MBARARA – President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday contributed UGX200 million towards the construction of a science block at University of Saint Joseph Mbarara that is founded by Mbarara Catholic Archdiocese.
Speaking at the launch of the university, Mr Museveni also hailed the private sector for supporting government effort in providing higher education services.
“When we came into government, we said the government will do its work but the private sector is also welcome. We said the government is doing what it can, the rest come and help; what government does is quality control. In that we have been able to get the knowledge to so many Ugandans,” he said.
The university was licensed in 2017 and admitted 218 pioneer students in 2018. Mr Museveni hailed the archdiocese for establishing the institution on the foundation of patriotism. “It’s a university with the orientation of patriotism for Uganda that you must not be a corrupt person and you should have the attitude of serving people. I am glad you are adding value here (Nyamitanga hill),” Mr Museveni said.
The Vice Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Dr Deus Karemire, said the university will be built on the foundation of agriculture. Next academic year, they will start the Bachelor of Agriculture Extension and Management programme. “We believe this programme will contribute to agriculture extension service and wealth creation in community,” Fr Karemire said.
He added that public health, environment and engineering programmes will start after the necessary infrastructure has been put in place.
After his installation as the Chancellor, Archbishop Bakyenga said, “I pledge to work towards the realization of the mission, vision and objectives for which it (University) has been established.”
He said University of Saint Joseph Mbarara is guided by the philosophy of community innovativeness and will work to address the current and future challenges of Ugandan society.
One of the main challenges, Archbishop Bakyenga said, is wetland and environmental degradation. He challenged the universities in Mbarara:
Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Bishop Stuart University and University of Saint Joseph Mbarara to save River Rwizi from silting and drying up.
“We have three universities in Mbarara but River Rwizi is drying up and we can’t get water; we must do something not just ceremonies,” Archbishop Bakyenga said.
The archbishop added universities have to produce people who are able to question and challenge actions.