This year, the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE), reached a significant milestone – its 20th anniversary. As the body tasked with overseeing universities and other tertiary institutions, its anniversary celebration was a historic moment for the national higher education landscape. By happenstance, or perhaps fate, this is also the year in which the International University of East Africa (IUEA) acquired a charter. With the President of the Republic of Uganda in attendance, it was terrific that IUEA managed to distinguish itself among Uganda’s most innovative universities. Let’s take a journey to understand how IUEA elevated the anniversary celebrations as well as peek into the future of higher education.

Mr. Arthur Babu Muguzi, NCHE Director of Finance, Planning and Administration acting as the Master of Ceremony at the event.

…an exhibition by universities and other tertiary institutions and the criteria was for those that have shown excellence in innovation.

– Said Mr. Arthur Babu Muguzi, NCHE Director of Finance, Planning and Administration and the Master of Ceremony at the event. 

Why was IUEA invited to the highly exclusive NCHE 20th anniversary grand celebration?

The celebration featured exhibitions from some of Uganda’s most innovative universities,  and IUEA was among the most distinguished. The selection criteria were based on excellence in innovation, and IUEA had a remarkable track record in this regard. This invitation underscores the high regard with which the NCHE holds IUEA, which set the stage for a remarkable celebration. Other notable institutions in attendance included:

  • ISBAT University.
  • Makerere University.
  • Uganda Christian University. 
  • Clarke University. 
The President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, was fascinated by IUEA’s electric bike.

We have IUEA that has made a motorcycle that does not use fuel or petrol.

– Said Mr. Arthur Babu Muguzi, NCHE Director of Finance, Planning and Administration and the Master of Ceremony at the event.

How did IUEA manage to stand out against Uganda’s most innovative institutions?

The Master of Ceremonies could not help but spotlight the outstanding IUEA stall. Even before the event officially began, the security team was enchanted by IUEA’s innovations, which are highly relevant to Uganda’s socio-economic landscape. The game-changing IUEA innovations that stood out at the event can be seen below.

Prof. Mary J. N. Okwakol, Executive Director of the NCHE recounting the organisation’s triumphs over the past 20 years.

How does the NCHE plan to improve its effectiveness in transforming the national higher education landscape?

The NCHE used this momentous occasion to outline its vision for the future of higher education in Uganda. It acknowledged its achievements over the past two decades and addressed ongoing challenges. The strategies to improve its effectiveness included:

  • Increasing the integration of IT to simplify and expedite processes.
  • Putting even more emphasis on STEM programmes.
  • Reviewing the instruments and regulations to further strengthen quality assurance. 
  • Developing the NCHE infrastructure to foster in house training programmes.
  • Work to amend the universities and other tertiary institutions act to better reflect the current state of higher education in Uganda. 
Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni, The Minister of Education acknowledging the contributions of distinguished former high ranking NCHE officials with a commemorative photo.

Our excellence should not be evident in the number of universities alone but in the quality of graduates.

– Said Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni, The Minister of Education and The First Lady.

According to the Minister of Education, how should we assess the efficacy of higher education?

The Minister of Education, First Lady. Janet Kataaha Museveni, emphasised that the quality of graduates should be the true measure of success. While the number of chartered universities in Uganda has grown significantly, the focus should remain on producing highly qualified graduates who can effectively contribute to Uganda’s development plan and global problem-solving. IUEA’s partnership with NEMA further underlines this commitment.

H.E. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of Uganda speaking at the NCHE 20 year grand celebration.

According to the President of Uganda, what is the primary role of higher education?

His Excellency General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of Uganda, shared his vision for higher education. He stressed that higher learning institutions must enable scholars to:

  • Understand nature / natural laws (science) in order to help solve problems and, in some cases, create new challenges.
  • Understand society and facilitate the evolution of man.

The 20th anniversary of the NCHE is a remarkable milestone in Uganda’s higher education landscape, and IUEA was proud to be part of this celebration. The event highlighted the dedication and innovation of IUEA in contributing to Uganda’s progress. It also underlined the commitment of the NCHE and the government to provide quality education and create a workforce ready to tackle both national and global challenges. The partnership between IUEA and NCHE represents a beacon of hope for higher education in Uganda and Africa as a whole, emphasising the importance of innovation, quality, and a humanitarian commitment to progress.

The President of Uganda and Minister of Education acknowledging institutions that made significant strides in advancing higher education.


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