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Faith and Learning team

Faith Integration in Learning and Service: UCU Seminar Explores Innovative Strategies

By Andrew Bugembe

Seminar Explores Faith Integration in Education

In a significant stride towards enhancing its commitment to Christian values in education, Uganda Christian University (UCU) is running a week-long seminar at its main campus. The seminar, led by renowned Christian educationists Caroline and Richard Seed from Theological Education Development Services (TEDS) in South Africa, aimed to explore innovative strategies for integrating faith into learning and service.

Themed “How can a Christian University integrate faith in learning and service,” the seminar served as a platform for UCU’s senior management to delve into the profound connection between academic excellence and spiritual growth.

Nurturing Compassionate Leaders Through Faith Integration

With faith as its guiding principle, UCU endeavours to equip students with the necessary tools to become compassionate and servant-hearted leaders in society.

Miria Agunyo, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Design and Technology, acknowledged the existing efforts in faith integration at UCU while highlighting the need for further enhancement. “Already we have some integration faith in our learning at Uganda Christian University, but we need to enshrine it and have a clear model that can triple beyond the courses that each UCU student is expected to do,” Agunyo emphasized.

Doctor Owor

Throughout the day-long seminar, Caroline and Richard Seed shared their expertise, inspiring senior management with innovative approaches and practical strategies. Richard, the TEDS facilitator, emphasized the need for exploring different models and encouraging staff to carefully consider the impact of faith integration on their teaching practices and curriculum.

The seminar fostered engaging discussions among attendees, as they explored ways to seamlessly incorporate faith across various disciplines, courses, and extracurricular activities. The aim is to create an educational environment where students can grow intellectually, spiritually, and morally.

Caroline Seed, the TEDS facilitator, highlighted the transformative power of integrating faith in education. “Integrating faith in learning and service is not just a mere concept; it is a transformative force that has the power to shape the hearts, minds, and souls of the students,” Seed expressed. She further emphasized the significance of nurturing compassionate leaders guided by strong moral values and a genuine desire to serve others.

Rev. Canon. Prof. Christopher Byaruhanga, Dean of the Bishop Tucker School of Theology, commended the seminar for providing a remarkable opportunity for senior management to deepen their understanding of faith integration and its profound impact on students’ lives.

Dr. Rosemary Bulyaba, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, underscored the seminar’s role in shaping the next generation by integrating faith and instilling good morals. “By integrating faith into every facet of education, Uganda Christian University staff gets the opportunity to shape the next generation of leaders who will be guided by strong moral values and a genuine desire to serve others,” Bulyaba stated.

Senior Mgt

A Renewed Commitment

As the seminar concluded, senior management reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the valuable insights gained from the discussions. Uganda Christian University looks ahead to strengthening its position as a Christian institution that nurtures academic excellence while instilling a lifelong commitment to faith and service.

By prioritizing faith integration, UCU aims to develop compassionate leaders who will positively impact their communities and society at large. The university’s holistic approach to education goes beyond academic achievement, fostering students’ overall growth and character development.

As Uganda Christian University continues its steadfast dedication to faith integration in education, it is poised to make a lasting impact on individuals, communities, and the nation as a whole.

Cricket project

UCU proves insect value in nutrition and alleviating food waste

By Irene Best Nyapendi
The Uganda Christian University (UCU) Faculty of Agricultural Sciences has teamed up with crickets – the insect and not the sport – in a successfully piloted food chain project that alleviates hunger and malnutrition.  The ‘Food Waste-2-Cricket Feed’ enterprise produces cricket feed from food waste and then turns the insects into a nutritious food supplement.

The UCU agriculture research team, led by Geoffrey Ssepuuya, a senior lecturer, established that there is a daily production of 768 metric tons of food waste in Kampala.

Crickets, Acheta domesticus
Crickets, Acheta domesticus

The project aimed at developing a processing protocol for converting food waste to a safe and shelf-stable cricket feed. It was funded by the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST). Florence Agwang, the grants officer at UNCST, says the undertaking was especially viable because the country has long struggled with waste management. 

“If this project succeeds and is able to get support from the government, we shall be able to greatly reduce the problem of waste in Uganda,” Agwang says.

How cricket food is made

The project involves collecting food waste from the UCU university dining hall in addition to remains from restaurants, hotels and markets.

Collected food waste such as bananas, rice, etc. is heat treated, dried, ground into powder and mixed according to predetermined formulation proportions into feed for the crickets. The crickets are reared in aerated food containers and provided with hide-outs because the crickets are nocturnal (comfortable in dark places).

