This is an exciting development for VUU. We are now offering short, intensive courses in Oil, Gas, and Energy Management for individuals and corporate clients. Our course menu reflects the latest theories and practices in the oil and gas sectors and the courses are available online or face-to-face in Africa or Europe. Visit our Corporate Academy to find out more.
Our next intake is 15 May for all programmes except Public Health. After that, we have another intake in August 2017. Please apply HERE.
Our free course Project Management also opens 15 May. There is a small administration fee applicable, otherwise it is free and fully online. You can apply through our Corporate Academy.
We welcome you to join our international academic community.
2016 was, overall, a good year for Virtual University of Uganda. Our student numbers are creeping slowly up, and we are confident we will be able to reach our targets this year and be sustainable for the future thereafter. Not only are our student numbers rising, we are also adding to our administrative staff.
Mrs Maria Renee Rada joined us as Programme Leader in ICT4D and as IT Consultant. Her contributions to our young university are most appreciated.
One significant event occurred towards the end of the year: on 9 December, VUU turned 5.This is still a small figure but it is a sign that we are moving on and gaining strength and acclaim. Our international body of teaching staff continues to provide us with premier services from England, Holland, Belgium, Ireland, Scotland, Tanzania, Bolivia, Malaysia, and, of course, Uganda.
We are currently working on new programmes in the management area (human resource and organizational behaviour) and are hoping to recruit students for these programmes for the August intake. We continue adding courses to our Corporate Academy, this year Spanish and Excel (and we continue to offer Moodle training and courses for librarians).
Our Vice Chancellor Prof. Lejeune was busy this year with his work as Chairman of the Board of Directors of RENU (Research and Education Network) and as Chair of the Uganda Vice Chancellors’ Forum. Both organizations are happy to gain from his many years of experience in higher education in Africa.
Professor Carabine was in demand on the conference circuit this year. In May she spoke at Education Innovation Africa in Nairobi; in December she gave the keynote address at the UbuntuNet Alliance conference in Kampala, and she participated in a panel discussion at the Times Higher Education Summit on BRICS and Emerging Economies in Johannesburg, also in December.
Our coverage in the Times Higher Education sparked a number of engagements ), not least of which was a podcast for The Academic Citizen on virtual learning in Uganda which came out in October. And an article about the first five years of VUU will appear in an upcoming issue of World University News.
On the social front, we enjoyed our Drop-in Day in May, and many students and well-wishers came to chat and exchange experiences.
Our second graduation, presided over by Chancellor Lady Justice Flavia Senoga Anglin, was held in July where our first honorary award (M.Phil) was given to Mr Ahmed Ibrahim Ahmed Bholim for services to accountancy in East Africa.
It has been a busy year indeed and we look forward to an even more exciting 2017. With new programmes and new staff, we hope to forge even deeper alliances with sister universities across the globe. Wish us well as we pioneer online learning in Sub-Saharan Africa!
Although Virtual University of Uganda will not be attending this year’s eLearning Africa Conference, we are making sure to keep up with all the latest news and innovations on the elearning scene. We know we are at the cutting edge of online teaching and learning on the continent, and we are proud to be spear-heading this development. We have just completed our Strategic Plan for the next 5 years and are pleased to announce that we will be adding two new specializations to the Executive MBA programme: Tourism and Hospitality Management and Health Services Management. These are in addition to our already-existing Oil and Gas specialization. Indeed we have come a long way from chalk and talk to click and learn!
You can keep up with all the recent news at: http://ela-newsportal.com/
Our first drop in day last month was a great success. We were especially pleased to welcome those students and staff who flew in from neighbouring countries. We had a very fruitful time together and hope to make it a bi-annual event.
Our next big event is graduation which takes place on Saturday 18 July 2015. Our Chancellor, Lady Justice Anglin Flavia Senoga will award certificates and confer degrees on our pioneer students.
Our next intake starts on 10 August. There is still time to apply online at: www.virtualuni.ac.ug. We are ready to welcome you to the revolution in higher education!
Virtual University of Uganda
Postgraduate Certificate Course: Project Management for Development
18 May – 20 June 2015
Uganda’s first open online course!
“Project management is the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project objectives. A project is a unique, transient endeavour, undertaken to achieve planned objectives, which could be defined in terms of outputs, outcomes or benefits.” (https://www.apm.org.uk/WhatIsPM)
This open online course is a short, intensive course offered at postgraduate level for a maximum number of 50 participants. You will be required to pay only a booking fee of UGX 100,000 (Ugandans and EAC members) or US$50 for others. Successful completion of the course will guarantee a Course Certificate which will be presented at the VUU 2015 graduation on 18 July.
