Son Twongyirwe


Vice Chancellor opens doors to new partnerships during U.S. Visit

Vice Chancellor on partnership visit in USA

Table of Contents

The visit begins

Uganda Christian University (UCU) continues to expand its reach beyond the African continent, thanks to the recent visit of the Vice Chancellor, Assoc. Professor Aaron Mushengyezi, to the United States.

During the visit courtesy of the Uganda Partners NGO, Prof. Mushengyezi, accompanied by his wife, Maama Patience, held meetings with various educational institutions to establish collaborative academic and research partnerships. The discussions were fruitful, and several U.S. colleges and universities agreed to collaborate with UCU on staff and student exchange, study abroad programs, and research initiatives.

Vice Chancellor at Millersville

Vice Chancellor
Vice Chancellor Prof. Mushenyezi meets President Wubah in Millersville, Pennsylvania.
Vice Chancellor and Uganda Partners board
Prof. Mushengezi (Forefront middle) poses with UCU Partners Board members in Umbridge, Pennsylvania.

Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania, was one of the institutions that agreed to work with UCU. President Daniel A. Wubah and staff of the International Office met with Prof. Mushengyezi and agreed to host UCU staff on scholarly visits and send students to UCU on study abroad programs. Wheaton College in Chicago, Illinois, pledged to provide mentorship training for UCU staff and tutors in the UCU Writing Centre.

Meeting with UCU Partners board

The visit was not limited to educational institutions only. The Vice Chancellor also attended the annual Board meeting of the UCU Partners in Ambridge, Pennsylvania (9th to 11th February 2023), where he thanked the Partners Board and friends of UCU for their continuous support of various projects at the university, the most recent being the UCU School of Medicine and School of Dentistry. Partners, founded by UCU’s first Vice Chancellor, Rev. Prof. Stephen Noll, pledged continued support to UCU. Noll and his wife, Peggy, hosted Prof. and Mrs. Mushengyezi to a dinner at their home in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.

At Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, Boston, MA

In Boston, Massachusetts, the VC’s team visited the Campus for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME) at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, where they discussed possibilities of staff exchange in theological education and African diaspora studies with the Dean of CUME, Rev. Dr. Virginia Ward. The Seminary has trained former UCU staff such as Rev. Amos Kimera, who pastors St. Peters Anglican Church of Uganda in Boston.  Gordon Conwell sends study-abroad students to UCU as well, and the Seminary is willing to host UCU theological staff and students for scholarly visits. Dr. Ward promised to visit UCU for further engagements. 

Vice Chancellor with Virginia Ward rotated e1676812018798
L-R: Prof and Mrs Mushengyezi meet with Dr. Virginia Ward (Middle) and some of the Faculty members including Rev. Amos Kimera (4-R) at CUME in Boston, Massachusetts.

Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

In addition to visits to universities and Colleges, the Vice Chancellor attended the Presidents’ Annual Conference of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) in Washington D.C. from 1st to 3rd February 2023. UCU is an international affiliate member of the CCCU. He held meetings with the CCCU President, Dr. Shirley Hoogstra, and Presidents of other universities and colleges that send study-abroad students to UCU.

CCCU rotated e1676812504129
Prof and Mrs Mushengyezi met with Prof. Shirley V. Hoogstra, President of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), in Washington D.C.

Preaching in Boston, Massachusetts

The VC also visited Truro Anglican Church and Church of the Epiphany in Fairfax, Virginia. Both churches pledged support to various projects and scholarships at UCU through UCU Partners. Prof. Mushengyezi preached at St. Peters Anglican Church of Uganda in Boston where Rev. Kimera, his wife, Florence, and the Parishioners (who are mostly Ugandans), received the team warmly and pledged support to UCU programmes.

Meeting at Epiphany
Kimera and family

Meeting with Bishop of ADNE

At the end of his visit, Prof. Mushengyezi and his wife paid a courtesy call to the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of New England (ADNE), the Rt. Rev. Andrew Williams. He pledged to host UCU theology students and scholars to deepen their skills and experience in cross-cultural ministry in his Diocese.

Meeting with Bishop Andrew rotated e1676812943595
Prof and Mrs Mushengyezi pose with the Rt. Rev. Andrew Williams, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of New England (ADNE), during a visit in Amesbury, MA.

UCU’s commitment to international collaboration

The Vice Chancellor’s American visit highlights UCU’s commitment to international collaboration and partnership building. The university is keen to foster relations with like-minded institutions to create opportunities for staff and student development and to advance research and scholarship in various fields.

As UCU continues to expand its network of partners worldwide, it remains committed to providing a world-class education that is rooted in Christian values and principles.

Dr. Bulyaba wins USD 69,630 grant from The World Academy of Sciences

Dr. Rosemary Bulyaba, Head of the Department of Natural Resource Economics and Agribusiness, has won a grant, worth USD 69,630, from The World Academy of Sciences. The grant, focusing on Exploiting the potential of cowpeas for vegetable use in Uganda, will run for two years.

