Kampala; Kampala International University (KIU) has reached major milestones despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the eventual lockdown.
The announcement was made by the KIU Vice Chancellor, Dr. Mouhamad Mpezamihigo, during the KIU’s 22nd graduation ceremony on 22nd August 2020, organized virtually for the first time ever.
On 20th March, the university complied with the guidelines by the ministry of Health, and the government’s closure of schools and higher institutions of learning, and closed down.
“However, KIU was able to upscale the functionality of the learning management, retooling academic and management staff for online delivery, and also giving a new mapping to our research and innovations schemes,” said Mpezamihigo.
He added that despite the disparities faced by some including lack of access to internet, smart gadges, and data to access online facilities and services, the percentage of uptake by students and staff increased from below 30% to well over 70%.
“As we speak, the percentage has even increased and we are now facing serious demand from out students and staff to upgrade our infrastructure in order for us to be able to deliver even better services,” said the Vice Chancellor.
KIU has worked with partners from the Netherlands to establish the VODAN Africa Foundation which intends to verify data, making it more findable, accessible, and reusable.
“This is a new scheme in which technology is used to access data. Our systems at KIU will be able to visit health data in health facilities around the continent, and also be able to access and trace the pattern of the spread of diseases, including the Coronavirus,” said Mpezamihigo, who also doubles as the President and Chair, VODAN Africa Foundation.
The university, in conjunction with Tilberg University, Netherlands also secured a grant worth two million euros from NUFIK, a governmental organization in the Netherlands.
According to the Vice Chancellor, the grant will be used to develop capacities in online learning programs that will empower communities in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Somalia, in a bid to contribute to the wellness of people in the Horn of Africa.
A recent webometrics ranking of world universities also revealed that KIU, despite the period of the pandemic, has maintained its position ranking as the top private university in Uganda and East Africa. The rankings revealed that KIU came in third, after Makerere University, and Mbarara University of Science and Technology.
The Vice Chancellor also added that KIU has embarked on more than 23 COVID-19 related researches. He said that the university’s senior professors and researchers have been fully engaged in participating in the finding a vaccine and understanding the effects of the Coronavirus.
“We hope that the outcome of these researches will contribute positively to the effects of not only the government of Uganda, but also globally,” said Mpezamihigo.
Mpezamihigo called upon all in attendance at the graduation, to comply with the standard operating procedures to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19.