If you are interested in learning more about project management (in the context of development) to become more productive in your current professional role, or you simply want to add project management to your existing skills set, then this is an excellent course for you. You do not have to attend class or travel to the university: you study the whole course online when you are able to log in to the teaching platform. The course is also intended to be a gentle introduction to online study for those who have no experience in online learning.
According to PMI, “projects can be simple or complex. While simple ones can be managed with a little bit of planning and a healthy dose of common sense, complex projects need a more formal approach.” In this course you will learn all the key elements of good project planning such as estimating, planning, and scheduling. You will also learn how to anticipate potential problems (risks) and ways to mitigate these. You will learn key management skills and monitoring and evaluation techniques to ensure that the projects you are involved in are successful.
Please ignore the last line of the application form. Contact email@example.com to find out how to pay the booking fee.
VUU – leading the way in online education
visit our website at: http://www.virtualuni.ac.ug
VUU and MUST are pleased to announce the new programme: Ict4D
PG Diploma and MSc Icts for Development (ICT4D)
ICT (information and communications technology – or technologies) is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application,
encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network
hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the
various services and applications associated with them, such as
videoconferencing and distance learning.1
It is a well-known fact that KNOWLEDGE = power, health, and, oftentimes, wealth. In this age of super-fast global communication and the vast resources available on the world-wide-web, ICTs are changing the way we do business, learn, and communicate, and there are few excuses for those in “developed” countries not to equip themselves with empowering knowledge. And while information itself is important, we must know where to get it, how to get it, and what to do with it.
While it is true that the majority of the world’s peoples are cut off from access to knowledge and information – and there are many reasons for this North-South divide – recent years have seen a huge increase in the number of people in the “developing” world becoming connected and accessing knowledge. As of May 2014, Uganda’s population was recorded in excess of 36.3 million of which around 20% had internet access.2 While this represents only a small percentage of the country’s population and is small in relation to the more than 2 billion internet users worldwide, nevertheless it is a laudable statistic that is slowly being reflected in changing ideas and raising expectations. Interestingly, more than 50% of the population possesses a mobile phone!
Until relatively recently, ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) were generally seen as specialized and often mysterious. For example, in the not-so-distant past, the computers in an organization were controlled by an ICT Manager or Systems Administrator who had absolute power in terms of how and access. With more and more people owning and setting up a laptop without the need for a Systems Administrator, the introduction of more friendly user interfaces, social networking, and cloud computing, much of the mystery has been taken out of ICTs for the average computer user.
Information and Communication Technologies are used either directly by the target groups (the population) or indirectly to assist organizations such as NGOs to improve socio-economic conditions in developing countries. For organizations such as NGOs, ICTs provide a useful tool for sustainable development and an absolute need in emergency situations. However, there is a lack of capacity in developing countries to develop, maintain, and utilize the ICT resources. This has been noted as a significant cause for failure of ICT projects.
But ICTs comprise much more than computers and how to use them. At the individual level, mobile phones, tablets, digital radios… are knowledge access points, while mobile money eases financial transactions. At the national level, the use of ICTs includes mHealth systems, eTaxation systems, eBanking, eGovernance …
As organizations such as: infoDev and ICT4Dev demonstrate, ICTs have many roles to play in almost every area of life: democracy, banking, retailing, education, marketing, gender, business, public health, human rights, environment, governance, agriculture, the media, health …. Innovative solutions to some development problems are emerging at a very fast rate, for example, the introduction of the mobile money networks made the fast transfer of cash relatively simple, while at the same time saving travel money and eliminating the need for difficult paperwork in a bank. The text services for rural farmers (while still suffering from a number of drawbacks) ideally makes it easier for farmers to stay up-to-date with current market prices, and the same service used in health service provision in rural areas has certainly seen an increase in those accessing health care (mHealth). However, many ICT4Dev projects fail because of poor management or collapse once donor funding has been withdrawn. A gap in this area is clearly seen.
In order for the Virtual University of Uganda to remain relevant to the practical development needs of the country (and indeed the region), and as a university offering online education, it is logical that one of our programmes is ICT related. When we set up the programme (which is accredited by the National Council for Higher Education – 17 July 2012) we received many suggestions from prospective students to offer traditional ICT courses; however, we believe that other universities have sufficient coverage of that area.We thought it was time to offer a specific tailor-made postgraduate programme in ICT4Dev. Our programme, offers not only courses on programming, computer languages, hardware and software, we also concentrate on the latest interventions and innovations that impact significantly on development encouraging our students to think outside the traditional ICT box while embedding ICTs in the whole area of development theory and praxis.
We are the only university on Sub-Saharan Africa offering the programme (with the exception of South Africa).3 This means that we are at the cutting edge of academic developments in the field.
