UCU top inter-university exhibition for the fourth time
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2022/10/ucu-top-inter-university-exhibition-for-the-fourth-time/
By Irene Best Nyapendi
Uganda Christian University (UCU) has emerged the best exhibitor at Uganda’s National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) 2022 Inter-University education fair.
The exhibition that took place from September 22-24 in Kampala ran under the theme: “Enhancement of Teaching, Learning and Assessment with Online and Distance e-learning, (ODeL) in Higher Education.”
It was the fourth consecutive time that UCU was being announced best exhibitor. Uganda Martyrs University and the International Science, Business and Technology University (ISBAT) were second and third, respectively.
Team UCU celebrates victory upon receiving their plaque
The more than 60 public and private institutions of learning that participated in the fair displayed technological innovations that they have employed to facilitate teaching, learning and assessment in the post-Covid era. When Covid-19 struck in Uganda in 2020, the Government instituted a lockdown on all activities, including education. This affected students, who lost time. However, later, higher institutions of learning were given the liberty to continue with teaching albeit online, until when the coronavirus infection rate significantly reduced.
At the September exhibition, the judges were looking out for the alignment of an institution’s stall with reference to the theme of the exhibition. “We specifically highlighted the evidence of the existence of e-learning platforms in the various stalls and institutions, the usage of the e-learning platform, level of innovation and subject of display from the stalls, specifically looking at the level of effort and thought,” Prof. George Kirya, the lead judge, said. Kirya added that they also considered the level of funding because the exhibition required money for an institution to be successful.
Justifying the reason for awarding UCU the top accolade, the judges said the university showcased many e-services that corresponded with the year’s theme. “UCU has integrated their whole system right from admission, teaching and assessment,” Prof. Kirya said.
“The victory validates a lot about what happens at the university and demonstrates to the public that we are achieving our vision of being A Center of Excellence in the Heart of Africa,” Christa K. Oluka, UCU’s Director of Admissions and Student Records, said.
“Honestly, we had a feeling that the trophy for the overall best exhibitor would slip out of our hands this time round, due to some of the challenges we faced,” Jimmy Siyasa, the acting Head of Communications and Public Relations at UCU, said. The announcement of UCU as the overall best exhibitor, therefore, sent the intuition’s team at the exhibition tent into wild celebration, singing praises for the Lord.
UCU Vice Chancellor Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi congratulated the institution upon the milestone for the fourth consecutive time. “Congratulations to Team UCU on winning the 13th higher education exhibition, well done,” Mushengyezi said.
“The exhibitions are an opportunity for institutions to showcase what they have been able to do, to remain operational,” Mushengyezi explained, adding: “Some of the innovations that birthed UCU’s win were the learning management system (e-learning), the online voting platform (eChagua), online internship and many more.”
Deputy Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa, who was the chief guest, urged institutions of higher learning to prioritize research to get tailor-made solutions to local challenges. He commended UCU for leading in this area. Different UCU Schools and Faculties exhibited unique ideas – the Faculty of Agricultural Science and Entrepreneurship exhibited how the lecturers and students use online platforms (Moodle) to enhance learning.
The School of Journalism, Media and Communication showcased the students’ online television, the UCU Focus TV, the UCU online radio and The Standard newspaper.
NCHE Executive Director Prof. Mary Okwakol explained that exhibitions bring together relevant stakeholders to showcase responses to challenges faced by higher education institutions, with special attention to the global disruptions caused by COVID-19.
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