President Museveni on Wednesday presided over the launch of St Joseph Catholic University Mbarara, and installation of pioneer chancellor; the Most Rev. Paul K Bakyenga.
Founded by Mbarara Catholic Archdiocese, located on Nyamitanga Hill, the University was licensed in 2017 and admitted 218 pioneer students in 2018.
This is the third Catholic Church-founded university after Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi and University of Kisubi
Speaking at the launch of the university, the president hailed the private sector for supporting government effort in providing higher education services.
‘’We need private sector’s input in most areas like; education and health. I am grateful that the church is supporting our efforts in education. As government, we shall ensure quality control.’’
He added: When we came into government, we said the government will do its work but the private sector is also welcome. We said the government is doing what it can, the rest come and help; what government does is quality control. In that we have been able to get the knowledge to so many Ugandans.
Mr. Museveni also hailed the archdiocese for establishing the institution on the foundation of patriotism. “It’s a university with the orientation of patriotism for Uganda that you must not be a corrupt person and you should have the attitude of serving people. I am glad you are adding value here,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Dr Deus Karemire, said the university will be built on the foundation of agriculture. Next academic year, they will start the Bachelor of Agriculture Extension and Management programme. “We believe this programme will contribute to agriculture extension service and wealth creation in community,” he said.
USJM will endeavour to be different from other universities in Uganda by stressing training in and protection of ethics, integrity and African values, and by graduating students who are job creators rather than job seekers.
The Head of State contributed Ugx.200 million towards the construction of a science block at University.
The university has signed memoranda of understanding with a number of organisations and institutions, including the African Volunteers Association which runs the African School of Open Education (ASOE), Kyera Farm Institute, and St. Francis Family Helper Programme.
The University is the third in the municipality after Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) and Bishop Stuart University (BSU).