News & Updates



Hanze University, UCU innovations reducing unemployment in Uganda

By John Semakula

High graduate unemployment rates in Uganda

After grappling with raising school fees for years, it is every parent’s dream for their son or daughter to find a good job after university graduation. However, with over 53 universities churning out at least 30,000 graduates every year in Uganda’s mainly subsistence economy, this is a pipe dream.

The unemployment rate for Uganda’s post-secondary graduates is 80%, which is one of the highest in the world, according to BrighterMonday, a recruitment and HR platform.

Why UCU Partnered with Hanze University..?

The government’s effort to meet the challenge through startup capital handouts to millions of unemployed youth is far from yielding results. As a result, many unemployed graduates live a desperate life of admiring school dropouts in the informal sector who can put food on the table for their families.

It’s this situation that has brought Uganda Christian University (UCU) and Hanze University of Applied Science in the Netherlands together to find a solution. With support from Hanze University, in 2020, UCU started the School of Business Incubation Hub to offer entrepreneurial training and incubation services to students to counter the high graduate unemployment.

Elsie Nsiyona, the Associate Dean of the UCU School of Business, says the idea of the Incubation hub was hatched in 2018 as a maiden step towards the realization of the bigger dream of skilling students.  

“This was after we visited the Hanze University’s ‘Cube 50’, the equivalent of UCU School of Business’ Incubation Hub, a centre where students’ entrepreneurial skills are guided and nurtured to fruition,” she says.

Armed with the idea of starting something similar to what was in the Netherlands, Nsiyona says they set off by revising the existing entrepreneurship curriculum offered by the then Faculty of Business and Administration at the diploma and degree level to inculcate a more practical element in the reviewed curriculum called the ‘Intra-skills training’.

“In line with the new curriculum, in teams of four or five, students are required to generate a business idea to solve a community challenge, and work with the market to identify solutions, develop prototypes and test them with the community and market through exhibitions,” she says.

School of Business establishes an innovations hub

In 2020, the UCU School of Business successfully established a Euros14,600 (about sh60m) incubation hub that has since been used to skill dozens of students to use their university education in innovative and practical ways, creating new products. Since then,  the UCU School of Business has not looked back.

According to Florence Wanyenze, the manager at the UCU School of Business hub, the training given to students at the hub is comprehensive and practical in nature that besides enabling the learners to develop feasible business ideas that are tested and turned into functional businesses, it also focuses on sustainability.

“The curriculum covers mindset and attitude changes, business idea development, prototype and feasibility check, plus implementing the business idea based on a business model,” she said.

In the process of revising the curriculum, Nsiyona says they were aware that Uganda ranks among the most enterprising countries and at the same time it tops the list of countries whose enterprises collapse before celebrating their first anniversary. This helped them to draft a curriculum addressing the challenge.

Aston Aryamanya, a trainer at the hub, noted that the facility has made significant progress in the area of entrepreneurship and the creation of jobs for youth in Uganda.

“We have taught aspiring business owners how to be creative and develop market solutions that address today’s problems,” he said, “We have also assisted these young people in realizing their capacity to create work rather than look for employment.”

Victor Ssenabulya, a third-year student of a Bachelor of Entrepreneurship and Project Planning is one of the proud beneficiaries. Last year, after attending one of the exhibitions organized by the UCU School of Business Incubation hub, Ssenabulya started adding value to his rabbit project.

“I had learnt that when mixed with manure, the rabbit’s urine could serve as a fertilizer,” he said, adding, “That’s how I started making the liquid fertilizers.”

So far, he says, he has sold 500 litres of the fertilizer mainly to his close family at Shs10,000 (about USD2.7) per litre. Ssenabulya says his plan is to increase the scale of production of the fertilizer in the near future, especially after school.

Formerly, he only dealt in selling meat products from the farm at Katabi in Wakiso District, Central Uganda.

Ssenabulya’s success story is just one of the many told at the hub. Such achievements multiply daily because of the eight-year partnership between UCU and Hanze University. In February 2023, the partnership attracted the Hanze University President, Dick Pouwels to visit UCU. The UCU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, visited Hanze University in mid-April, 2022.

