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UCU Vice Chancellor meets with Uganda High Commissioner to TZ

Uganda’s High Commissioner to the United Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Col. (Rtd.) Fred Mwesigye, met today with the Vice Chancellor of Uganda Christian University (UCU), Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, who paid a courtesy call on him in Dar es Salaam.

The Vice Chancellor was accompanied by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration) Mr. David Mugawe, and the Dean of UCU School of Dentistry, Dr. James Magara.

The Vice Chancellor briefed the Ambassador on their study visit to the School of Dentistry at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), which has one of the best-run teaching programmes and a vibrant dental practice in East Africa that earns revenue for the university. UCU’s vision is to run its Dental School and clinic along the Muhimbili University model.

The UCU team is also visiting Tumaini University’s campuses in Dar es Salaam and Arusha as well as Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College in Moshi, to establish joint collaborative programmes. UCU and Tumaini already have a partnership with Hanze University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands.

The Ambassador and the Vice Chancellor exchanged ideas on the possibility of the Ugandan High Commission organising an Education and Tourism Exhibition in Dar es Salaam in 2023 to promote Uganda’s higher education and tourism sectors in the East African region. The Vice Chancellor also requested the Ambassador to discuss with his colleagues in the East African Community (EAC) the removal of all barriers to free movement of students and lecturers, including charging East African students the same tuition rates paid by nationals, as is the practice in Ugandan universities.

The Ambassador commended the Vice Chancellor and his team for the good initiatives and thanked UCU for upholding a value-based education, discipline, and a good reputation among Ugandan universities.

The UCU team also held meetings with the Vice Chancellor of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Prof. Andrea Pembe and Dr. Matilda Mtaya Mlangwa the Dean of the Dental School, with whom they exchanged ideas on collaboration in dental training and research between the two universities.

Norway: VC meets University Rectors

By Veronica Masinde

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi paid a courtesy visit to the Rector of NLA University College, Prof. Sigbjørn Sødal, with whom he discussed further areas of cooperation between the two universities.

UCU already has a strong collaboration with NLA University College through the School of Journalism, Media, and Communication, which is a beneficiary of the NORHED II project worth UGX 8.4 billion. The two institutions share a similar vision and mission.

Prof. Mushengyezi shares a gift from UCU with the NLA University Rector, Prof. Sigbjørn, after their meeting.
Prof. Mushengyezi and Prof. Whittaker share a photo moment.

Prof. Mushengyezi also visited the University of Rector of Ansgarsskolen, in Kristiansand City and held a meeting with the University Rector, Prof. Sunniva Whittaker. The two discussed a potential partnership, especially within the areas of theology and eLearning, which are fortes for both universities.

Thereafter, Prof. Mushengyezi visited Ansgarsskolen’s Theological College and met Prof. Ingunn Breistein to explore possible collaboration, especially with their Theology Faculty.

Prof. Mushengyezi poses with Prof. Ingunn Breistein, after sharing with her gifts from UCU.

The visits are part of Prof. Mushengyezi’s strategic agenda to intentionally grow UCU’s research and partnerships, both nationally and internationally.

UCU signs partnership agreement with AIIJ

By Jimmy Siyasa

Uganda Christian University (UCU) and the Africa Institute of Investigative Journalism (AIIJ) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement marks the beginning of a partnership between the UCU and School of Journalism, Media and Communication (SJMC) and AIIJ on various academic and media industry-related areas.

Solomon Sserwanja, the Executive Director at AIIJ, said the partnership was a long-awaited opportunity to partner on “advancing investigative journalism in areas of training, capacity building, resource and resource mobilization,” with UCU and, therefore, was highly welcomed.

On her part, Prof. Monica Chibita, the Dean of SJMC said the partnership will enable collaboration with AIIJ in areas such as “internship, research, visiting lectureship, teaching short courses and partnerships for securing scholarships for investigative journalism at MA and Ph.D. levels at UCU.”

Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, the team from AIIJ led by Solomon Sserwanja, Prof. Monica Chibita and other guests going for a photoshoot after signing the agreement. Photo: Courtesy of AIIJ.

During the ceremony, graced by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, acclaimed the partnership saying it would enrich the training of students at SJMC to embrace investigative journalism because some media stories, indeed, “require more research and digging in and that is why investigative journalism is important”.

The partnership was signed on eve of the International Women’s Day, annually celebrated on March 08. Together UCU and AIIJ organized a dialogue hosted by the former, to discuss the role of women and their inclusion in the discipline of investigative journalism.

The panel: Dr. Anette Kezaabu- Head of Post Graduate Studies, SJMC (Far right), Anna Reisman- Country Representative, KAS Uganda and South Sudan (Far left), Cecilia Okoth- Multimedia investigative journalist at New Vision (3rd Right) and Dr. Patricia Litho- Communication Specialist (2nd Left).

During the panel discussion comprised of five, prominent women in the media industry and academia in Uganda, the moderator, Raymond Mujuni, Deputy Executive Director at AIIJ, noted that only a few women in the newsroom were practicing investigative journalism.

“There are only 24% females in the newsroom. If you look at the ACME awards which award exceptional journalism, only 7% of awards have been won by female journalists. When I walk around the newsroom, I see fewer women,” Raymond said.

With the intent to encourage female journalists to embrace investigative journalism, a documentary film entitled A thousand cuts. The film captures the journalistic work of Maria Rossa, a Nobel-Prize winner and investigative journalist, whose remarkable investigative journalism works revealed ongoing corruption and abuse of power in the Philippines, in the regime of President Rodrigo Duterte, who was infamous for Press repression.

In light of the film, Dr. Annette Kezaabu, Head of Postgraduate studies at SJMC and also one of the panelists, urged young women to work hard like Maria Rossa and to not expect the ‘easy way up’. She cautioned them against “the love of money” that often causes one to compromise on moral values, further encouraging them to endure the humble, and due process in the newsroom that rising to the top of the media industry entails.

This is one of many, major partnerships UCU has consecutively signed with various notable institutions this year, 2022.

UCU partners with Japan-based University

By Jimmy Siyasa

Uganda Christian University (UCU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Japan-based Tokyo Christian University (TCU). This marks the beginning of an unprecedented collaboration between the two universities, which will from now onward conduct joint research and exchange programmes for both students and staff, as part of the terms of the agreement.

The bilateral agreement is part of UCU’s commitment to research and partnership with both national and international universities and other non-academic, but relevant organizations.

“ We want to partner with more universities in Europe and Asia such that our students get as much exposure as possible to other environments and cultures,” said the UCU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Aaron Mushengyezi, upon signing the agreement.

According to the document co-signed by Dr. Randall Short, Vice President of International Affairs at Tokyo Christian University, the MoU will also include, among others: participation in seminars, innovations, meetings, exchange of students, academic materials and special short-term academic programs.

Pamela Tumwebaze, Head of Department of the UCU Honors College says the collaboration between the two universities is easily most beneficial to students, since they are the major stakeholders of the two signatories. “Through the exchange programme, our students will get the opportunity to travel and study in Japan in the same way Japanese students will come and study from UCU,” Pamela said.

The MoU between UCU and TCU is one of many partnerships the University is establishing with notable national and international organizations.