VC’s Speech at the launch of the FAR Center

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VC Prof. Maud Kamatenesi Mugisha at the FAR Center Launch - Speech

SALUTATIONS

The Guest of Honour, Honorary Consulate of Canada to Uganda, Mrs. Pamela Kertland Wright

The University Chancellor, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Fred Sheldon Mwesigwa,

The President & Vice-Chancellor of Trinity Western University, Prof. Mark Husbands

The Vice President, Innovations Global & Academic Partnerships, Prof. Phil Liard

The Director of International Engagement (Africa) MA Leadership, Trinity Western University Global, Prof. George Imbenzi

Distinguished Partners from Nigeria and India

The Executive Director of the National Council for Higher Education, Prof. Mary Okwakol

Emeritus Bishops, Former Chancellors & Board of Trustees,

The Chairman, University Council Prof. Kenneth Kagame, and Council Members,

Distinguished Invited Guests,

The entire BSU Staff and Students,

Our Esteemed Partners in your various Capacities,

Ladies and gentlemen. 

A. WELCOME REMARKS

Praise the Almighty God! On behalf of Bishop Stuart University (BSU) Board of Trustees, University Council, Management and on my own behalf, I take this opportunity to warmly welcome you all to the launch of the Facilitated Academic Resource Centre (FAR Centre); a collaboration between Bishop Stuart University & Trinity Western University, Canada.

It is my great honour to host this event as we mark this partnership with Trinity Western University, Canada. We are grateful to our Chancellor and Bishop of Ankole Diocese; The Rt. Rev. Dr. Fred Sheldon Mwesigwa, for initiating this partnership following his visit to Canada in 2019. We also appreciate Trinity Western University for accepting to partner with us by signing the Memorandum of Understanding that started off this relationship. We thank God that our dream has finally materialised.

We also appreciate TWU for the magnanimous support through a donation of 15000 USD that helped us to quickly adopt to ODeL in preparation for this programme, especially amidst the Covid -19 pandemic crisis. To date, all our academic programmes are accredited by National Council for Higher Education (NCHE).

This collaboration is a great achievement with many anticipated expectations like;

Enabling competency-based Education; Tough times due to the Covid-19 pandemic have forced academic institutions to design and develop programmes that are tailored to the demands of the 21st century, 2021, and the 4IR if they are to remain afloat.

The current situation characterised closure of institutions because by Covid-19 pandemic has prompted online teaching and learning and institutions that will not adopt to the “New Normal” will certainly be left behind.

This partnership comes in at a time when it is most needed. This partnership presents an opportunity for high-tech learning facilities that meet the demands of the time to benefit both the institutions and the students.

Exposure and networking and job opportunities; for our graduates to get equipped with competitive skills to enforce competency-based education. Notably, our students will be expected to go to Canada after one year of study at BSU where they may even get employed.

Adoption of Open Distance and e-Learning (ODeL); BSU has wholesomely embraced the guidelines from NCHE and developed an e-learning system that was approved by the Governing Council and the entire BSU. BSU established an Online teaching and learning system; the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to enable the continuation of learning and teaching amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. All our programs are accredited by NCHE to run under ODeL.

BSU is among the few Universities in Uganda that were approved by National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) to conduct online classes through Open Distance and e-Learning (ODeL).

The partnership will start with two programmes already approved by National Council for Higher Education (NCHE); Master of Arts in Leadership and Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. 

To date, 10 applicants have already expressed interest and many more are expected to apply and will start studies in the new academic year that begins after the opening of the Institutions of Learning.

Our Guest of Honour and invited guests, what we are witnessing today are the fruits of numerous contributions and sacrifices since 2019 when this idea was conceptualized by the Chancellor of Bishop University and Prof. Phil Liard, and Prof. George Imbezi as the coordinator.

Covid-19 has also brought up new opportunities that we can copy from and manage public affairs as we move forward. We cannot go back to where we were. BSU Governing Council approved the online policy and so our teaching materials are now in VLE. We are ready to teach students all over the world now at BSU.

We are grateful, especially to our partners that you have chosen to spare time to attend this very important event.

B. APPRECIATION

i) Our special thanks go to our Guest of Honour; Honorary Consulate of Canada to Uganda, Mrs. Pamela Kertland Wright for honouring our request and invitation for this grand event and all our esteemed Invited Guests.

ii) The President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, for Chartering BSU and continuously supporting us.

iii) The Ministry of Education and Sports.

iv) The National Council for Higher Education for accrediting our programmes and providing the technical support to enable our partnership with TWU and for providing us with the guidance, supervision, timely accreditation of our Academic programmes, and approval of emergency ODeL that enabled us to remain operational amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

v) The University Board of Trustees (BOT), our Chancellor, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Fred Sheldon Mwesigwa, University Council,

vi) The University Council Chaired by Prof. Kenneth Kagame and members for support and guidance to Management.

vii) Lastly, we sincerely appreciate the organising committee for this launch and all of you present at this function.

C. CONCLUSION: The development and transformation in the Nations require skilled global Leaders/operators that can stand a test of time for which am sure this collaboration will bring forth.

Once again, I thank you all for honouring our invitation and witnessing this event.

Our theme for 2021 is our Core value no. 5 Relentless service to Society and is backed by the scripture; Colossians 3:23-25 “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord, not for men… God doesn’t show favouritism” The Lord Jesus Christ pays well all who work in his vineyard and you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Jesus Christ you are serving.

Our God Reigns!

Prof. Maud Kamatenesi Mugisha (Ph.D.)

Vice-Chancellor