic excellence award at UCU. Consequently, UCU’s Department of Engineering and Environment hired Nakayenga as a tutorial assistant for one year.

“I have always wanted to be an engineer,” Nakayenga told Uganda Partners. “I wanted a profession that showed where I could visibly see the fruits of my work thereafter.”

UCU’s location within her home district – Mukono – and its deep roots in Christianity were a good fit for Nakayenga’s higher education choice.

Nakayenga notes that the UCU community, including its lecturers, were instrumental in ensuring concentration in books, overall performance and continued learning. For instance, a former lecturer at UCU brought her attention to the existence of the Mext scholarship to study at Hiroshima. Nakayenga enrolled for a master’s at the university in 2017 and the scholarship was extended to doctorate studies because she had passed the first post-graduate hurdle with flying colors. 

Nakayenga describes herself as someone “keen on promoting sustainable societal development, especially for developing countries, through innovative engineering solutions.” Her PhD research, under the topic “The re-use of stone quarry waste (i.e granite and limestone powder) to improve the properties of weak clay soils,” gives her the competence to be able to develop “sturdy infrastructure that will stand the test of time and natural disasters.” The research focused on how to make naturally weak clay soil strong, by using stone powder. 

Nakayenga is the fifth born of six children of Dr. Wilson Mubiru and Specioza Nabatanzi Mubiru. Nakayenga’s family had to use resources sparingly, having at one time been an extended family of up to 18 members living under one roof.  Her parents, now retired, were public servants. Wilson was the officer in charge of health in central Uganda’s Mubende district while Specioza served as an education officer in the same district.

Nakayenga attended Mubende Parents School for her primary education and Nabisunsa Girls School for her secondary education before joining UCU. Nakayenga balanced academics and student leadership roles at every school she attended. At Mubende Parents School, she was the assistant head prefect. At UCU she represented her faculty in the UCU students’ parliament. At Hiroshima University, from 2017 to 2018, Nakayenga was the university’s Study Abroad Ambassador, where she sensitized students on the benefits of studying in the Hiroshima Prefecture (municipality). 

For now, she will remain in Hiroshima, where the university has employed her as a postdoctoral researcher in the geotechnical laboratory of Hiroshima University.

Kadaga of East Africa and Mushengyezi

Uganda Christian University Hosts Minister of East African Community Affairs, Kadaga

By Irene Best Nyapendi

On June 26th, Uganda Christian University (UCU) hosted a team from the Ministry of East African Community Affairs (EAC) led by the Minister of East African Community Affairs, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga.

The team sensitized the UCU community on the mandate of EAC and matters on regional integration. Kadaga emphasized the importance of EAC towards fostering unity and cooperation among countries.

Kadaga on the mandate of the EAC

“We’ve come a long way, and as a country which is landlocked need to have this integration. The African people have for long wanted to have the United States of Africa but has been delayed because of various political differences which is why we have a regional economic block that will eventually become the basis of the integration,” Kadaga said.

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Prof. Mushengyezi, Vice Chancellor (L), Hon. Kadaga (Center) and Mr. David Mugawe, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration (R) walking to the UCU auditorium. Photo by Andrew Bugembe

She mentioned that as EAC they have security interests in the region because what happens in the neighbouring communities affects each member state due to the many ways they are linked.

While addressing the UCU community, Kadaga mentioned that some of the challenges they face in implementing policies are the mindset of the population. Hence the need for enlightenment. Furthermore, Kadaga pledged to address the challenges of international students who often struggle to travel and study in Uganda and vice versa.

On his part, the UCU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi commended Kadaga for the initiative of coming to sensitize the UCU community about the EAC. He explained that the issues affecting EAC affect UCU directly as a member of the university which is part of the Inter-university Council of East Africa to which he is UCU’s representative.

“We do appreciate the work you continue to do for EAC, especially as you fight very aggressively the non-tariff barriers that sometimes crop up which hamper business in EAC, implementation of our protocols, treaty and free movement of persons and goods in our region,” Mushengyezi said.

