UCU emerges best at the 14th annual NCHE exhibition

By Asenath Were

Uganda Christian University (UCU) emerged as the best exhibitor at the 14th  National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) Exhibition that was held at the UCU Mbale campus  on March 21–23, 2024. The exhibition was organized under the theme ‘Fostering Graduate Employability and Innovations’.

Nora Mulira, the director of ICT, Research, and Innovations, pointed out that this year’s theme was very timely, as it engaged them during the conference to find strategies that would enable the students to get employed. “What makes a student employable is related to the relevance of what is demanded in the job market,” she said.

Thus, as NCHE, a national development plan (NDP3) now becoming NDP4 has been put in place to emphasize  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) as a development engine. Mulira emphasized that this is not to demolish the arts but to keep an eye on the global trend.

“We have not eliminated the arts, but we are adding value even to the current technologies,” Mulira stressed. She, therefore, encouraged the students to keep an eye on what is going to make them relevant and on the global trend, as well as tailor their educational needs to those aimed at adding value to themselves and those around them.

UCU’s Bill Dan Arnold Borodi posing with the NCHE certificate

Mbale’s  mayor, Kasim Namugali, thanked NCHE for taking the initiative to regionalise the exhibition and expressed his happiness over the presence of both the students and parents who came because, according to him, these are the most affected.

“There are very many innovations that we have not been aware of, meaning that if we frequently have this kind of exhibition and awareness, it will help our population.” Namugali pointed  out.

He encouraged the students to move out of the classrooms and apply what they learned, and he hopes that this will not only stop in the eastern and central regions but will be extended to other regions such as West and Northern Uganda.

Joshua Morris Byaruhanga, an exhibitor from UCU Law School, pointed out that the exhibition was a great experience for a student like him, and he admired the teamwork his fellow students had regardless of the faculties they were coming from.

“Many of the guests that came, including the guest of honour, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, the 1st Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda and Minister for East African Community Affairs, as well as Speaker Emeritus of the 9th and 10th Parliaments of Uganda, were impressed by UCU”. he noted.

“One of the judges told me that UCU is multidisciplinary, and the fact that we went there as a family of UCU and demonstrated this, impressed them. It was not by our might but by the grace of God that we managed to be the best.” Byaruhanga emphasized.

Latifah Briah Siraje, a student from Nkoma Secondary School, pointed out that she was inspired by Uganda Christian University and got to learn that to make it to university, she would need to work hard:“UCU inspired me to offer journalism because they were very nice to us and showed us that even we can, so they should be ready for us because, with time, we are joining them,” Siraje said.