Hanze President visits UCU

During his visit to UCU, Pouwels commended the university administration for the initiative geared towards finding a solution to Uganda’s high graduate unemployment. Pouwels also participated in a number of activities geared towards bolstering students’ innovation including the unveiling of the proposed structure for the UCU School of Business Incubation Hub at the main campus in Mukono.

He noted that Hanze University had been working with UCU in different fields such as business, engineering, and social sciences for the last eight years and that he feels the commitment to strengthen the partnership even further in a bid to promote original business ideas.

Turning to UCU students, he said, it was important for them to just look around and focus on building their talents to come up with new innovations. “Entrepreneurship can be very good where you develop your own talent and strength,” Pouwels said.  

In his remarks, UCU’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mushengyezi, commended the partnership between the two universities and urged his administration to ensure that the projects benefit not only UCU but Uganda in general.

The Dean of the UCU School of Business, Vincent Kisenyi, noted that the proposed structure for the UCU School of Business Hub, which was unveiled would widen the scope of the University’s operation in training and empowering students besides creating an avenue for engagement with the outside community.

“We have registered a massive number of students and as well have made entrepreneurship a course unit across all the schools,” Kisenyi said, “This means that the space we have at the current hub is not enough, which is why we are collaborating with Hanze University to create more space.”

The move to address graduate unemployment in Uganda through innovations speaks to UCU’s Vision of being a centre of excellence in the heart of Africa. Already, dozens of UCU students and staff have benefited from the partnership between the two institutions through the exchange programme that allows them to go to the Netherlands every year for a study period.

Meet Reagan Okello: UCU’s Promising Young Artist

By Christopher Muchwa

Meet Reagan Okello, a talented young artist

Meet Reagan Okello, a talented young artist who is making waves at Uganda Christian University (UCU). Though he is only in his second year, Reagan has already made a name for himself with his exceptional paintings. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Industrial and Fine Arts, but his painting skills are already well beyond what one might expect from someone at his level.

Passion for Art

Reagan’s passion for art is evident in every stroke of his brush. His work captures the essence of life, from human figures to the serene countryside. In one of his most recent paintings, Reagan beautifully portrays the simplicity of country life with vivid colours and intricate details. It’s no surprise that his work has caught the attention of many art enthusiasts around the university.

When asked about his art, Reagan shares his love for painting, especially with ceramics. He constantly experiments with different materials, techniques, and styles to hone his craft. His dedication to his work has earned him recognition from his friends within and outside of the university.

As a student at UCU, Reagan has had the opportunity to learn from some of the best artists in the country. He credits the supportive community at UCU for his success and looks forward to continuing his journey as an artist.

We are thrilled to have Reagan Okello as part of our UCU community, and we can’t wait to see what he will accomplish in the future. Check out the accompanying video to see more of his stunning artwork and hear from Reagan about his passion for art and his experience at UCU.

UCU-AIRTEA Project Empowers Small-Scale Farmers in Uganda to Access Bigger Markets and Improve Livelihoods

By Angella Napakol (PhD)

UCU-AIRTEA Project to Benefit Farmers

Uganda Christian University (UCU) has partnered with Psalms Food Industries (SUMZ) to help small-scale farmers in Uganda access bigger markets. This partnership is an offshoot of the UCU-AIRTEA project, which is titled “Enhancing inclusive market access for African Indigenous Vegetables (AIV), seed and value-added products by Smallholder farmers in Uganda”. The AIRTEA project is funded by the EU through the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and has a consortium of four partners with UCU as the lead partner. Other members are the Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE), FarmGain Africa Ltd and Syova (U) Ltd.

Outcomes of the project

One of the key outcomes of the project is improved seed and value-added products, as well as expanded market access for small-scale farmers. SUMZ Uganda, being a major player in the African Indigenous Vegetable landscape, was contacted as one of the would-be buyers of the small-scale farmers’ products. Since then, SUMZ has participated in various trainings, including good agronomic practice and field visits to the various farmer groups and study sites. Most importantly, SUMZ has provided pumpkin seeds worth 240 acres. The farmer groups in Mityana have been planting 15 acres of land per month since February 2023.

