Why African Rural University?
Since the dawn of the 21st century, there has been a call for traditional roles of the university to change from teacher-centered instruction to learner-centered pedagogy with a premium on research for knowledge production and application. Individuals are taught to be life-long learners who can continuously add to their skills and knowledge and adapt to changing demands. This is consistent with the aspirations in Uganda’s Education Sector Strategic Plan 2005-15 calling for graduates who are well informed, versatile, re-trainable and capable of operating in local and global markets and armed with problem solving skills. ARU’s experience will emphasize employability, equipping graduates with the skills to create their own employment.
Higher education must model what it professes, using its own research to continue to learn effective models of teaching and learning and how best to apply them, while rapidly evolving in reaction to newly available technologies and changing needs.
Why a women’s University?
While at the secondary level, there are a number of schools in Uganda that are exclusively for girls, at the university level girls have had to compete with boys for the very limited number of places in public and private universities. While affirmative action taken by government to improve female intake through different cut-off points is helpful, it is not sufficient to enable the country to achieve gender parity in higher education. ARU’s idea of a women’s university is most appealing in this respect. It has the power of helping rapidly to produce women leaders and role models as had been demonstrated at the secondary level.
Additionally, it would enable Uganda to have a better leverage point for change, given the contributions that African women have made in transforming society.
Why does ARU admit only 30 students per academic year?
We take pride in a high quality and hands-on educational experience. Each student has access to lecturers and tutors. Time is dedicated to coaching and learning for the student. During projects and the internships, each learners are assigned supervisors with whom they have iterative interactions throughout the placements between learner, supervisor and community. Therefore small numbers are taken in at a time to ensure maximum benefit for the learner during the University experience.
What does a graduate of ARU do?
A graduate from African Rural University has social entrepreneurial skills and rather than seek employment, they can initiate and start their own enterprises.
Researcher Students from the pioneer year are currently working with Uganda Rural Development and Training Programme to establish rural development “Epicenters” throughout Kibaale District to further spread the methodology and work of URDT.
However, those that wish to seek employment, have the opportunity to work with the ability to bring to their workplace new ways of doing things, skills in strategic planning and visionary leadership. Graduates can be programme managers, project officers, or community health workers among others. The rich curriculum gives graduates a wealth of choices about they want to be in life.