On the 11th of August, the night sky was illuminated by the International University of East Africa during its charter celebrations in honour of being designated a charter university. In recognition of IUEA’s stellar world class educational experience, it was officially named a chartered academic institution of higher learning by His Excellency, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda. IUEA’s gratitude for this epic privilege was perfectly encapsulated in this extravagant, emotional and celebratory event.
What is a chartered University?
In Uganda, the National Council of Higher Education (NHCE) awards a provisional license to an institution that meets and/ or surpasses the conditions set by the Government of the Republic of Uganda which lasts a minimum of 3 years as described by the NCHE page. This stamp of approval is an assurance that the institution’s services can be trusted and thus, so too can the certifications it awards. Only a select few universities in Uganda have been awarded this honour as evident in our 2023 list of chartered universities.
What transpired during the IUEA charter celebrations?
IUEA spared no expense in organising a captivating display of institutional pride. As the culmination of the institution’s various awards and accomplishments, the charter celebrations consisted of heartfelt speeches, energetic dances, mingling, cake cutting and climaxed with an eye-popping fireworks display.
Prior to charter celebrations’ commencement, arriving guests were greeted and registered by event staff after which they were provided with event materials. They were also welcomed to drinks and light refreshments as they waited.
The charter celebrations event was initiated with opening remarks by the emcee as he welcomed guests and set the tone for the charter celebrations. Then in accordance with protocol, he acknowledged special guests, dignitaries, and attendees.
The charter celebrations’ attendees were awed by a well crafted visual presentation of the university’s journey. There was a multimedia presentation showcasing the university’s growth and achievements while also highlighting the milestones leading to achieving chartered status.
The Chairman of the University Council expressed his gratitude. The Chairman of University Council, Ambassador Moses Sebunya delivered an inspiring speech on the significance of achieving chartered status and acknowledged the efforts of faculty, staff, students, and supporters.
One of the guest speakers at the charter celebrations was the Assistant Commissioner, George Mutekanga in charge of private schools and institutions at the ministry. Once he was introduced, he made a brief speech on the significance of chartered institutions and the role of private universities in education.
The Vice Chancellor was then introduced as the keynote speaker for the charter celebrations. Ever the academic, his very insightful keynote speech was on the importance of education and academic excellence.
After the speeches, guests were at liberty to mingle and snack. Guests mingled, networked, and enjoyed a variety of hors d’oeuvres and beverages. They took this opportunity to connect and engage with university representatives
The audience was then entranced by exuberant celebratory dances. The host called on students and staff members to express their gratitude once again, but this time through dance. Supported by the bombastic music pulsating through the speakers and the cheers of an excited audience, dancers wowed with fun, creative and energetic dance strokes.
The event climaxed with a grand and splendiferous fireworks display. As the charter celebrations came to a close, IUEA illuminated the night sky with a 4 minute colourful fireworks display that was accompanied by the joyful cry of a delighted audience.
It was all hands on deck for the cake cutting ceremony. Last of all was the cake cutting ceremony that had various staff members from different departments joining in to cut the beautifully designed cake.
From where did the concept of charter schools originate?
The concept of charter schools dates back to the 1980s as the 1983 US publication, “A nation at risk” incited the need for reform in various sectors. In order to ensure quality for all students and afford educators more options, the Citizens League Committee contrived the charter school concept as recalled by Ted Kolderie in 2008. A charter is touted as the evidence that public schools are not the only option for a high quality educational experience as explained in a 2003 Education Policy article. Over the subsequent decades, this concept was adopted globally and modified to fit the needs of the nation.
Why is it important to choose a charter University?
The chartered certification enables students, parents and educators to trust the curriculum and guidelines of an academic institution. The profit incentive often renders students and guardians apprehensive of trusting private business. Through the charter certification, a government guarantees that the educational services rendered by a select group of academic institutions are officially recognised and therefore trust-worthy. The gravity of this trust is compounded further by the fact that an individual’s diploma, certificate or degree is meant to be an award that lasts a life-time and the foundation on which they can build a career or pursue further studies therefore making it immensely vital to study at a chartered institution.
How does this improve the education landscape?
This milestone is a cause for celebration not only for IUEA but for all of academia. A few of the various reasons to celebrate this achievement include:
- Makes IUEA more competitive, thus prompting other chartered institutions to strive even higher
- Affords consumers a greater selection of institutions, allowing them to opt for their preferred method and location of study
- By working with the NCHE, IUEA can propose modifications to the curriculum, elevating the standards and enriching the educational landscape
- Reassures past and present IUEA students and staff of the institution’s credibility
- Reaffirms Uganda as an ideal destination for a quality education experience
- Lends greater credence to IUEA’s reports, innovations and partnerships