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