Victoria University To Train Medical Workers

 

Victoria University, one of the leading private universities in Uganda, has reiterated its commitment to train medical workers as Dr. Patience M. Arinaitwe, the Dean Faculty of Health Sciences Victoria University, explains in this interview.

What subjects would you advise young Students to pursue at A’levels in order for them to pursue courses under your Faculty of Health Sciences? 

Mainly PCB for Clinical Science programmes (BNS, BMS and possibly Nutrition and Dietetics), All subjects including Arts but with some Biology for Public Health

What types of degrees and certificates are available in your Faculty of Health Sciences?

Currently BNS, BMS,BND, BPH (Degrees); There’s an upgrade for Midwifery Science for diploma holders; For Certificates we have Short Course in Public Health (SCIPH) and others. 

What is the relationship between Bachelor of Nursing Science & Bachelor of Midwifery Science? What are the entry requirements?

Bachelor of Nursing Sciences (BNS) is a 4 Year Programme. BNS curriculum is designed to meet the challenges of healthcare delivery. The course is highly demanding and designed to use community-orientated, evidence and skills-based approaches in order to be highly responsive to the needs of urban and rural communities.

BNS Entry Requirements are: Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education or its equivalent and 2 principal passes obtained at the same sitting in Physics, Chemistry or Biology or Diploma in Nursing from a recognised Institution and must be certified by the Uganda Nurses & Midwives Council (UNMC).

Bachelor of Midwifery Science is a 2 Year Top up Program. The post-diploma midwifery science top-up degree program is designed to enhance the student’s ability to use community–oriented, evidence-based approaches in the provision of midwifery care that is responsive to the needs of the community in both rural and urban settings.

The Bachelor of Midwifery Science program will cover two academic years, which is a five (5) semesters degree course.This program will be implemented using a variety of teaching and learning modes that encourage active and student centred learning to ensure that the graduates become life-long self–directed learners to be able to meet the challenges in healthcare delivery.

Is your Faculty of Health Sciences going to be part of your future VU School of Medicine? What’s the distinction?

Yes it and will infact be the home of the Medical School; health sciences and especially the clinical parts are complementary – e.g. nurses and midwives (BNS and BMS respectively) work with doctors on a daily basis to provide healthcare – Medicine will just be an addition to the menu of courses in the Faculty and not necessarily a separate one.

What types of service opportunities does your Faculty of Health Sciences render to your current Students and Graduates?

Apart from the excellent student-teacher interaction (remember VU has has the best ratio in Uganda so teachers really know their students!) we offer career guidance, arrange internships and field placements.

We emphasise the community linkage whereby our students are supported to design real-life projects offering solutions to community health problems. Furthermore we organize exposure events for the students e.g. attending scientific conference for learning, presenting their work and networking among others.

What courses can be done part-time?

All courses have a provision for flexibility if the student numbers  and other administrative factors are favourable. In the future we plan to offer some Health Science courses via distance or online.

Do you consider Credit transfer from say a certain University to VU?

We do, there’s a system called Accreditation of Previous/ Experiential Learning (APEL) whereby a student applies to be exempt from a course unit or module they think has already been covered elsewhere. 

When we receive this application we do carefully look for similarity in content (especially related to curriculum but also teaching/learning methods used) as well as student performance. If satisfied then the student can be exempt; it is on a case-by-case basis and the student has to formally initiate the process by filing an APEL application to the Dean.

How does one apply for a course /program in your Faculty of Health Sciences? 

Simply fill out the application form (there’s a provision for this online on the VU website), attach the required documents and submit to registry or admissions at VU.   Also applicants can just walk into the university with their academic documents and our supportive Admissions team can work with them to submit an application the same day!

What are the application deadline dates and who can one contact for advising on Health Science Courses?

1st week of March 2016 is the deadline. For any further clarification please contact us on Tel: (+256) 417 727 000, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We are Located at Victoria Towers, Plot 1-13, Jinja Road.

For details about Faculty of Health Sciences  and other courses visit the University’s website at  www.vu.ac.ug.

 

 

Buganda Explains Mandatory Land Registration

 

Buganda Land Board recently launched a campaign aimed at registering all Title-holders on Kabaka’s land in a bid to regularize their tenancy.  Buganda Land Board Head of Legal Ndawula Barnabas in this interview explains the motives of the campaign. 

Please tell us what the campaign is all about the wetuukire campaign you launched recently.

Wetuukire’ is a campaign that is calling upon all persons currently in possession of land titles on Kabaka’s land, which were formerly issued by Uganda Land Commission and District Land Boards to regularize their tenancy with Buganda Land Board. The campaign is scheduled to start on March 1st and will end on April 30th 2016. 

