Uganda Christian University (UCU) was declared overall winner of the 10th annual higher education exhibition organised by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE).
The exhibition was under the theme, “Higher Education for the Future: Strengthening Innovations for Sustainable Development”.
UCU won the category of Chartered and Public Universities, which is the highest form of accreditation for Ugandan universities.
Michael Mubangizi, the Manager Communications and Marketing at UCU said that the award means that UCU innovations and way of doing things have been appraised by external parties and found to be solid and highly responsive to societal needs.
“It is the highest form of approval of innovations and contribution to higher education in Uganda by the regulator; the National Council for Higher Education,” Mubangizi said.
Universities were also categorised into provisionally licensed and other degree awarding institutions, and other tertiary institutions category. William Banage, a retired professor of zoology who became a professor in 1968 led a team of judges that assessed the universities.
Speaking on behalf of the judges, Mr. Arthur Babu Muguzi, said that the judges awarded marks on the basis of alignment of exhibitions to the theme, level of innovation and presentation as well as documentation and dissemination mechanisms of university innovations.
Also considered was the attractiveness of exhibition stalls, level of public relations and customer care skills of exhibitors, use of space, smartness of the exhibitors seniority of university personnel involved in the exhibition and number of exhibition stalls.
The judges commended UCU for the high level of innovations, alignment of their innovations to theme, superior presentation, public relations and customer skills.
“Some exhibitors could not even state the theme of the exhibition. This was a disappointment because the event is annual and there is enough time to prepare,” said Muguzi. He asked universities to plan earlier enough and budget for their exhibitions.
Kisubi University won the category of provisionally licenced universities and other degree awarding institutions and other tertiary institutions. This was followed by St. Lawrence University and The Agha Khan University.
In the other tertiary institutions, Uganda Technical Institute (UTC) Bushenyi emerged best followed by Nile Vocational Institute in Jinja and Institute of Advanced Leadership.
The Executive Director NCHE, Prof. John Asibo Opuda said that women should be encouraged to take higher education seriously.
The Chief Guest Mr. Sebaggala Kigozi who doubles as the acting Council Chairperson at the National Council for Higher Education and a Commissioner at the Independent Electoral Commission of Uganda asked universities to document and widely disseminate their innovations to increase their visibility and their contribution to addressing societal needs.