In a bid to ensure sustainable cricket production in the country, the project is working towards continued production and distribution of this low-cost “protein and micronutrient-rich cricket feed.” The developed cricket feed is nutritious with a performance similar to that of broiler starter mash. With the formulated feeds, the crickets require 8 – 10 weeks to mature, while with local feeds, crickets take about 12 weeks to mature. 

Benefits of cricket

Crickets can be used to enrich the diet with protein and other nutrients when added to daily meals. It is a common practice in Uganda to eat fried insects such as crickets and grasshoppers. In this project, crickets, which have more protein than fish and beef, are ground to be mixed with staple flours for porridge and food. 

Geoffrey Ssepuuya holding the cricket feed. With the formulated feeds, the crickets require 8 – 10 weeks to mature, faster than on normal food waste where they will take about 12 weeks.
Geoffrey Ssepuuya holding the cricket feed. With the formulated feeds, the crickets require 8 – 10 weeks to mature, faster than on normal food waste where they will take about 12 weeks.

“Instead of consuming cassava bread that is only about 2% protein or even less, communities can supplement it with crickets which are 50 – 65 % rich in proteins,” Ssepuuya says. “So, with the feeds now available they can rear the crickets, dry them under the sun, grind them into powder and add the protein-rich powder to their food.” 

The most common sources of proteins such as meat, milk and chicken are not affordable to many Ugandans, yet it can now be redeemed from eating crickets. 

What others say about the cricket project

Dr. John Livingstone Mutyaba, Head of Agriculture (Postgraduate), explained that rearing crickets can be a new source of income for farmers through rearing and selling them. Crickets (Acheta domesticus) lay hundreds of eggs, which makes them multiply in a very short time.

Mutyaba says unlike what some commonly believe, crickets are not demanding in terms of housing and food.

The biggest challenge is feed in addition to proper management of heat and humidity. This is because crickets are more comfortable in dark places, and during cold days, they need heat.

There also is a need for labour and sufficient space to dry the crickets when they reach maturity. This is because they are best when dried before consumption.

Crickets in their breeding tray feeding on food waste. They lay hundreds of eggs which makes them increase in a very short time.
Crickets in their breeding tray feeding on food waste. They lay hundreds of eggs which makes them increase in a very short time.

The project is also supporting research by students like Derrick Kizito Okettayot, a fourth-year student of Food Science and Technology. To Okettayot, crickets are a delicacy.

“When I was young, we used to pick a few crickets hiding under the grass, roast and eat them,” Okettayot recalls. “I used to eat them in small quantities because they were rare, but I am so glad that I have now learned how to rear crickets, and I can now have enough of them.”

He adds that one can even blend crickets with fruits to make a protein shake.

“This is a win-win solution when we use food waste to feed the crickets and later feed on the crickets, so the food waste comes back to us in a different format to benefit us and the insects,” Dr. Rose Mary Bulyaba, the dean of the Faculty of Agricultural Science says.

UCU VC in Florida

UCU Vice Chancellor elected to International board, during Conference in U.S.

By Jimmy Siyasa

The Vice Chancellor of Uganda Christian University (UCU), Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Hanseatic League of Universities (HLU). The election happened during a board meeting that sat amid the 3rd Annual HLU Conference, held yesterday, at Florida Gulf Coast University, Southwest Florida, U.S.

This makes UCU one of only two African universities, so far, including the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) in Tanzania,  with representation on the prestigious board with up to 10 Directors from different countries, including U.S., Germany, Russia, China, and Belgium, among others.

On HLU Annual Conference

Prof. Mushengyezi travelled to attend the 3rd annual HLU Conference held on May 15- 17, 2023, hosted by Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), based in Southwest Florida, U.S. It is gathering of Rectors/ Vice Chancellors from various countries around the world, to reflect on emerging challenges facing institutions of higher learning, and how to mitigate or solve their effects. 

Additionally, the meeting also affords interaction opportunities for member universities to exchange best practices and update one another on innovations going on their respective campuses.

Prof. Mushengyezi with Prof. Dong-sung Cho Chairman, The Institute of Industrial Policy Studies, Switzerland. President, Hanseatic League of Universities (HLU).
Prof. Mushengyezi with Prof. Dong-sung Cho Chairman, The Institute of Industrial Policy Studies, Switzerland. President, Hanseatic League of Universities (HLU). Courtesy.