Specific objectives of the study:

  • Evaluate genotypic and phenotypic variation for leafy vegetable attributes in cowpea genotypes
  • Assess consumer preferences of promising cowpea lines (post-harvest storage quality, nutritional, taste & leafy morphological traits)
  • Build capacity at masters level in cowpea crop improvement

Relevance of the proposed research project to the institution and country

In Uganda, 28.9% of children below 5 years are stunted. About 3.6% of children suffer from moderate acute malnutrition, while 1.3% have severe acute malnutrition (Adebisi et al., 2019). Additionally, 28.5% of women aged 15 to 49 years continue to be affected by chronic anemia.

Dr. Rosemary Bulyaba is the Head of Department of Natural Resource Economics and Agribusiness at UCU.

The high protein, amino acid, carbohydrate, soluble and insoluble dietary fiber or expected phytochemical content of cowpea make the crop an important nutritious food in the human diet. Increasing its production and availability through crop improvement is one step towards eradicating food and nutritional insecurity among those vulnerable groups.

This research project funded by The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) on cowpea will also build the capacity in cowpea production and cowpea improvement for farmers in Uganda as a whole. This is in addition to supporting and empowering 2 female MS students at Uganda Christian University in the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences.

Overall, through the research project, the researcher(s) hope to develop the cowpea leafy vegetable value chain while aligning it with the needs of local populations to ensure that there is sustainable access to nutrient-dense and affordable food crops that are also well suited and adapted to their local environments in Uganda.

UCU takes action to promote road safety with reflector jacket donation

In a bold move to promote road safety, Uganda Christian University (UCU) has made a corporate social responsibility donation of reflector jackets to cyclists within Mukono. The university recognizes the importance of ensuring the safety of all road users, especially UCU students, and also sees this donation as a symbol of its commitment to creating a safer community.

As far as students' lives are concerned, road safety is a core area of concern for UCU management.
One of the student leaders helps a boda boda rider to put on a reflector jacket. Photo: Enock Wanderema.

Why Reflector jackets?

With this donation, UCU is taking a proactive approach to ensuring that cyclists are visible and safe on the road. The high-visibility reflector jackets, made from durable materials, will help cyclists stand out in low-light conditions, making them easily noticeable to drivers.

Just 10k campaign

UCU has created an opportunity for you to donate and help, through a campaign dubbed “For Just 10K, change a life”. The target is to raise UGX 1 billion (USD 270,000). This money will help over 74 needy students finish their university degree.

The UCU fundraiser, entitled “For Just 10k, change a Life,” aims to raise UGX 1 billion for tuition assistance for clergy, children of clergy, and other financially disadvantaged students. As part of this effort, reflective jackets have been donated to the cause. The goal is to support at least 74 students from start to finish in their undergraduate degree. Participants have the option of making an annual payment of UGX 120,000 or a monthly payment of UGX 10,000, or a one-time payment.

In short, do not ignore the message on your Mukono-based “boda boda’s” back.

Of UCU (September 25) Sunday

By Irene Best Nyapendi
It is that time of the year, again, when representatives of Uganda Christian University (UCU), take time off to spread the gospel about the institution. Named the UCU Sunday, the day, celebrated every last Sunday of September, was set aside by the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda, for the province to hold prayers for the church-founded institution.

In addition to the prayers, the UCU Sunday, which will be celebrated on Sunday, September 25, is intended to mobilize support and resources for various activities at UCU, as well as create awareness about developments at the institution. 

Speaking about the objective of this year’s UCU Sunday, UCU Chaplain, the Rev. Canon Eng. Paul Wasswa Ssembiro, said it is three-fold. 

Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu
Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu

“Our main objective this year is to pray for the institution, support clergy students through scholarship and also construct the Ordinands Apartment,” Ssembiro said. 

UCU is currently working with the 37 dioceses, alumni, the university’s guild government and students in preparation for the day. UCU Sunday first took place in 2017.

The Ordinands Apartments is intended to accommodate clergy students at the university. The apartment is expected to house more than 50 ordinands. An ordinand is a person training to be a priest or a church minister. Richard Mulindwa, the Church Relations Manager at UCU, noted that theology students require a calm environment to focus on God. 

“At the moment, the students are residing in the same halls of residence with other students, which is not ideal for their concentration,” Mulindwa said. 

UCU Council Chairperson on UCU Sunday

While preaching at a virtual UCU Sunday service last year, UCU Vice Chancellor Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi explained the reason for the Ordinands Apartments. He said some of the ordinands are married and would wish that their spouses could visit them during weekends. However, that is not possible since they reside with other students. 

Last year’s service, which was virtual due to a ban on gatherings to limit the spread of the coronavirus, was celebrated at Namirembe Cathedral in Kampala. That ban on physical gatherings in church has since been lifted due to the waning number of Covid-19 infections globally. 

