Muteesa I Royal University celebrates charter

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Muteesa I Royal University celebrates charter
Katikkiro Mayiga launches the charter that was granted in March | Zainab Ssengendo

Muteesa I Royal University spent the whole Wednesday, June 12, celebrating tits charter, the ultimate approval for a higher education institution.

A charter, which signifies compliance with government-mandated standards of academic excellence, was granted to the Buganda Kingdom affiliated higher institution of learning in March.

The celebrations were held at the University’s Main Campus in Kirumba-Masaka, with the Buganda Kingdom Premier Charles Peter Mayiga, as chief guest.

The Katikkiro commended Kabaka Ronald Mutebi, the University Visitor, for maintaining the vision of his great grandfather, Ssekabaka Muteesa I, which has enabled the University to make tremendous progress.

“Education is the light of Buganda and Uganda, and Kabaka Muteesa had the vision of inviting teachers in 1875 that opened the doors of his people through the provision of light on which education reigns," Mayiga said.

"Kabaka Mutebi II naming this University after Muteesa I was not only to maintain his legacy but also the legacy of other Buganda Kings who prioritized education, key among them Sir Edward Muteesa II, who started MRU in 1955 as a technical institute."

Premier Mayiga also commended former Buganda premiers, especially Joseph Mulwanyamuli Ssemogerere, under whose tenure Buganda Technical Institute metamorphosed into Muteesa I Royal University.

He also acknowledged other dignitaries, including kingdom ministers such as John Chrysostom Muyingo, Prof Munakukaama Nsereko, former vice chancellors, and kingdom loyalists who served on the University Council, especially the late John Ssebaana Kizito, Gordon Wavamunno, and Prof Muhamood Thoban for their financial contributions.

Muteesa I Royal University Chancellor Julia Sebutinde called the attainment of the charter a monumental achievement in the history of MRU.

Sebutinde extended her thanks and recognition to Kabaka Mutebi, the first University Chancellor, for his visionary leadership, support, guidance, and unwavering commitment to MRU, which have been pivotal in accelerating the journey towards this accreditation.

“The journey towards the attainment of a Charter has been marked by numerous challenges, but our collective commitment to excellence and unwavering belief in our mission has brought us to this proud moment," the lady justice said.

"This accreditation is not just recognition of our current standards, but a promise of our continued pursuit of academic excellence and innovation. It is a testament to the quality of education we provide and the bright future that lies ahead for our university.”

Prof Eli Katunguka, the chairperson of the National Council of Higher Education and Vice Chancellor of Kyambogo University, noted that MRU now joins the group of 15 Chartered Universities out of the 58 institutions of higher learning in the country.

Dr Vincent Aloysious Ssembatya, representing the National Council for Higher Education, said the terrain of attaining a charter is very tough, but MRU joined the club after meeting all the standards, which will unlock the movement of students to other universities, enrollment, and increase in academic programmes.

Cotilda Nakate Kikomeko, the Buganda Kingdom minister of education and social services, commended the university team, former Education ministers, and the administrative structures of the kingdom led by Katikkiro Mayiga for their selfless efforts in achieving the charter.

Dr Mary Goretti Nakabugo, chairperson of the Muteesa I Royal University Council, said the acquisition of the charter is a historic moment as MRU transitions from being a licensed university to a chartered university.

She applauded the Kabaka for his efforts and the Katikkiro for facilitating the acquisition process.

She also thanked President Museveni for granting the MRU charter quickly once the papers reached his desk.

Mr Michael Wanyama, executive director of the Higher Education Students’ Financing Board (HESFB), announced that MRU students can now apply for loans from the government-funded loan scheme, especially those taking courses in tourism and hospitality, which are promoted under the NDP III.

MRU Vice Chancellor Prof Vincent Kakembo said the process was accelerated when they received the news that the President had granted the Charter on March 11, 2024.

“This was shortly after we learned that the NHCE had progressed the MRU Charter to the National Minister of Education and Sports, who expeditiously processed the accompanying paperwork and forwarded it to the President. This marked the end of a highly tortuous and involved process,” said Prof Kakembo.

The celebrations were attended by dignitaries from the Buganda kingdom, the central government, academia, the business community, corporate class, parents, and students.

On March 13, the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) confirmed that President Museveni had appended his signature on the Charter, pending legal procedure.

Muteesa I Royal University was established when ownership of Uganda Technical College, Masaka (previously known as Masaka Technical Institute or Teeko), was transferred from the government to Buganda kingdom in January 2007.

Since its inception, the University has expanded its presence by establishing campuses in Kampala, Kayunga, and Mubende.

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