UCU- Pepperdine University relations

Before attending the conference, he was invited by President Jim Gash to Pepperdine University in Malabo, California, from May 10-13, 2023, for a both courtesy and partnership-oriented visit. Pepperdine is seeking to strengthen ties with UCU in student and staff exchange, and working closely with the Judiciary in Uganda in the practical training of Law students.

UCU and With Prof. Aysegul Timur, President of Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU).
UCU Vice Chancellor Prof. Mushengyezi shares a photo moment with Prof. Aysegul Timur, President of Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). Courtesy photo.

World’s Universities with Real Impact (WURI) Ranking

The HLU has also established a new ranking system for its member universities called World’s Universities with Real Impact (WURI)

WURI evaluates the university’s real contributions to society, highlighting creative and innovative approaches to universities’ research and educational programs.

Member universities have to join the WURI ranking system to be assessed. The WURI ranking focuses on 6 criteria: Industrial application, Value-Creating, Social responsibility, ethics and integrity, Student Mobility and Openness, Crisis Management and Progress during the Forth Industrial Revolution. 

UCU, a founding member of the HLU

UCU is a founding of the Hanseatic League of Universities (HLU), an alliance of international universities, colleges, schools, & higher education institutions that seek innovation in research & education under a shared mission of working together to address the real impact of higher education on societies and industries worldwide.

The leadership of the university continues to pursue both local and international partnerships with universities all over the world for the benefit of students, staff, researchers and the broader communities of stakeholders. One notable such is the US-based Council for Christian Colleges, which facilitates UCU’s Uganda Studies Programme, which annual study-abroad opportunities for students from various U.S-based colleges. 


Former UCU student tops Uganda bar examinations

By Pauline Luba
Ordinarily, when a student studies Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics at A’level in Uganda, chances are they will opt to pursue a course in medicine at university. That was not the case with Emmanuel Okia. He says even before he completed A’level, he knew his heart was elsewhere. 

Turning Point

The turning point in Okia’s career journey was a presentation made when he was in high school. For A’level students, Okia’s school, the elite St. Mary’s College, Kisubi in Uganda, invites professionals to explain to students what it means to pursue a career. On the day Okia attended the career talk, Ugandan lawyer Mathias Sekatawa made a mind-blowing presentation, arguing why a career in law was the best that could happen to anyone.

“Sekatawa’s speech is what convinced me to go for a career in law,” Okia said. 

Of the bar course

And he is soon realizing that dream. Okia recently completed his Diploma in Legal Practice at Uganda’s Law Development Center (LDC). At the most recent bar examination that LDC conducted, Okia emerged as the best student, with a Grade Point Average of 4.9 out of 5.0. A bar examination is a written assessment that a student must pass if they are to get a certificate to practice law as an attorney. To practice law in Uganda, all lawyers must acquire a Diploma in Legal Practice.

And what other better way to launch into the law profession than with the man who swayed Okia away from a career in sciences? The 24-year-old has just completed a clerkship in Sekatawa’s law firm, MMAKS Advocates.

Emmanuel Okia often topped the law class.
Emmanuel Okia often topped the law class.

The news of Okia topping his class in the bar examination could easily shadow the fact that his journey to the helm was not as straightforward as many would think. First, he failed to meet the requirements for the pre-entry exams to get admitted for a Bachelor of Laws at Makerere University in Uganda. 

“I had scored (lower) points in UACE, which meant I didn’t qualify for the Makerere pre-entry exams,” Okia said, noting that, however, he was able to sit for the exams at Uganda Christian University (UCU), which he passed. 

During a virtual interview with Uganda Partners, Okia said for a large part of his studies at UCU, he often topped the law class. He recalls spending long hours revising and benefiting from UCU’s arrangement of the lecturer–tutor format of teaching. In the lecturer-tutor set-up, after class with the lecturer, the students would also meet the tutor, who would break down the issues learned and explain how they apply in the practical world. Okia said if one didn’t understand the lecturer, then they would understand the tutor, which was a great aid to overall academic excellence. 

On student/ campus life

Okia Emmanuel edited

He is grateful for the fact that he was able to form close bonds and friendships with classmates he met at the university. From that bond, he was also able to get a fiancée. Okia and Christine Leah were part of the same discussion group and eventually became friends for life – and more. After years of dating, Okia proposed to his fiancée early this year. The two are planning for their marriage later this year. 

He considers his keys to success as the discussions he was involved in and having good lecturers who were also practising lawyers. 