Recently, Prof. Mushengyezi said UGX 400m (about $113,000) had already been secured for the apartment project that is estimated to cost UGX 8.5b (over $2.2m).

Ordinands apartment

The UCU Chancellor, Archbishop Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu, appealed to Christians to take part in the UCU Sunday. He called upon the flock to support the project under the theme “Arise, let us build the walls” (Nehemiah 2:18). Kaziimba also emphasized that ordinands need a supportive environment while pursuing their dreams of being professional evangelists. 

Collections for the past UCU Sunday events have been used to implement a number of projects at the institution. For instance, the UGX 300 million that was collected for the UCU Sunday of 2018 was invested in building the UCU School of Medicine at Mengo in Kampala. Unlike public universities that get financial support from the central government, private universities in Uganda, in which category UCU falls, are run on tuition fees paid by students. 

American donations can be made through the Uganda Partners Web site donation button at Put “UCU Sunday” in the comment box.  


UCU Cardinals beat Nkumba 2-0, qualify for Semis

By Kefa Senoga
The Uganda Christian University (UCU) School of Business (SoB) has become the fourth of UCU’s 11 schools/faculties to have a formalized professional group for all its programs. For the SoB, it’s called a “society.”

For the School of Law, it’s also a society. For the School of Social Sciences, the name is Social Work Association. For the School of Journalism, Media and Communication, the group is the Media Link Association.

On August 2, 2022, the UCU Business Society, which is now the official fraternity unifying all students under the UCU SoB, was launched after tense elections. These were the first elections conducted by the Business Society and organized to usher in a democratic leadership. Ayebare Phillip Bravo emerged as the winner with 76.35%, with Mujuzi Paul Richard at second with 23.65%.

The founding committee members of the UCU Business Society shaking hands with the new committee.

As with all four groups, the rationale for the Business Society is primarily two-fold: Student sense of belonging, and building of skill sets, relationships and connections beyond the classroom.

Giving his speech at the launch, Ayebare discussed the importance of implementing a four-point program as follows:

  1. Establishing favorable partnerships both in and out of campus, for example, with other associations in the university, in order to intensify student-related programs.
  2. Engaging students in extracurricular and developmental activities (i.e., intensifying sports activities, such as the business league).
  3. Advocating robust academic-oriented programs, such as mentorship and career guidance seminars.
  4. Ensuring student subscription policy, such as a semester-based mode of payment.

Natasha Alinda, the Vice President-elect of the UCU Business Society, says the student body will promote culture and values of UCU, “policies concerning students of business can easily be passed through our association, which is student-oriented.”

(left to right) Ayebare Philip Bravo, President-elect of the UCU Business Society; Ssemakula Musa, founder of the UCU Business Society; and Tayebwa Clinton, a colleague from the Business Society committee.
(left to right) Ayebare Philip Bravo, President-elect of the UCU Business Society; Ssemakula Musa, founder of the UCU Business Society; and Tayebwa Clinton, a colleague from the Business Society committee.

The SoB Dean, Vincent Kisenyi, says that “through this society, students will be able to do a lot of things as students, build their self-esteem, work on the different activities in the school and build that oneness among themselves, hence enjoying their stay at the university.” Kisenyi adds that one of the important ingredients in the UCU Business Society will be a strong business fellowship that will guide students to understand everything is anchored on God.

Ssemakula Musa, the former guild member of parliament (MP) for the SoB and who spearheaded the formation of the society, says that as he was contesting for the position of MP SoB, he noted in his manifesto that he would pioneer the establishment of a body that unifies all students under the SoB.

“Many students were coming to me, requesting for the formation of an association that brings them together,” Ssemakula said. “They always related to the UCU law society, which had demonstrated its visibility at the campus.”

Ssemakula says that it was important to come up with the UCU Business Society due to the fact that there are so many courses under the SoB, for example, Business Administration, Procurement and Logistics, Accounting and Finance, Tourism and Hospitality.

He adds that besides the Business Society encouraging unity and mutual relationship among the students, it is also meant to establish relationships between the students of the UCU SoB and other external stakeholders.

“We are looking at partnerships from bigger business entities like Stanbic Bank, Uganda Revenue Authority, global companies like Coca-Cola,” Ssemakula said. “Therefore, the Business Society will mediate all these processes, beginning with sourcing for students’ internship opportunities in these big companies.”

Ssemakula adds that another core reason for establishing the business society was to create avenues for financial support for students, for example, “we have plans of introducing the 1k campaign to help, in one way or another, our colleagues who may lack tuition.” This campaign will be in addition to UCU’s recent launch of a “For just 10K, Change a Life” campaign, seeking a small donation of 10,000 shillings per person. 

UCU has a process for such groups to be legally recognized by the university. A motion has to be tabled in the house of the students’ guild parliament and if this parliament passes it, then the guild vice-president, who is the guild official in charge of associations, forwards the matter to the Director of Students Affairs, who then presents it to the Vice Chancellor for approval.