More about the Project and Impact

The AIRTEA project aims to help small-scale farmers access bigger markets and negotiate fair prices with industry players. Previously, the majority of these farmers could not access such players because they own small pieces of land, about 0.5 to 1 acre. However, with the AIRTEA project farmer mobilization and collaboration strategy, these farmer groups are able to have 30 times more than their normal production and negotiate prices with bigger industry players.

Working with FARMGAIN, small-scale farmers and buyers have been able to sign contracts as a way to keep the commitment. One of the small-scale farmer group leaders, Ben, was impressed by the education they received, especially in regard to the signing of contracts. He said, “I like the idea of signing contracts, it makes the buyer not pull out or change the price last minute but it also compels the farmers to deliver…you see many farmers tend to relax and sometimes not work well together but with this…we just have to be organized”.

One of the registered successes of the project is a farmer group that honoured their contract and had a plentiful harvest. However, the contracted buyer at the time did not meet their end of the contract. Agitation set in among the farmers, but because they had worked in a large group and had a significant harvest, a different buyer was contracted who bought their produce at the same rate as in the contract that had been signed. This was exciting for the farmers who have vowed to increase their produce and do better in good agronomic and post-harvest practices.

The different farmer groups have also been educated about the value of the products they grow. One of the farmer group leads, for instance, noted that “traders often bring their trucks to villages to take tons of pumpkins at incredibly low prices and sell them expensively on the market. They buy pumpkins from the farmers at 500shs to 1,000shs and sell them at about 5,000shs upwards. We knew this but did not know how to address the problem, but we now know what to do…” With this knowledge, the farmers have been equipped through the AIRTEA project and the direct connection to the markets, the farmers are envisioning a much fairer market.


Applicants Shortlisted by UCU for 2023: Provisional Lists Released

From the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs as of March 29, 2023

Note: This is not final

Uganda Christian University has released the provisional list of shortlisted applicants for the Bachelor of Law, Medicine and Dentistry programs. If you or someone you know applied for any of the mentioned courses, please click the buttons below to download a list of any of the 3 courses:

Caution to Applicants

We would like to remind all applicants that any lists in circulation that do not have the signature and stamp of approval from the office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs should be disregarded.

We are still accepting applications

Additionally, we would like to inform all interested applicants that we are still receiving applications for the programs mentioned above. The Deadline is March 31st March, 2023.

How to Apply: Watch the video below

A message from the UCU Vice Chancellor

UCU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi welcomes you to UCU.

Click here to apply online

Prof Nyende publishes book

UCU’s Professor Nyende Publishes Comprehensive 300-Page Book: A Must-Read for all Bible scholars

By Jimmy Siyasa

A Q&A about the book

Tell us about the book in summary

The book, entitled 299-page book titled The Restoration of God’s Dwelling and Kingdom is published by Langhams Publishing. It is a reading of the Bible as an integrated whole from Genesis to Revelation. Starting from Genesis, the books of the Bible are read together as a unified whole, i.e. as one book.

From Genesis, I establish that God created the world to be a part of his kingdom and his dwelling with human beings. However, God’s creative intentions were disrupted when humans rebelled against God (in the event that is commonly known as the fall).

I, therefore, trace through the Old Testament the story of the way God acted to restore the world to his kingdom and to be his dwelling with humans. This story comes to a conclusion in the New Testament with the promise of the new Jerusalem coming down. At that time, the world will once again become a part of God’s kingdom and his dwelling with human beings.

Prof Nyende publishes book
Prof Nyende inside his study room. Photo: Jimmy Siyasa

What would you say is the relevance of this book to theological training and pastoral ministry in the 21st Century?

The giving of God’s word through proclaiming and teaching is integral to pastoral ministry. But pastors can only do so when they link and relate the individual sections of the Bible to the whole content of the Bible. This book helps them to a good extent to do so by familiarising themselves in depth with the whole content of the Bible from the standpoint of salvation which is the chief concern of the Bible. Indeed pastors and theological students are the core audience of the book.

What should any reader expect to learn or pick from the book?