Okia is the son of Alex Okurut, an accountant, and Esther Katalikako, the headteacher of Kakoro Primary School in the eastern Uganda district of Pallisa. He attended Nkonkonjero Primary School and St. Mary’s College Kisubi for his O’ and A-level. Both schools are located in central Uganda. While at Kisubi Okia says he was a leader in many school clubs. At UCU, among the leadership positions he held was being the vice-chairperson of the Moots Committee in 2019. At LDC, he was the student leader in charge of academic affairs. 

As Okia looks forward to contributing to jurisprudence in the country, he also wants to have a firm grip on accounts-related issues. He is currently pursuing a course for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. 

Robot innovators

How UCU Students Created a “Blue Light” to Enhance Road Safety

By Irene Best Nyapendi
A personal, grim reality inspired Uganda Christian University (UCU) student, Anei Agany Mabui, to invent a robot to curb road crashes. 

Students explain “why” the innovation

“One time I took a patient to Mulago hospital, and I couldn’t get a bed for him because most of the beds were occupied by patients from motorcycle accidents,” said Mabui, a South Sudanese student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. “I decided that I needed to do something to think of a solution to reduce the risks of road accidents.”

With the help of two coursemates, Mabui developed the model robot to alleviate collisions at traffic junctions. Mabui, Marvin Kauta and Gary Mathew Nkuraija developed the prototype with equipment that UCU Partners donated to the university’s robotics laboratory.

According to Dr. Olivia Kobusingye, an accident and emergency surgeon, more than 40 per cent of the financial budget allocated to the hospital’s trauma center is spent on treating victims of motorcycle crashes. 

“Our aim is to reduce motorcycle accidents at traffic light junctions in Uganda,” Mabui said.

He observed that at the traffic lights junction, accidents are a result of the mad dash after the lights have turned green for the motorists to go. “There are three colours on the traffic lights, whereby red signifies stop, orange means get ready to move and green signifies move. When the green lights go on, it allows both motorcycles and vehicles to move at the same time, but because of the huge volume, it causes collisions.”

The students reasoned the solution to avoid collisions was adding a fourth traffic light, which is the blue light. “So, when the blue light goes on, it signifies that only motorcycles can move, to avoid congestion of both cars and motorcycles moving at once,” Mabui said.

The project gives a basic idea of how to reduce traffic accidents on major roads and road junctions with traffic lights. The Uganda annual police crime report 2022, registered 20,394 cases of road accidents. Of those, 4,534 died, 15,227 had serious injuries and 1,712 sustained minor other injuries.

The students also derived inspiration for the project from the 11th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) set by the United Nations to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Emmanuel Isabirye, the students’ instructor in charge of innovation, said UCU has a dedicated practical training program and research laboratory for robotics, data science, artificial intelligence and mechatronics. 

One of the robots was developed by the Computing students based at UCU.

“I am so proud and happy to see my students innovate and create an impact in the community,” Isabirye said. He said Mabui, Kauta and Nkurajja hit two birds with one stone: that is the 9th and 11th SDG. The 9th SDG aims at building resilient infrastructure, promoting sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation.

“We appreciate Uganda Partners for their timely intervention through the donation of equipment,” Isabirye said. “The students have been wanting to experiment with their ideas, but they didn’t have the equipment to make the prototypes”. Isabirye hopes innovations will become a culture for university students before they graduate.

Student innovators are grateful to UCU Partners

UCU Partners donated an assortment of items including sensors like infrared sensors, ultrasonic sensors, led bulbs, batteries, Arduino boards, breadboards, jumper wires, glue and servo motors. The project was entirely a brainchild of the Department of Computing and Technology students. 

“We are implementing what we learnt last semester and through that knowledge, we have come up with something impactful,” Kauta said.

Nkuraija said during their study, they looked at the Kampala-Jinja Road as their case study because of the high number of accidents on the carriageway. During heavy traffic, cars and motorcycles follow each other so closely, many times resulting in accidents. He said with automation, it is possible to ensure a certain level of safety on the road.

“We are basing on improving the traffic light system through using automation to reduce stampedes and accidents on the road,” Nkuraija said.

He called on motorists to embrace the project once it is offered to them, so that the road is safer for them, their passengers and other road users.

The student solution to end fatal crashes on the road is a significant step towards the integration of technology and electronics in pursuit of optimizing limited resources.