On a light note, he further noted that Kadaga is a parent and friend of UCU because her son, “Timothy Kadaga,” was the institution’s 22nd guild president.

The Vice-Chancellor, additionally, mentioned that UCU is a very active university when it comes to EAC affairs because it has a very big representation of students from neighbouring countries including; Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Nigeria, among others.

“As a university, we also participate in the African mobility program for lecturers which we have embraced through the inter-university council for East Africa,” Mushengyezi said.

Over the years, UCU has managed to recruit academic experts from across the East African region to lecture and conduct research on campus, which best practice facilitates cross-border knowledge and skill exchange.

Edith Mwanje, Permanent Secretary Ministry of East African Community Affairs appreciated UCU for hosting them to share about the issues of East African Integration.

“We are so grateful to UCU for giving us this opportunity to implement a part of our big agenda of reaching out to our stakeholders and share with them information on the benefits of what we do and why we do it,” Mwanje said.

She noted that the visit was the beginning of a long journey that they are to have with UCU. She urged the university to form an association of East Africans through which communication can be made to keep the students updated on the happening within the region.

Mwanje explained to the UCU community about the EAC treaty that was signed in 1999, emphasizing the importance for the community to remind themselves of certain facts about EAC.

EAC visit
The guests pose for a group photo with members of the UCU Community. Photo by Andrew Bugembe

The treaty for the establishment of EAC was signed in 1999 and became operational in 2000. The regional community is a regional inter-governmental organization meaning we take decisions collectively as Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan and DRC.

Through EAC, the customs union which came into force in 2004, eliminates tax of goods within the partner states such that goods produced in Uganda can move freely to neighbouring countries and vice versa. EAC guides the free movement of goods, people, labour, services and capital from one Partner state to another as well as the rights of establishment and residence without restriction.

However, the journey through the EAC still has challenges in the implementation of its policies.

UCU’s 25th guild president Timothy Ddumba commended the team from EAC for their timely visit. A time when UCU is celebrating International Students.

“I’ve heard the wonderful ideas in the pipeline of getting implemented but perhaps we are facing a challenge of enforcing these policies. So, unlike other institutions, we are students who won’t remind you of your problems but rather problem solvers, because that’s what we do,” Ddumba said.

He stated that through the university’s various initiatives, they will start an East African Students’ Association. Click the video below to watch the rest of the programme

“Unikonversationz”: UCU rolls out first-ever audio-visual university podcast in Uganda

By Irene Best Nyapendi

Uganda Christian University (UCU) has launched the first-ever audio-visual university podcast in Uganda dubbed “Unikonversationz”.

About the UCU-based UniKoversationz podcast

This is an inaugural university podcast that seeks to stimulate intellectual conversations and social commentary that appeal to and are relevant to university students or semi-educated people. Our goal is to provoke thought on topical issues ranging from academia, Christianity, worldviews, social life on campus, growth, personal improvement, etc. Our guest/guests take on intriguing subjects and discuss them with utmost precision.
While the podcast is curated by a team based at UCU, its appeal stretches beyond the university to broader audiences in Uganda and beyond. The audio-visual podcast is available on our YouTube channel.

Below is a glimpse of our first-ever audio-visual university podcast.

Over 60 UCU theology students thrilled on study tour

By Irene Best Nyapendi

Over 60 Uganda Christian University (UCU) Students of theology has toured various locations for purposes of appreciation of church history and general spiritual enlightenment. First, they went to St Paul’s Cathedral, then the Provincial Office C.O.U, after that, the Archbishop’s Palace in Namirembe; and finally, the Namugongo Martyrs sites-Anglican Church of Uganda. They were thrilled at the wealth of history that the church has preserved for several decades.

About the UCU study tour

The study tour was organized by the church relation office of UCU and school of theology.

By sightseeing historic sites, attending service at St. Paul cathedral, visiting the archbishop’s palace, partaking in other learning activities, the students experienced the church history of Uganda.

