By Kefa Senoga
Uganda Christian University’s (UCU) Arua Campus has won a prestigious regional award as the best higher institution of learning in West Nile for 2022. The West Nile Quality Brands Awards are given to entities that operate in the northwestern part of Uganda.
The criteria for selecting the awardees involved assessing their economic sustainability, operational effectiveness, level of technology adoption, progressive leadership and culture, as well as social and community contribution, commitment and perseverance.
While receiving the award at a hotel in the northwestern district of Arua on December 9, 2022, the UCU Arua Campus Director, the Rev. Julius Tabbi Izza, said it represents the voice of the community about what they know regarding UCU and that it tasks the administration of the university with continuing to offer quality services to the community.
“Four institutions were nominated alongside UCU and it was upon the public to vote, so this is a testimony regarding what the public knows about UCU and, it gives us confidence that the community loves what we do and that they trust us,” Tabbi said.
The nomination and voting processes constituted 70% of the brand score, while the results from the judging panel constituted 30%. The university campus garnered 63.32% out of 70% of the votes from the public.
The West Nile Quality Brands Awards was set up to recognize excellence among companies, businesses, start-ups and individuals who have made a positive contribution to the region. The awardees must demonstrate excellence in the service they offer, show evidence of innovation and customer service, as well as professionalism and inclusiveness in the work they engage in.
The awards organizers said the UCU Arua Campus was awarded for demonstrating its ability to equip students with quality, innovative skills, as well as providing hands-on skills courses that meet the market demands of professionals.
Taking advantage of its state-of-the-art online technology, the awards committee said UCU was the first university to embrace online learning for students prior to and during the Covid-19 pandemic, and that this helped many complete studies within the stipulated time. It added that all the achievements were possible because “UCU’s transformational leadership has enabled organizational learning.”
Albe Akasa, the president of the West Nile Quality Brands, said: “Winning portrays the trust that people have in UCU since these are largely people-centered competitions; it, therefore, shows that UCU is performing well, from the perspective of the people it serves.”
As part of the benefits that UCU is entitled to as a winner, the university’s profile and advertisement will be published in the awards Winners Directory Book. Also to be profiled will be a documentary showcasing UCU’s activities.
The UCU Arua Campus was established in August 2003. Formerly, it was St. Paul’s Regional Theological College, offering diploma and certificate courses in Theology, as well as training of Lay Readers.
The campus, which started with 80 students and 27 academic and non-academic staff now boasts a student enrolment of over 600 and about 100 staff.