Aims and Objectives
It is precisely because many innovative ICT4Dev projects fail outright, are not sustainable nor contextualized, that the region needs experts who have both the knowledge and the skills necessary to implement and manage ICT4Dev projects successfully. The programme will, therefore, aim to train innovators with “technical competencies” and “contextual competencies” to fulfill this function.
On completion of the programme, students will:
understand the contextual frameworks of development in all aspects
understand how ICTs impact on development
be enabled to link development theory with ICT practice
have the knowledge to engage critically with the role of ICTs in development
be familiar with the key debates in ICT4dev
have a thorough understanding of the basic concepts of ICT
have thorough insight in the technical skills of GIS, visual representation,
have a thorough insight in the application of ICT in one of the following sectors: education, health, finance
possess the competences to enable them to handle practical aspects of ICT4D projects such as sound project management, stakeholder
have the skills to keep themselves up-to-date in the field of ICT
have the skills to adapt new upcoming ICT technologies to local conditions.
PGDID 101: World development today 3 CU**
PGDICT 101: Introduction to ICT4D 3 CU
PGDID 103: Development projects: planning and management 3 CU
PGDICT 102: Hardware and networking for development 3 CU
PGDICT 103: Software and databases for development 3 CU
PGDICT 104: New internet based paradigms – moving to the cloud 3 CU
PGDICT 105: Information systems design and implementation 3 CU
PGDICT 106: ICT policy and regulation 3 CU
PGDVUU 102: Ethics and integrity in technology 3 CU
PGDVUU 101: Research Methodology 3 CU
Total Credit Units: Postgraduate Diploma: 33 CU
* These courses may also be taken as stand-alone certificate courses as part of Continuous Professional Development.
** Lecturing hours, practical hours and others are not included in this structure because these are not applicable to online courses. However, it is expected that students spend at least 8 hours per week on the learning platform; this includes 1 Live Classroom (1 hour per week) and 2 Chat sessions (2 hours per week).
Continuation to Master’s Dissertation
On successful completion of the eleven courses leading to a PG Diploma, having gained a CGPA of at least 3.0 in the taught courses, candidates may be qualified to register as Master’s candidates and proceed to work on the dissertation which will be supervised by a regional / international expert in the field of study chosen.
MSCPH 201 Dissertation (MSc) 7 CU
Total Credit Units Master of Science: 40 CU
The programme takes two calendar years to complete the PDG in Information and Communications Technology for Development. The dissertation takes a further six months to complete.
Dr Arjan de Jager, BSc, MSc, Ph.D, Information Manager at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and previously Senior advisor at The Center of Expertise, Programme & Country Manager Uganda at IICD, and Lecturer / Coordinator at Hogeschool van Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Professor Dr Deirdre Carabine, BA, MA, PhD (QUB), PhD (NUI), Director of Programmes, VUU
Mrs Victoria Lindo Ndagire, BA, MA (MUK), University Secretary, VUU
1 http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/ICT-information-and-communications-technology-or-technologies; accessed 15 January 2015.
2 State of Internet Freedoms in Uganda 2014, accessed at: http://opennetafrica.org/wpcontent/uploads/researchandpubs/State%20of%20Internet%20Freedoms%20in%20Uganda%202014.pdf; accessed 15 January 2015.
3 http://www.cs.uct.ac.za/about-us/newsletters/fd.pdf; accessed 15 January 2015.
4 In order to remain relevant, all courses are revised after being on the learning platform for two calendar years.
Teaching online may well be the future for most academics worldwide. However, transitioning to an online or mixed-mode way of teaching and learning can be difficult: old mind-sets are hard to change. We are all used to the 1 teacher – 100 students (or more) scenario, teaching (or dictating) for 1 timetable hour in 1 classroom with a black (or white) board and, perhaps, a projector for the ubiquitous powerpoint presentation!
But times are fast changing. While it is difficult for many institutions to bring elearning on board — staff and student resistance and fear, inadequate resources, lack of IT skills, poor support from management …. we at VUU believe that the time is now to take the plunge. We have launched three postgraduate programmes entirely online, and while it has not all been plain sailing, it has worked! Our students are full elearning students.
Having been there and done that, so to speak, we at VUU now want to share our knowledge and experiences. To this end, we are organizing a series of training programmes for third-level institutions and their staff. The first of these is on eTutoring. Should you wish to take this course (or you know someone who might be interested), please visit our Academic Website for more details and access to the online Application Form.