Prof Nyende publishes book

UCU professor reinforces need for deep understanding of Bible

By Pauline Luba
Uganda Christian University (UCU) Prof. Peter Nyende’s first love was football. In the 1980s, as a young boy at Kenya’s Jamhuri High School in Nairobi, he was part of the national team that represented the country in the under-14 football competition in South Korea. Nyende’s interest in the game made him harbour intentions of playing it at a professional level. However, his father thought he should pursue a “more serious career.” 

Background & Formation of the Bible Scholar

By the time, as the teenager started his A’levels at Jamhuri, his interest had shifted to economics. However, he says as time went on, he had a deep sense of God’s calling to serve him fully in the church. By 19 years, Nyende was fully committed to serving God in the ministry. While growing up, Nyende was an active member of the church and in the Christian Union in school.

“I felt a deep sense of God’s call in my life,” Nyende related during an Uganda Partners’ interview in his UCU-Mukono campus residence.  “That made me abandon the other ambitions I once had.”

However, when he applied to join a theological school, he was told that he was “too young and too bright” to immediately venture into the priesthood. He was advised to first study something else that he was interested in before joining a theological college. 

The cover photo of Nyende’s new book

The cover photo of Nyende’s new book

Again, Nyende’s father did not approve of his son’s choice of a career in the church over work as an economist. Later, Nyende’s father warmed up to his choice, noting that it must have been God’s plan. Nyende went to Daystar University, also in Kenya, for his undergraduate degree, with a major in Bible studies. He then undertook training at an Anglican college in Nairobi and was ordained in 1998. Thereafter, Nyende obtained a Master of Pastoral Studies from Ridley Hall in Cambridge and a Master in Theology in the New Testament from Edinburgh University. 

Currently, the 53-year-old is an Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at the Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology of UCU. He also is a canon in the Anglican Church and a commissioned evangelist with the Church Army Society of Africa. Nyende has an interest in biblical theology and the interpretation of the Bible in African contexts. 

He says the “word of God must make sense in the context of the hearers.” Nyende has to date published 12 research articles and 2 book chapters. This year, he has hit another milestone, with his latest publication, a 288-page book, The Restoration of God’s Dwelling and Kingdom

In the book, published by the UK-based Langham Publishing, Nyende presents the central story of both the Old and New Testaments as the restoration of God’s dwelling and kingdom in the world. “He traces this narrative through its many stages of development — creation and fall, God’s covenants with Israel, exile — to its ultimate fulfilment in Jesus, the church and the new Jerusalem,” says a short profile of the book on the Langham Publishing website. 

Though mainly written for theological students and teachers, the book can be read by anyone who wishes to deepen their understanding of the Bible. Nyende says he began writing the book in 2019 and had completed it by December 2022. He was lucky to land a deal with Langham Publishing to have it published in 2023.

From Nairobi to Kampala

For a man who studied, lived and worked in Kenya, how did he end up as an academic at UCU? In 2014, he says he was approached by the Dean of UCU’s Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology to join the university community. Through the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Uganda, the Archbishop of Kenya was informed of the need for Nyende at UCU. Nyende says when he was informed of the request, he accepted and applied to join the UCU family, which he did in 2015. He says he has been able to witness how the Church supports activities of the Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology, enabling the preparation of well-trained pastors.

Prof Nyende publishes book
Prof Nyende inside his study.

As an expert in the interpretation of the Bible, when Uganda Partners asked him how the challenge of the misinterpretation of the Holy Book can be dealt with, Nyende said to properly interpret the Bible, there is a need to understand the context in which a section was written, why it was written and what prompted the writing.  There is also the need to understand the whole Bible as one book. 

“The Bible is one book. One cannot read one book (or a chapter in the book) in isolation from the books before and after if one is to understand the Bible properly. Although it is made up of 66 books, they are interlinked,” Nyende explained. 

Born in Butere town of western Kenya on June 15, 1969, in a family of 10 – seven boys and three girls – Nyende’s academic journey got rocky when his father retired just before he began his university education. However, he says by that time, he was old enough to know that the responsibility of completing school lay with him. He says he made money teaching English privately to students and also raised some funds from friends and the church. 

Nyende has been married to Josephine Njoki Marete for 17 years, and they have two children – 13-year-old Brodie, a student at Vienna College, and six-year-old Arabel, a pupil at Seeta Junior Primary School. Nyende says he visits his home country at least three times a year and usually enjoys the Christmas holidays with members of his extended family there.


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.

UCU Hanze Pix III

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.  

Pictorial 6

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.

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