UCU Kampala campus constructs own home
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2022/05/ucu-kampala-campus-constructs-own-home/
By Jimmy Siyasa and Ivan Tsebeni
State-of-the-art lecture rooms, meeting rooms for student functions and study spaces are some of what will await students of the Uganda Christian University (UCU) Kampala campus soon, following the start of the construction of the facilities early this year. The breaking of the ground for the construction of the facilities expected to cost sh2.5b (about $703,340) was done early 2022 at the campus’ new premises in Kampala.
According to George William Kazibwe, the director of the firm tasked with constructing the facilities, the classroom blocks will collectively hold a population of 900 students.
Vice-Chancellor Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, therefore, invited parents to embrace the new development as an opportunity for the university to offer high-quality education to their children. “We urge all parents to bring their children to Kampala campus because our new home and structures will grant the students a worthwhile learning experience,” he said.
UCU acquired the land for the Kampala campus in June 2021 despite the impact of Covid-19 that has ravaged the revenues of many universities in Uganda.
Dr. Godwin Awio, former director at the UCU Kampala campus and now head of research and publications for UCU post-graduate studies, expressed joy about the construction of the new structures, saying a permanent home is indicative to the parents and students of the “stability of the university.”
Vice-Chancellor Mushengyezi said by acquiring the land for the new premises, the university will save sh600m (about $168,801), which it was paying annually in rent. The university had been a tenant in the premises for close to two decades.
Awio noted that previously, when they shifted their location, the enrollment at the campus reduced because a new location often affected some students.
“When you change premises from time to time, the market reads you as being unstable, and your competitors can take advantage of that, to take away your students,” he argued.
Awio explained why the campus had not been able to set up some facilities.
“We have been renting for the past 18 years and, therefore, we were limited in many ways,” he said. “For example, we could not set up certain facilities here because the land was not ours. But when you own the land, you can customize it at will.”
David Mugawe, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration, acknowledged the continued support and advocacy from the Church of Uganda and not-for-profit organisation UCU Partners, as well as students whom he said have been patient with the university.
Assoc. Prof. John Kitayimbwa, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, said the development will help enhance learning at the university which marks 25 years of existence this year.
Teefe Zacharia, a local leader in Mengo, is highly expectant of good business from the neighbours of the university.
“The campus will bring socio-economic development to our area because the business community will pick interest in establishing hostels for students, as well as fast food businesses,” he said. “Additionally, it will decrease the crime rate in our village since we now have additional security, courtesy of the university in the area.”
To support Uganda Christian University programs, students, activities and services, go to www.ugandapartners.org and click on the “donate” button, or contact UCU Partners Executive Director, Mark Bartels, at firstname.lastname@example.org.