An in-depth study of the whole Bible thereby attaining an overview of the message of the Bible. This is why I say that this book is for those who love the Word of God and desire to study it in depth. I can assure you that once they start reading it, they will not put it down until they finish it.

A video discussion of the book

New Guild President and Vice Chancellor

UCU Kampala Campus Celebrates and 25th Guild Government Swearing-In

By Mercy Mukhaye

Uganda Christian University (UCU) Kampala Campus witnessed an exciting event today, March 7, 2023, as the 25th Guild Government officials were officially sworn in. The long-awaited ceremony was graced by the University Vice-Chancellor, Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, who urged the newly elected guild officials to be solution-givers and transformative leaders in the country.

Guild Petitions

The elections were initially held on November 22, 2022, but a petition filed by Martha Nachirwanda delayed the ceremony. The petition was the result of her dissatisfaction with the election results in which Zedekia Ssekyonda emerged as the winner. However, a re-election was held last week on Friday, and Zeddekia still emerged as the winner.

New Guild President Zedekiah and the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mushengyezi share a photo moment at the UCU Kampala Campus facility that is still under construction. Photo: Emmanuel Ilungole

The new Guild President, Zedekia Ssekyonda, expressed his relief, saying, “This has been a long-awaited day even with the petitions, but this is a big relief to me.” Lillian Nabaasa Tumwine, the MP Law Day, also expressed her gratitude and belief that more opportunities would come her way because leadership comes from God.

Some of the students who attended the swearing-in service. Photo: Emmanuel Ilungole

The University Vice-Chancellor commended the guild government for exemplifying Christian leadership by working with the university administration to facilitate a peaceful transition of power from the previous guild government to the newly elected officials. It is hoped that the newly elected officials will uphold the values and traditions of the university while working towards achieving their goals.

The newly elected Guild officials have promised to work tirelessly to serve the students to the best of their abilities. They have also vowed to work towards improving the welfare of the students while ensuring that the university maintains its reputation for excellence.

UCU Guild: A model system

UCU is a model institution of higher learning in Uganda, as far as peaceful students’ guild elections are concerned. The university boasts of a clean sheet of no-election violence ever since its inception in 1997. This swearing-in ceremony is yet another testimony.

The students and staff alike are excited about the future and look forward to the positive changes that the new guild government will bring.


At Uganda Christian University (UCU), students now have the convenience of voting using an electronic voting platform called eChagua. This e-voting system has made the voting process for students more convenient and easy. With eChagua, students can cast their votes from anywhere, anytime, as long as they have an internet connection.

The use of eChagua has eliminated the need for physical ballot papers and the hassle of queuing up to cast a vote. It has also reduced the likelihood of errors and fraud associated with traditional voting methods. By using eChagua, UCU has demonstrated its commitment to leveraging technology to improve the overall voting experience for students.


Discover the Benefits: Apply for the UCU Higher Education Certificate in 2023

About the Higher Education Certificate

The Higher Education Certificate provides learners with the basic introductory knowledge, cognitive and conceptual tools and practical techniques for further higher education studies in their chosen field of study. Attainment of an HEC signifies that the learner has attained a basic level of higher education knowledge and competence in a particular field or occupation and is capable of applying such knowledge and competence in an occupation or role in the workplace. Generally, holders of HEC are expected to be better prepared for further studies and the world of work.

Higher Education Certificate


This is a competency-based curriculum carefully designed to provide study and learning support skills for academic life and academic knowledge needed for further higher education. The knowledge shall emphasize general principles and application. The programme will cater for students interested in both Arts and Science subjects to prepare them for different courses of their choice at University depending on how they have performed. 

Who is eligible?

The HEC Programme is an intensive programme intended for students who have successfully completed the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) or its equivalent but who may not have attained sufficient grades to enrol for Diplomas or Degree programmes.

It is also intended for teachers with Grade III certificates who would like to upgrade to degree programs as well as students from countries whose secondary school qualifications are not considered equivalent to UACE but permit admission into Higher Education in those countries.


The minimum duration of the HEC  programme is 9 months for those who will be full-time and one academic year for those doing recess modular.

