A total of 8,173 students are graduating in the 15th Graduation ceremony at Kyambogo University in Kampala, the highest number of graduates the institution has churned out in a single year, according to Prof Elly Katunguka, the Vice Chancellor.
Out of the 8,173, majority are males (4,446) while the females total to 3,757. The university registered 240 First Class Degrees this year.
Graduates will be conferred upon Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates in a range of academic disciplines in the course of three days. For the second year running, all graduating students will receive their transcripts and certificates immediately after graduation.
While addressing the graduation ceremony at the university main campus in Banda on Thursday, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Katunguka appealed to the graduates to further their education and rise above the crowd.
“As you do that, make sure you contribute to building your country wherever you may be. Above all, try to keep alive amidst the challenges of today – alcohol, drug addiction and diseases like HIV,” Prof Katunguka said.
“Your parents have invested a lot in bringing you to this level. So, don’t cut your life short either deliberately or through reckless lifestyles”.
He urged them to set goals and to continue dreaming bigger.
The best performing student in the Arts scored a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.86 while the best in Sciences scored 4.97. Ainomugisha Adrine emerged the best overall female student with a CGPA of 4.84.
The Vice Chancellor said that with a student population of 33,200, Kyambogo University continues to grow, which he said demonstrates growing confidence and realization that the university is recovering to reclaim its position among the league of universities.
Vice President, Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi who presided over the ceremony as chief guest lauded the Vice Chancellor and Management for stabilizing Kyambogo University after years of perennial strikes. This, he said, has created a conducive environment for students to concentrate on their studies.
“Government is committed to improving remuneration of Professors and other staff to match the other salaries for workers in the civil service and other government parastatals,” the Vice President said in his speech.
He urged Kyambogo University to lead the way in building the capacity of young people to improve their self-sustainability, in the face of the high rates of unemployment.
To the graduates, the VP said; “You should continuously reinvent yourself to keep relevant and contribute to the transformation of society” further urging them to be patriotic, disciplined and foster peaceful coexistence.
Prof Katunguka pointed out a number of highlights that have characterized the university’s academic year, among them the development of physical infrastructure.
Some of the new infrastructure established at the institution with support of government include; the Central Lecture Facility, Technical Teacher Education Complex, Virtual Library, Multipurpose Science Complex, Engineering Laboratories and Workshops Complex.
Phase One of the Central Lecture Block is being completed and will house an estimated 4,000 students. The entire project will cost Shs 15.8bn.
He also said that new academic programs have been introduced. These include Master of Science in Human Nutrition, Masters in Special Needs Education, Masters of Engineering and Construction Technology, Masters of Engineering (in Manufacturing Systems, Structural Engineering and Water, and Sanitation Engineering), Masters of Science in Chemistry as well as PhD in Sports Science.
On the research front, Prof Katunguka revealed that the university has come up with a Research and Innovation Policy as well as built capacity of staff in conducting research. A total of 16 staff have been elevated to Associate Professors on the basis of their publications and academic work.
Out of 386 members of academic staff, 136 have attained PhDs.