Rev Canon Amos Turyahabwe, the Head of Pastoral and Practical Studies, stated that they organized this study tour to offer its students a better and practical vision of the church history.

 “We saw that it’s not enough for us to only give the students theory so we organized a study tour to give our students exposure of the church history, to know where the headquarters are, where the first diocese was, to see and hear what the martyrs went through,” Turyahabwe said.

He adds that it was vital for the students to physically see some of the things that they learn in class to enhance their understanding.

While at St. Paul Cathedral Namirembe, which is the oldest and biggest chapel in Uganda, the students saw where the bishops sit, the grave of Bishop James Hannington.

Hannington was meant to be the first Bishop of C.O.U unfortunately he was murdered on his way to Uganda hence Bishop Alfred Tucker became the first bishop of C.O.U.

The students were also exposed to tour around the head offices of the Anglican Church, where they learnt that the term of service for the bishops is 10 years.

At the province they met UCU Alumni Andrew Agawa who is currently the Director of Households and community transformation.

Agawa appreciated the university team for organizing such a study tour because many individuals would love to have it but they cannot access it.

“As theologians it is good for you to have this because many people have never had this opportunity, because when they come in here as individuals chances are low that they can be given access to these places,” Agawa said.

Agawa went ahead to introduce some of the province leaders to the students as they got to learn more about church management and leadership.

The students also had time to visit the Most Rev. Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu’s palace in Namirembe where they were happily welcomed by his wife, Margaret Naggayi Bulya. Together with the students they sung the famous song “Tumutendereze Yesu”.

She appreciated the students for answering Gods call upon their life and cautioned them not to carry themselves into ministry but to do it in response to God’s call.

“Thank you for answering God’s call upon your life because when God calls you, he will sustain you because while here you are standing in the feet of God,” she said.

She urged the students to let Jesus have the lead in their life and prayed a blessing upon their life.

“May you leave UCU and go and serve and not focus on wealth or positions because when you do well, God takes you to greater heights because God loves humble steadfast people,” Naggayi prayed for the students.

The students reaped from the study tour, one way or another, from the journey which enhanced their intellectual and academic knowledge on the church history.

According to some of the students, the study tour encouraged them to know that the things they are reading about isn’t just theoretical but they are real things.

The study tour also encourages the students to believe more as they are prepared for ministry.

Theology Students share their study tour experience

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Theology students heading to the Archbishop’s palace.

Ronald Makoba pursuing a masters of Divinity, narrates that it has been a great experience for him looking at the history of C.O.U through the portraits at the site.

“In class we take notes, talk about the church history in Uganda but I had never seen these places, so visiting these historical places like Namirembe gave me exposure and it was an eye opener ,” Makoba said

Makoba was ignited by the mark that has been left by the martyrs which taught him that despite persecution the gospel of Christ must be proclaimed.

 “I’ve been touched looking at those martyrs, it paints a picture to us to be practical and I also saw the importance for us to lay foundations for others,” Makoba said.

Margret Nakalena pursuing a masters in Divinity says it was an experience of enlightenment for her to understand the administrative structure of the church.

“It’s been a wonderful experience physically seeing what we have been taught in class so now when we go back to class the discussions won’t only be from text but our mind will flash back to what we saw and heard today,” Nakalena said.

She explains that she is now able to know where each church is set and also learnt that it’s at the province that the important decisions in the dioceses are made.

“I also learnt that St. Paul Cathedral, Namirembe is of great significance to both Buganda and the government,” she added.

During this study tour, Stella Betty Abarob, pursuing a masters in Theology, had the opportunity to learn about the founders of the church and the historical background of the church.

This gave Abarob an opportunity to appreciate the fact that C.O.U has a great foundation that helps to strengthen our faith.“ It was my first time touring these historical places and the experience has been transformational. I have really enjoyed this tour each of the places we went to, I had something to learn,” Abarob said.