Programme Rationale

The current admission requirements to any higher education programme require at least two principal passes for degree programmes and one principal pass and two subsidiaries for a diploma programme.  Unfortunately, there is no remedial programme for candidates who qualify for UACE but have not scored sufficiently good grades to enrol for degree or diploma programmes.  The only available option is for them to repeat Senior Six or enrol for Certificate programmes using the Uganda Certificate of Education. In addition, teachers holding a grade III take a longer route through a diploma to enrol for the degree The programme is therefore intended to provide an alternative route to join higher education.  

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • UCE or its equivalent and UACE with at least two subsidiary passes obtained in principal subjects or its equivalent. For the avoidance of doubt, a holder of UACE with only one principal pass shall be deemed to meet the admission requirements.
  • Vocational Qualifications at level 2 or level 3 of the Uganda Vocational Qualifications Framework. 
  •  Grade III Teacher’s Certificate 
  • Qualifications equivalent to the UACE shall be determined by the National Council in consultation with the Uganda National Examinations Board
  • An ordinary certificate from an institution recognized by NCHE.
  • Students whose foreign secondary school qualifications are not considered equivalent to UACE but permit admission into Higher Education in a foreign country. Such students shall have passed at least five subjects with at least a credit in each of the five subjects. In addition, foreign students whose studies were not conducted in English shall show proof of proficiency in the English Language. The English proficiency centres shall be accredited by NCHE.

Categories of HEC 

  • UCU runs three tracks of Higher Education: Higher Education Arts, Higher Education Physical and Higher Education Biological.
  • Higher Education Arts for those who intend to do Humanities courses at the university such as Law, SWASA, BAED, BBA, and Journalism etc.
  • Higher Education Biological for those who want to pursue: Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Agriculture, Environment, Bachelor of Science with Education etc.
  • Higher Education Physical for those who want to pursue Engineering courses, Computer Science, Bachelor of Science with Education, etc. 

For whom is the HEC intended and Why?

  • UACE Holders: The HEC is intended for holders of the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education or equivalent qualifications but who may not have attained sufficient grades to enroll for Diplomas or Degree programmes in Uganda. 
  • Foreign Qualification: The HEC can also serve as a foundation programme for students whose foreign secondary school qualifications are not considered equivalent to UACE but permit admission into Higher Education in the foreign country.
  • Linkage between Vocational Qualifications and Higher Education Qualifications: One of the challenges facing holders of vocational qualifications is the inability to cross to Higher Education at the same levels as those with school qualifications.  For example, although an Enrolled Nursing Certificate is equivalent to the UACE, holders of the former can only join degree programmes after two and a half years of an intermediate diploma in addition to years of experience while holders of UACE can enrol for degree programmes right away. Similarly, teachers holding a Grade III certificate will have to go through a two-year diploma to have access to a degree program.  There is a general belief that holders of vocational qualifications and grade III certificate teachers may be highly skilled but lack adequate theoretical foundations to join knowledge-based higher education programmes. A HECA programme has been designed to enrol holders of vocational qualifications and teachers with Grade III certificates, exposing them to rigorous theoretical foundations that will enable them to pursue desired higher education programmes.

Dominate the Court: UCU to host two-day Invitational Basketball Tournament with 13 Elite Teams

By Mercy Mukhaye

Basketball fans, mark your calendars! Uganda Christian University (UCU) is proud to host a two-day invitational basketball tournament featuring 13 teams from across the country. This exciting event is set to take place on Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 05, 2023, and it promises to be a thrilling showcase of talent and sportsmanship.

Basketball tournament

UCU Canons rejoicing after winning the 2022 Women’s National Basketball Championship.

The tournament is a crucial part of the UCU Lady Canons‘ preparations for their upcoming season. The Lady Canons are eager to showcase their skills in front of their supporters and demonstrate their readiness to take on the competition. Despite losing some players, the team has been training hard since January 10th, and they are more than ready to bring home a win for their university.

At a press conference held earlier today, the team captains expressed their confidence in their team’s ability to perform well in the tournament. The Lady Canons have been blessed with one of the best coaches in the country, and they are confident that they will perform well under his guidance.


2022 squared photo of the UCU Cardinals.

