Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) has a new Vice Chancellor Prof. Charles Mark Lwanga Olweny who was installed by President Yoweri Museveni during the 28th graduation ceremony of the university at which 1,028 science and technology students graduated with degrees. Mr. Museveni attended the ceremony as Visitor of public universities in Uganda.
Prof. Olweny, the fourth Chancellor, replaces Prof. Peter Mugyenyi who served two terms of four years each.
In his speech President Museveni congratulated Olweny upon his appointment as new Chancellor of MUST, and expressed optimism that the university would greatly benefit from his wide knowledge and distinguished career.
Museveni paid tribute to the outgoing Chancellor Prof. Mugyenyi for long and good service to the institution and also treating AIDS patients at the Joint Clinic and Research Centre (JCRC). He encouraged him to continue serving the JCRC facility.
The President commended Prof. Frederick Kayanja for the good job as pioneer head of the Mbarara-based university and lauded late Cuban leader, Fidel Castro for the assistance accorded to MUST.
“I thank President Fidel Castro of Cuba who helped me to start teaching and treating people at MUST,” he said, adding that government does not support the courses that are not marketable
“Let us not start any course that has got no relevance to the job market. The Government will not fail to support you with funds for personnel and essential requirements for promoting science education,” he said.
President Museveni, who reiterated that all the universities in the country must ensure that the minimum entry requirements are maintained, expressed happiness that MUST has graduated over 1,300 medical doctors since its inception in 1989.
He observed that by the time MUST started, Uganda was graduating only 80 medical doctors a year from Makerere University.
“Africans suffered from ideological anesthesia at a small rate of 80 medical doctor graduates per annum in Uganda,” he noted.
He said that the situation that obtained at that time fell far short of the World Health Organization’s policy of the recommended ratio of one medical doctor per 500 people noting that Uganda, which has got a population of 40 million, needs a team of 80,000 medical doctors.
Museveni also called on the people of Mbarara district in particular and Uganda at large to protect the environment by planting trees and restoration of swamps.
The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni said that Uganda has made big strides, having expanded from one university in the 1980s to the current nine public universities. She said the country has 41 private-run universities and both private and public universities in the country have a total enrollment of 160,000 students.
She thanked MUST for training high caliber personnel who meet the demand of the job market and urged the students and the university community at large to guard against the HIV/AIDS scourge.
On his part Prof. Olweny thanked Museveni for accepting the recommendation of the University Council to appoint him as Chancellor. He thanked the Government, donors and all stakeholders for their contributions to the promotion of MUST.