What do you exactly mean by Kabaka’s land and what areas does it cover?

Kabaka’s land refers to all that land vested in the Kabaka of Buganda by virtue of his office and held in custody for the people of Buganda. Kabaka’s land includes:

  • The Kings official estate ‘Olusuku lwa Ssabasajja’ measuring 350 square miles covering the counties of Kyadondo, Busiiro, Kyagwe, including such areas as Munyonyo and Makindye and Buziga.
  • It also covers all land that was managed and controlled by the Buganda Land Board as a creature of the 1962 constitution of Uganda, which entails urban and peri-urban areas of municipalities and towns in Buganda kingdom
  • It also includes the Sazza and Gomboloola estates measuring 8 square miles and 49 acres respectively found in all districts of Buganda covering some parts of Mukono, Wakiso and Kampala and different areas within rural/up country districts in Buganda region. 

How is it that persons were able to obtain titles on Kabaka’s land in the first place?Individuals did get hold of titles on Kabaka’s land especially lease titles by way of interests created by Uganda Land Commission and the District Land Boards. 

Wasn’t the issuance of such titles by Uganda Land Commission and District Land Boards legally binding?

In light of the prevailing circumstances at the time, one may say that technically it was legal because it was state sanctioned. The Central Government under the Obote-I Republican constitution of 1967 confiscated Buganda Kingdom assets, of which land was the largest.

The 1967 constitution also created the Uganda Land Commission which was given the mandate to manage all public land, of which the confiscated Buganda Kingdom land was among.

This was further escalated by the 1975 Land Decree which declared all land to be public land and vested the same in the State to be held in trust for the people of Uganda and to be administered by the Uganda Land Commission. Further still, in 1998 District Land Boards were created and given further mandate to manage land within their respective districts. 

If the titles were legal then, what is the rationale behindBuganda Land Board’s regularization of tenancy on the same land now?

Buganda Land Board is regularizing tenancy on the land becausethe land was officially handed back to Kabaka’s Government. In 1993, the Government of Uganda through the Traditional Rulers Restitution of Assets and Properties Act Cap 247 entered various legally binding agreements with Buganda Kingdom culminating into a memorandum of understanding between themselves in 2013 under which various land titles and properties were officially returned to the Kabaka. 

Are there any repercussions that can affect tenants who haven’t had their titles validated by BLB?

Yes,it is vital for title holders to have their titles validated because Buganda Land Board is now the controlling authority of the land. As the authority, Buganda Land Board needs to know the tenants currently residing on the land. Once BLB has the knowledge of the tenancy and has authenticated the tenancy, the title holder will enjoy security of tenure guaranteed by BLB.

In addition, financial institutions and Commercial Banks are now accepting only those land titles on Kabaka’s land that have been validated by Buganda Land Board. Furthermore, all transactions to include the sale, exchange or donation of land with titles on Kabaka’s land are now rendered invalid by law, if not consented to by Buganda Land Board. 

Does this mean that Buganda Land Board wants to evict tenants off Kabaka’s land through the Wetuukire campaign?

‘Wetuukire’ campaign is an initiative by Buganda Land Board to ensure that all tenants on Kabaka’s land enjoy peaceful and economically sustainable use of the land they occupy. Buganda Land Board is therefore not chasing anyone off Kabaka’s land.

We are simply acting within our mandate and calling upon all tenants on Kabaka’s land that received land titles issued by Uganda Land Commission and District Land Boards to come  and regularize their land titles with Buganda Kingdom, this is both free hold and Lease titles.

In brief, are you saying that one cannot buy /sell or mortgage this land in a legally binding manner unless and until the same has been validated by BLB?

The simple answer to that is YES! It is therefore entirely to the benefit of the title holder to heed to our call to have their land title regularized at this point to avoid inconveniences in the future. All those that don’t comply will handled within the existing law.

 

How Victoria University Is Driving Oil And Gas Skills Development In Uganda

For Ugandans to be able to work in the nascent oil and gas industry will need requisite skills appropriate to meet the demands of the sector.

But because the oil industry is new in Uganda, few Ugandans have been able to get the required training. Many had to fly out to access learning institutions able to offer such an education.

This is however changing because Victoria University is now offering oil and gas courses. In this interview Dr. Stephen Robert Isabalija the Vice Chancellor of the University gives the details.

Mr Isabalija, briefly tell us about you as an individual?

I’m Dr. Stephen Robert Isabalija the Vice Chancellor of Victoria University. I have been here for the last two years; previously I was in the United States at a University working as a professor.