The UCU Lady Cardinals, despite facing some injuries, are also ready to take on the competition. Their captain, Nankya Shadia, assured their supporters that the injuries are manageable, and the team is eager to show their skills on the court.

The tournament promises to be an exciting event for basketball fans from across the country. With 13 teams competing for the title, there will be no shortage of talent and sportsmanship on display. The UCU Lady Canons are known for hosting competitive and exciting tournaments, and this one promise to be no different.

UCU invites basketball enthusiasts to come out and support their team and witness the talent and sportsmanship on display at this two-day invitational basketball tournament. With the support of their fans, the UCU Lady Canons are confident that they will bring home the win for their university.

Research writing

Boost Your Research Writing Skills with UCU’s Free Online Training for Postgraduate Students

By Jimmy Siyasa


Many post-graduate students at Uganda Christian University (UCU) face the challenge of writing a research paper in English, which is not their first language. To help these students, UCU’s Directorate of Postgraduate Studies has initiated a program called the Centre for Research and Academic Writing Services (CRAWs). CRAWs offers online instruction on the various parts of a dissertation and thesis, led by a team of subject matter experts from UCU’s 11 school and faculty areas. The program is designed to introduce students to critical research and writing skills required to complete a research degree, diploma, publishable articles, and other academic reports.

Photo Courtesy of Keira Burton:

Learning outcomes and Assessment

Learning outcomes of the program include identifying features of theoretical paradigms, undertaking a literature review, applying approaches to writing first drafts, editing and proofreading, identifying and responding to publication opportunities, and applying time management strategies. Participants who attend at least 75% of the training and complete an assessment requirement receive a certificate. The program is available without charge to all enrolled UCU post-graduate students.

The CRAWs module was launched in May of 2021 and has already had two successful iterations. The first module had 200 students enrolled, with 50 receiving certificates. The biggest challenge expressed by students was how to do problem statements and how to engage methodology. The second module was held in September and October 2022, covering topics such as theory, methodology, questions, objectives, and literature review. The program hopes to incorporate virtual coaching in the future.

DPS overall objective

All members of the DPS staff have advanced degrees and expertise in social science, development studies, and business. The program aims not just to help students finish their degrees but also to sharpen their skills to be used elsewhere and yield quality papers worthy of being published and used by other researchers. The analytical skills learned through the program are valuable in multiple careers.

The program’s organizers are dedicated to serving the students and believe in the importance of research and its ability to change the world. The program’s success has already helped many post-graduate students at UCU overcome language barriers and achieve their academic goals.

Green energy

UCU Researchers Secure €53,000 for Green Energy Project

By Jimmy Siyasa

Uganda Christian University (UCU) has received a grant of €53,000 from the Innovation Fund for Development (IFD) to support a major green energy project. The project, which will be led by Professor William Kisaalita, a visiting professor at UCU, aims to tackle climate change by replacing natural charcoal with long-lasting, eco-friendly briquettes made from bamboo.

Purpose of project

The project will involve conducting a technical feasibility study in educational institutions’ kitchens and addressing knowledge gaps on the use of “green” bamboo charcoal and firewood. The researchers hope to build the value chain of bamboo-based energy sources in Uganda, a country where bamboo grows naturally in different regions.

Why Bamboo?

Bamboo has not been fully explored for high-value chains such as energy and fabrics, despite its potential to contribute significantly to soil and water conservation, biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and the green economy. The researchers believe that bamboo’s environmental sustainability, coupled with its potential to store more carbon than many other tree species, make it an ideal raw material for eco-friendly briquettes.

The UCU Sustainable Development Center

The project will be conducted under the auspices of the UCU Sustainable Development Center (SDC), which was launched in 2022 to leverage current strengths at the intersection of water, energy, and food/feed. By replacing natural charcoal with bamboo-based briquettes, the researchers hope to reduce Uganda’s carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Expected outcomes

In conclusion, this green energy project is a significant step towards addressing the challenge of climate change in Uganda and globally. With the support of the IFD and the expertise of UCU researchers, it is hoped that the project will contribute to the development of a more sustainable energy industry in Uganda and beyond.

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