Hanze President unveils proposed structure for the Incubation Hub 

By Eriah Lule

It was all smiles and glamour as the Uganda Christian University (UCU) administration witnessed the unveiling of the proposed structure for the School of Business Incubation Hub at the main campus in Mukono. The Hub will be built on the idle land between the Faculty of Engineering and the School of Journalism buildings.

The event was graced by Hanze University of Applied Sciences President (Vice Chancellor) Powel Dick on his visit to Uganda Christian University (UCU), who unveiled the location where the Hub will sit.

The event was graced by Hanze University of Applied Sciences President (Vice Chancellor) Powel Dick on his visit to Uganda Christian University (UCU), who unveiled the location where the Hub will sit.

Hanze University is in the process of raising funds that will help to establish this structure.

This hub focuses on fostering entrepreneurship and skill development, enabling beneficiaries to gain knowledge and expertise on business startup and management.

The Hub will consist of an innovation hub, display areas for student products, office spaces on the first floor, and a conference room that could be accessed by the community and UCU fraternity.

Powel’s visit to UCU is an effort to fortify the already-existing partnership between the two institutions in the different areas of collaboration and capacity building.

Earlier last year, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi paid a visit to Hanze and established strong ties with the university’s administration and programs.

The relationship has survived for eight years, since 2015. As a bid to solve the after-math of COVID 19, UCU incorporated the learner-centered approach of teaching a technique from Hanze University.

Powel stated during the event that the growth of both universities in academics, innovations, and research is a priority at the heart of their collaboration.He went on to say that because their university is community-based, their goal is to promote community development as well as international relations.

“We are always delighted when we lend a hand to other institutions; it’s an experience rich with a wealth of knowledge that enhances both of them”, he said.

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, upheld the partnership’s benefits for both universities. The blended learning approach (both online and physical classes), staff and student exchange, as well as empowerment in different fields, have left a mark on the institution’s progress.

He urged the university administration that the projects established should benefit the nation as a whole, not just the UCU community, and that the proposed Incubation Hub structure would make them available. 

Kisenyi Vincent, the Dean of the School of Business, commented that with this hub established, it would widen the school’s scope of operation in training and empowering students, as well as create an avenue to engage with the outside community.

He further noted that Hanze University, through the Hanze Foundation, had collected money that had initially helped establish the hub in Thelma Hall, which is now too small to accommodate even the school’s students.

“We have registered a massive number of students and as well made entrepreneurship a course unit across all the school of business’ courses. “We, too, want to make it one of the foundation courses across the university,” he said, “which means the space we have in Thelma Hall isn’t enough, which is why we’re collaborating with Hanze to build a bigger structure.” 

Belinda Atim owns a restaurant at the Bugujju trading center; UCU’s immediate trading center notes that this hub will help the university further open up to its community as well as empower them in financial literacy and management.

“I’m overjoyed for such progress; I just can’t wait for it to be established and I can gather my staff to use it,” she said.

Powel also conducted a university tour to various schools, demonstrating the various activities and projects handled as well as the areas where assistance is required. 

He further assured that when the construction begins, he will invite the different staff members from different fields at Hanze to come and participate actively in the process of construction.

Joint curriculum development, joint applied research and publishing, joint mentorship programs, and joint student-staff projects were among the areas identified for additional support.