Virtual University of Uganda offers Strategic Capacity Building Programmes in eLearning tailored to meets the needs of Uganda’s Universities
Moodle Management for Senior University Administrators **
In order for university departments to to deliver online programmes successfully, in-house managers are a central and crucial part of the operation. This capacity-building programme targets senior university administrators (already computer literate) who would be responsible for the continuous content delivery for online courses. Administrators learn the technicalities of advanced content provision online, including setting up examinations, quizzes, forums, and wikis), and how to work closely with the academic staff tutoring the courses and / or providing content so that the student learning experience is smooth and trouble-free. Administrators are trained to present learning materials in a creative, learner-friendly way, and how to provide online student support. Managers will also learn how to set up Course Libraries using open access materials.
Moodle managers trained by VUU attend a week-long session at VUU (10:00–16:00), and continue the training online for a further two weeks. Successful completion of all parts of the course results in a certificate in “Moodle Administration”. The programme is limited to 12 people per training session.
Online Teaching using Moodle for University Lecturers **
The pedaqgogy used in a classroom is quite different from the pedagogy used in an online learning environment. This programme will offer interested lecturers a unique opportunity to hone their teaching skills in an online environment. Tutors will learn how to tailor their existing courses for an online platform, how to manage the learning environment as an “editing” or “non-editing” lecturer, how to participate in wikis and discussion forums, how the set, mark, and comment on assignments and examinations, and how to set up chat sessions with their students. Special online demonstration classes will test the tutor’s knowledge of the system.
Moodle Tutors trained by VUU attend a week-long session at VUU (10:00–16:00), and continue the training online for a further two weeks. Successful completion of all parts of the course results in a certificate in “Moodle Teaching at University Level”. The programme is limited to 12 people per training session.
Cloud-Based Management Systems for University Administrators **
Using simple, affordable, cloud-based apps (both paid and freely available) can transform a faculty or department into a streamlined, paperless environment where communication is almost immediate and information shared seamlessly. Cloud-based university management systems mean that minutes of staff meetings, boards, and senates, notices, timetables, and other information can be uploaded as PDFs to a specially-customised (and easily-managed) website where access is instantaneous. Wikis can also be set up as Departmental Notice Boards hosting a broad range of information from the Faculty / Department s to Dissertation Title and Supervision lists. Different levels of security and access can be set up to ensure confidentiality. Automatic emails can alert users to new uploads.
Cloud Computing Administrators trained by VUU attend a week-long session at VUU (10:00–16:00), and continue the training online for a further one week. Successful completion of all parts of the course results in a certificate in “Cloud-Based Management”. The programme is limited to 14 people per training session.
Using Social Media for University Public Relations **
This specially tailored training programme targets university PROs and Official Spokespersons responsible for the dissemination of official information for their institution. Participants learn how to set up, customize, and manage official Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts, Google+ accounts, and blogs. PROs will learn how to maximize their online presence using inexpensive target ads on Facebook and Google Ads.
PROs trained by VUU attend a week-long session at VUU (10:00–16:00), and continue the training online for a further one week. Successful completion of all parts of the course results in a certificate in “Social Media Management”. The programme is limited to 12 people per training session.
Managing a Moodle Server **
IT managers and senior technicians learn how to set up and customise their own Moodle server. This training is organised by VUU so that the best of Uganda’s IT experts share their Moodle knowledge. This capacity-building programme runs for four Saturdays at VUU and is limited to 14 participants. Follow-up support and trouble shooting are available on request.
Complete Package Training and Support: Transitioning from Paper-Based Delivery to Online Learning using Moodle **
VUU offers strategic, hands-on support to enable university departments make the transition from paper-based learning to online learning. There are two available options: fully online, multimedia-based in real time (synchronous) OR mixed modality as in a USB stick containing the full course materials presented as a leaning website (asynchronous).
In terms of synchronous learning, we upload your materials to your Moodle server and train your administrator to maintain and update the materials. We also train the lecturers who will be tutoring online. After training support and minor trouble-shooting can also be arranged where necessary. In terms of an asynchronous learning system, we build a complete learning system using the static Moodle system: Poodle. Further information is available on request.
Special: Universities who sign up for any of the training programmes offered by VUU, will receive an on-site half-day presentation session with the Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Deans, and other senior managers of their institution. This presentation will familiarize the senior staff with the broad modalities of online learning and ensure they are familiar with the level of support necessary for their institution to enter into the area of eLearning.
**Price available on request; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
VUU has changed its admission policy due to popular demand. Instead of having two intakes a year for the three established programmes (International Development, Public Health, Business Administration), you can now apply for admission at any time throughout the year. We can custom build a course for you.
ICT4D is ready to start with its first students.
VUU is fully licenced by the Uganda National Council for Higher Education and recruits its tutors locally, regionally, and internationally.
Come and join us for an exciting learning experience! Visit us online at: http://www.virtualuni.ac.ug