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Rev. Richard Mulindwa (extreme right) leading students to the archbishop’s palace.

Rev. Richard Mulindwa, Ag. Manager of the UCU Church Relations office, says that the rationale for this study tour was for the students to know the history of the C.O.U, and to know the women and men who highly sacrificed for the faith they are enjoying.

“We think this has been a source of great exposure for our theology students as they venture into other key places in C.O.U so when it comes to the time of their training they will be grounded and will have the history of where we have come from,” Mulindwa said.

He adds that the study tour is part of the students training and formation, because other than the formation in classes this is the formation in the sense of practicum.

Janitor plays role in UCU alum’s academic success

By Pauline Luba
Janitorial work increased the chances of a university getting at least one student. That’s part of the story of Dr. Jonathan Tumwebaze, who shared the role of a building custodian in his enrollment at Uganda Christian University (UCU).

Tumwebaze’s father, Kaganda Bbala, was looking for a university where his son could pursue undergraduate studies, and UCU was among those on the list. During the university tour with his father in 2011, Tumwebaze said that as his dad walked into the bathrooms in the Mukono campus Nsibambi Hall, he remarked that if custodians could do their job so diligently without close supervision, then there was something special about UCU.

From UCU to University of Pretoria

The university journey that Tumwebaze started 12 years ago has seen him recently earning a PhD in a record two-and-a-half years. The course usually takes up to five years. The 31-year-old received his doctorate in public policy from the University of Pretoria in South Africa on March 21, 2023. 

Titled “A Framework for Child Participation in Child-focused Policy Design in Uganda,” Tumwebaze’s research focused on inclusion of children’s voices in child-focused, policy decision-making processes. He describes a developing paradigm of thought in Uganda’s child-focused research literature. 

Tumwebaze with Patty Huston-Holm, Uganda Partners communications director, when they worked together to conduct post-graduate writing and research clinics.
Tumwebaze with Patty Huston-Holm, Uganda Partners communications director, when they worked together to conduct post-graduate writing and research clinics.

Tumwebaze has a unique passion for cross-disciplinary learning and knowledge systems, and has a breadth of experience working with students. Serving as the Interim Global Health Coordinator for Uganda Studies Program and Christian University Partnerships Manager, Tumwebaze’s doctorate meant he was the first student to graduate under the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research. The partnership is a collaborative venture in public policy and is currently offered in three universities in Africa – the University of Pretoria, University of Nairobi in Kenya and the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. In 2015, Tumwebaze worked as an intern for a new UCU postgraduate thesis-assistance program.

Tumwebaze and four others enrolled for the program as full-time PhD resident fellows in February 2020 at the University of Pretoria. Even though Covid-19 affected many education systems, Tumwebaze’s PhD journey was never interrupted, which is something he attributed to the robust nature of the University of Pretoria’s academic programs. He benefited from the financial support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the University of Pretoria Doctoral Research Scholarship. The university has offered Tumwebaze a placement for post-doctoral research, an academic mentorship journey he will be embarking on soon.

Initially, he did not want to pursue a B.A. in Development Studies at UCU. He also had been accepted for the Bachelor of Laws degree, which is where his heart was. However, upon the advice of his father that the tuition fee for the law course was too expensive, Tumwebaze switched to Development Studies. 

“The first month at university was hard,” Tumwebaze recalled. “I saw myself as a lawyer and kept wondering what I was doing in another class.”

Agatha Ninsiima, a friend and an honors student, noticed Tumwebaze’s lack of ambition and encouraged him to avoid wasting three undergraduate years – to put zeal and energy into his development study. And Tumwebaze did just that.

Soon, his attitude shifted to positive and, since then, he topped his class until he completed the course. He was not just a member, but also the chairperson of the UCU Honors College, which is an interdisciplinary Christian leadership and mentorship program that empowers highly motivated and talented students to think critically and creatively about how their Christian faith influences their academic and professional goals. 