I was also a senior lecturer at Makerere University. And I did my PhD in United States were id did studying Public Policy and I specialized in International development and sustainable future. I am a full time Ugandan

As the Vice Chancellor, tell us about Victoria University

We are motivated by experiential learning; that is what brought us to the market, our promoters are entrepreneurs and our vision is to change the way how education is done.

Every person in the market has been saying the new graduates don’t have skills; we are here to skill students, we are here to give them new ways of working. We want students to leave the university when they can go out and do different things.

Most of the people are retooling themselves and we thought we would that service by bringing the school nearer to the people.

Going by your experience and CV, what attracted you to work with Victoria University?

It’s the University’s vision; it’s the uniqueness of what Victoria University had to offer. Again am attracted to work with the promoters and entrepreneurs of the University who have a passion for education. To us changing the world and the way things are done in the country is our passion.

 Victoria University talks of state of the art facilities, what exactly are these facilities, elaborate more? 

Our classrooms are top notch with air conditioning, not that we don’t have good air in Uganda but we believe students must be in good environment and that temperature must be controlled.

But also you must be aware that we insist that every student must own a laptop which the school provides freely, that is going to expose our students to new ways of doing research.

The whole campus has internet, also our class rooms have projectors and interactive blackboards. So in a way we are exposing our students how international schools in the western world operate.

To us that is very important. Also our students stay in a clean environment which is not common in other universities.

 The January intake is on till February, why should someone come to study at Victoria University?

Again it is something we talked about, experiential learning. The things we provide, we want them to leave Victoria University when they are equipped with necessary skills ready for the job market.

We also provide them with internship. At Victoria University, internship is a must. Any student who comes to us will leave ready for a job and they always perform well or they can start their own. 

So for us we are providing courses and give the students the opportunity to leave the university not to look for jobs, they get the employed or are able to create jobs for other people.

What unique courses do you have that give you leverage over other private universities?

Of course you know that we have oil and gas courses. We also have courses like Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Bachelor of Midwifery Science, Bachelor of Nursing Science, Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Bachelor in Business Information Systems, International Relations and Diplomatic Studies, Bachelor of Environmental Science among other traditional courses.

Tell us about the Department of Petroleum and Energy Studies at Victoria University

It is one department that was formed out of the need to see what is happening in the economy because oil and gas is a new thing that everybody is talking about.

We thought we can bring this training near the people, we thought we would start the training so that when the first barrel of oil comes out of the ground we have people working in the fields.

What are some of the oil and gas and mining courses that are taught here at Victoria University?

We have Bachelor of Science in Oil & Gas Accounting, Certificate in Oil & Gas Law, Certificate in Oil & Gas Project Management, Certificate in Oil & Gas Health, Safety & Environmental Management, Certificate in Supply Chain and Logistic Management and Certificate in Oil and Gas Management under the department of petroleum and gas studies.

How many students are undertaking these courses and how does one qualify to study oil and gas courses?

We have so far trained 150 students, some we have trained and they have left. We do retooling for some people. We linked these students to employers and are now duly employed in and outside the country.

To qualify for such courses, you must have done senior six and for the bachelors you must have a bias for economics and math. We also take on people who have qualified in other fields because this is a skill they add on their daily routine of working.

What do you intend to achieve by teaching these courses?

We are out to engage the public, we are here partnering with government to provide value. When government indentified these resources then we thought we can do capacity building. So in us teaching these courses we are building capacity and also providing a service.

Uganda's oil and gas industry is nearing take off, how ready and competitive are your students?

They are very competitive, that’s what we have done, making them ready for work in the oil sector. Like I said, those we have trained are now working in the industry. Our students are ready to work once they graduate.

That is why have we have partnered with international organizations like Institute of Public and Private Partnerships (IP3), we are also trying to target other universities to support using delivering this education.

The most marketable jobs in the extractives industry are the engineering related jobs, when are you starting to offer engineering courses since there is a skills gap?

It is something we are looking at and by August next year we will be able to roll out these engineering courses. You will get the details later when we are ready.

Uganda drafted a local content policy which tries to minimize import of goods and services, what kind of relationship do you have with oil companies since they will the ones providing jobs?

We have a very wonderful relationship with oil and gas companies; that’s how we have been able to take our students to oil fields for tours and practical studies. Every student has been to oil fields.

We recently partnered with the College of Natural Science in Makerere. We signed a MoU so we will be implementing some of the training here at Victoria University.

And what have been the challenges in conducting these courses?

It’s a new a field, highly specialized, sometimes it’s very difficult to get the trainers to do the job but we have managed to assemble a good team to ensure we have produce quality students ready to work in this demanding sector. Victoria University has managed to attract the best trainers.

Where do you see Victoria University in 5 to 10 years?

We are fronting ourselves to be the best university in east and central Africa.

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