By Ivan Tsebeni
A striking feature of the last hundred years has been the enormous expansion of university education. In 1900, only about one in every hundred young people in the world were enrolled at universities, but over the course of the twenty-first century, this has risen to about one in three.
In a Tuesday night Launchpad mentorship session, students of Uganda Christian University (UCU) examined the role of university learners in the much-anticipated new economy described by digital advancement across the age divide.
Fred Burondwa, the Vice President of the university’s Law Society, said the economy cannot be built without a firm foundation, which, according to him, is the youth.
Burondwa further observed that several African governments have been critical on matters of inclusion, especially when it comes to a youthful population, which is undoubtedly the majority faction. He explained, giving the example of President Yoweri Museveni, whom he said reportedly sponsored university students to undertake courses in oil and gas.
“Almost all the processes of oil extraction, refinery, and marketing will be handled by our own Ugandans. It is with no doubt that through this area, the university students will have played an enormous role in the new economy,” Burondwa, the law stalwart, noted.
The gathering was pinned on the theme, “The Role of University Students in the New Economy.”
Across the African continent, the economy seems to be shifting from the former manual to the now digitally managed. This, according to Davis Mugisha, a third-year law student, should be a wake-up call for youths to forge adaptive ways to counter the shifting dynamics in the economy.
Mugisha further suggested that the universities, especially UCU, promote inclusive studies on research and innovation so as to compete favorably in the market in the new economy.
“For us to match uniformly with the global economy, innovation should be at the center of everything. I’m sure the universities should have a stake in this noble cause,” Mugisha said.
A hotly contested discussion was graced by the crowds of students across the courses who filled up to halfway in the monumental Nkoyoyo Hall.
Also in attendance was Silver Kayondo, the school’s law alumnus who is currently working with foreign direct investment.
Speaking during the event, Kayondo, who was the guest of honor, asked students to portray a good image for the institution. On this, Kayondo said the world demands that students build global networks so as to leverage their abilities.