KAMPALA – Victoria University on Friday inaugurated its fourth council at an event presided over by the University Chancellor, Prof. John Opuda-Asibo.
The 15-member council will be chaired by Mr. Joram Francis Kahenano – an economist, aided by Joseph Biribonwa as the Vice.
Other members sworn in by Her Worship Agnes Nkonge, included; Dr .Chirag Kotecha – Health specialist, Andrew Mwenda – veteran journalist, James Kalebo – education specialist, Dr. Mary Kanyiginya – Human Resources Specialist, Sameer Thakar – finance specialist, Dr. Kabonesa Consolate – Gender Specialist, Semambo Rashid – Legal affairs expert, Dr. Lawrence Muganga – also the University VC, Ms. Mark Serebe – Unversity Guild President, Walakira John Bosco – Victoria University staff representative and Katusabe Semwezi as – University and Council Secretary.
Dr. Muganga said that they are not just inaugurating the fourth University Council, but also infusing fresh perspectives, insights, and vigor to shape the future of their university and higher education in Uganda.
“I still believe it is a day for us to celebrate progress, but more importantly, a day to recognize the responsibility we undertake in shaping 1000s of lives, hopes and dreams.”
“Victoria University has always been a beacon of knowledge, resilience, and innovation,” he added, noting that from its modest beginnings, the institution was fueled by an unwavering spirit of dedication to excellence and the greater purpose of higher education.
Giving the background, he noted that the university began with a small number of students (118) in 2017 and with the help of the third which approved the university’s new plan, “connecting authentic learning with impact”, the number increased tremendously to 1232 students in 2021, 3020 students in 2022, and 6000 in 2023.
“To put that into perspective for you, that is a staggering 2,357% increase in student enrollment from 2020 to 2023, an achievement we owe to our collective efforts and trust our students and their parents have placed in us.”
Dr. Muganga re-echoed that in this modern era, technology is not just an option but rather a cornerstone of development.
“Victoria University acknowledges the importance of incorporating technology into our educational framework and we are so committed to it. A testament is a tangible financial saving we have encountered ever since we started venturing into digital digitizing our learning and assessment.”
“In 2023 alone, which has not even yet ended, through our digitized learning and assessment systems, we saved close to a billion Uganda shillings that would otherwise have been spent on traditional printing costs,” he said.
He, however, decried limited support and collaboration from the appointments committee of the council – noting that their approach has been and continues to be more critical than constructive, nurturing, or even rehabilitative, something he says has caused significant obstacles to their path to meaningful and desired outcomes.
By the year, 2026, Mr. Vice Chancellor is optimistic they will be having a thriving community of 20,000 students.
On his party, Mr. Chancellor urged the sworn-in members to bring on board their different expertise for the betterment of the university.
He also encouraged them not to miss the council meetings – something that could jeopardize their work.
“Anybody who misses council more than three times according to your own council charter means you should resign.”
Prof. Opuda asked the members not to be mindful of how much they earn but rather care much about their contribution and commitment to the institution.
“… commit yourselves to this…the key things of the council are planning and budgeting…and that means you have to follow what you have agreed upon.”
He applauded the Vice Chancellor for looking at the digitization of the university and recognizing AI and digital transformation and online learning.
In his inaugural speech, Mr. Kahenano pledged collective efforts to put the university to higher heights.
“On behalf of the council, I pledge to the board of directors that we shall endeavor to work to grow the university, both in width and depth in depth.”