The Virtual University of Uganda was officially launched on the evening of Friday 9 December 2011 by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Professor Dr Michel Lejeune. The ceremony in Muyenga was presided over by the Minister of State for Higher Education, Honourable John Chrysostom Muyingo who commended the university authorities for having taken this step into the world of online learning.
At the same ceremony, the first Chancellor of the university was officially installed. Lady Justice Anglin Flavia Ssenoga, currently High Court Judge at Jinja, expressed her gratitude to the Board of Trustees for having shown their confidence in her. She pledged to undertake her duties as Chancellor diligently and professionally.
Professor Dr Deirdre Carabine (formerly of Uganda Martyrs University), was then installed by Justice Anglin Flavia as the first Vice-Chancellor of the university. Professor Carabine thanked the National Council for Higher Education for having been far-sighted in granting its first Licence to a virtual university in September of this year.
She also noted that the provision of online education necessitates a change in our way of thinking about a university because the classrooms, lecturer’s offices, and the library are no longer physical but are located in “The Cloud”. The Virtual University, she added, is the first university in the region to use cloud computing to deliver educational materials and to keep in constant contact with its students.
The university will start its first postgraduate programmes in Public Health and International Development on 2 January 2012. The lecturers for the courses have been sourced locally, regionally, and internationally, and Professor Carabine noted that it was gratifying to receive so many applications for a limited number of positions.
The Chairman of the University Council, Professor Dr Patrick Mangheni said the university hopes that by providing quality education online, they will be able to make a significant difference to the higher education sector in Uganda today. He also remarked that if the university succeeds in this very exciting and challenging endeavour, it will be because of its commitment to quality assurance and professionalism in teaching, learning, and research.
The guests at the ceremony included, among others, Professor Frederick Kayanja, Chairman of the National Council for Higher Education and Vice-Chancellor of Mbarara University of Science and Technology together with the DVC of MUST, Professor Pamela Mbabazi, The Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University Professor Venansius Baryamereeba, the Belgian Ambassador His Excellency Mr Marc Gedopt, Professor Charles Olweny, Vice-Chancellor of Uganda Martyrs University, Ambassador Acato and Mr Birungi of the NCHE, members of the university’s Board of Trustees and Governing Council, and friends and well-wishers.