By DailyNewsUG Correspondent,
Victoria University has been granted a charter by H.E the President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
The Charter was signed by President Museveni on July 31, 2022 and was handed over at the National Council for Higher Education offices in Ntinda this Friday, August 19.
“It is a great occasion because we have been striving to have this charter for three years,” Ruparelia Group Chairman, the owners of the university, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia said.
“We do appreciate and salute the President, the First Lady and Hon. Minister of Education and Sports, Mrs. Janet Museveni, the National Council for Higher Education Executive Director, Prof. Mary Okwakol; and her entire team for recognizing and authenticating the growth that Victoria University has undertaken in the last few years,” said Victoria University’s Vice Chancellor Dr. Lawrence Muganga.
Victoria University and NCHE officials pose for a group photo after the hand over of the Charter.
The charter was handed over to VU Chancellor Prof John Opuda-Asibo by NCHE Executive Director Prof. Mary J. N. Okwakol.
A charter is granted to universities that have demonstrated high quality in staffing, teaching and learning, research output, technology and practical-led learning, infrastructural development, and good governance, among other issues. For any institution to be accredited, the President and NCHE must be satisfied after a series of inspections and visitations.
According to the Universities and other Tertiary Institutions Act (2001), a charter is “granted by the President as evidence that the university meets the requirements and standards of academic excellence set by the NCHE.”
Furthermore, a “chartered university,” as defined in section 103(a) of the same Act 2001 as amended, is a university comparable to a public university.”
This makes Victoria University the 11th private university in the country to be chartered, out of 43 private universities in Uganda. This is on top of the other 10 public universities in the country.
Impact of the Charter on Victoria University
“Victoria University’s academic awards can now be recognised by all universities and institutions around the world; in case one is securing a job or upgrading in academic studies,” said Dr. Muganga.
“More so, Victoria University now has attained the same privileges like the public universities in the country, other than the direct financial support to the institution. However, the institution will get special recognition and support in the areas of funding students’ education, especially through the Students Loan Scheme, under the Higher Education Students Financing Board,” he added.
NCHE’s Okwakol said that by law, the Charter also allows Victoria University to mount higher degrees like Masters, Doctorates without consulting NCHE.
VU said they have already laid the ground for the start of a doctoral college, with a plan to start 30 Ph.D. Programmes in the next two years.
“As Victoria University, we believe that this Charter, is a confirmation that we are a leading University in Uganda, East Africa, and Africa in offering Experiential and Work Integrated Learning. We are determined to produce graduates with employable skills and capacity to creatively employ themselves. We do this by providing meaningful, hands-on workplace experience to enrich theoretical learning. Our work integrated learning program is enabling students to complete a program of three to four years with at least two to three years’ work experience,” said Muganga.
“At Victoria University, our hands-on, technology-based education and applied research are essential to the productivity and prosperity of the country and the region. We always strive to ensure that our graduates have the knowledge, skills and competencies employers want. Our graduates leave Victoria University with soft skills, quality degrees, confident, prepared and in demand,” he added.
“We are the only university in the country with a career and employability program, which was intentionally designed, to empower all students at Victoria University with soft skills.”
Among the unique aspects of VU is their Innovation and Virtual Reality Learning Centre, set up with the intention of bringing the latest digital literacies and skills to learners.
“With new technologies related to the development of computers, graphics, hardware, and the emergence of Web 3.0 technology and the blockchain networks; the virtual world has become a reality. Every other day, the demand for virtual reality increases, and the industry represented by the Metaverse is developing; and as a university, we are determined to keep our students on top of the exposure-to-learning chain. In the
Metaverse, a virtual world that transcends reality, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology are being combined, and Victoria University is ready to take a lead in the continent’s institutions,” he said.
Muganga emphasized the commitment of the university that was taken over by the Ruparelia Group in August 2013 to playing a leading role in bringing and developing high quality education.