Tumwebaze is the third born of Bbala and Adyeeri Kaganda. He attended St. Jude Primary School Kyegobe in Fort Portal, western Uganda and Mengo Senior Secondary in central Uganda for his secondary school education. While at Mengo, Tumwebaze got an opportunity to spend some time in Norway as part of an exchange student program.


UCU to hold Graduation in July: Notice to All Graduands & Parents

We are pleased to inform you that Uganda Christian University will hold a graduation ceremony on Friday, July 28, 2023, at the Main Campus in Mukono, Uganda.

It will be the First Part of the 24th congregation for the conferment of Degrees and awards in Diplomas will take place at the Main Campus on Friday, July 2023.

Eligibility for Graduation

  • Clearance with the relevant university departments by Friday, June 30, 2023
  • Display of graduand’s name on the notice board, all social media platforms and website on Monday, July 10, 2023
  • The faculty will require your clearance form and UCU ID/Passbook when obtaining your transcript and certificate immediately after graduation.

Graduation Fees

Master’s and Undergraduate studentsUGX 300,000/ $82
Postgraduate diplomas and DiplomasUGX 270,000/ $74

Academic Gowns & Hoods

  • Students can pick Academic Gowns and Hoods from their respective Faculties/Schools starting from Wednesday, July 12, 2023.
  • When picking your gown and hood, the faculty will require your clearance form and UCU ID/Passbook.

Commissioning service


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Contact reception at Academic Affairs Office in person at the UCU Main Campus, Mukono or call 0312350880.

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Rev. Assoc. Prof. Kitayimbwa Appointed Chairperson of RENU

By Irene Best Nyapendi

Rev. Assoc. Prof. John Mulindwa Kitayimbwa, has been appointed Chairperson of the Research and Education Network Uganda (RENU). This happened during the recent Board of Directors strategic planning retreat, where a new era was ushered in for RENU.

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About RENU

RENU establishes collaboration among Uganda’s research and education institutions for knowledge creation, sharing, and utilization, through the provision of advanced networking and other advanced technical services.

According to Kitayimbwa, RENU was established to address through it the provision of reliable and affordable connectivity of research and education institutions in Uganda, which is being achieved.

The connectivity through RENU has afforded member institutions access to vast information and resources, facilitated communication and collaboration, enabled use of online education and research tools, allowed sharing of education and research infrastructure across Ugandan institutions, and facilitated easier dissemination of education materials  and research findings,”

Assoc. Prof. Kitayimbwa

He adds that RENU has surely become the engine that is helping many research and education institutions achieve the connectivity that they need at an affordable rate.

 “RENU now offers a broad range of services to research and education such as Learning Management System, web conferencing, eduroam, cloud hosting, and identity federation among others,” Kitayimbwa said.

Kitayimbwa in a special way appreciates Prof. Stephen Noll and other previous chairpersons explaining that it’s on their shoulders he is now to stand. He replaces Eng. Dr. Dorothy Okello whose service ended in April of this year.

He has served on RENU the Board of Directors, first as a member, then as the Deputy Chairperson, as Chairperson of RENU’s Finance, Administration and Human Resource Committee and now as the Chairperson Board of Directors.

Kitayimbwa is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs at Uganda Christian University (UCU).  He is also a priest within the Church Of Uganda.

He is a highly qualified Ugandan PhD Fellow in Computational Biology at UCU and an astute educationist, with a track record of raising $8 million in research funding from many diverse, international academic sources.

Prof. Janice Busingye the appointed Deputy Chairperson, congratulates Kitayimbwa for taking upon such a crucial responsibility. According to her, joining RENU is an opportunity to learn, and be part of the organization’s growth.

RENU is Uganda’s National Research and Education Network. It is a member–based organization, founded in 2006 and incorporated in 2008 as a non-profit organization and company limited by guarantee, to uplift the quality of education of research in the country, through the provision of reliable and affordable connectivity and other related ICT solutions tailored for education and research.

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