IUCEA has proven that practical learning and embracing technology builds a winning institution
By Boniface Otieno Kanyamwaya
International University of East Africa (IUEA) was established in 2010 as one of the new private universities in Uganda that emphasises practical learning, away from the traditional theoretical teaching.
Four years later, Prof.Olubayi Olubayi joined the institution as its second Vice Chancellor from Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA.
He says that when he joined IUEA, he knew his work was cut out: To take what was already a good university, from good to great.
“I have now been in this challenging and exciting position for just over one year. I have been assisting all stakeholders in ensuring that the ambitious mission of this university which is to provide an excellent education that includes practical experience and skills is fulfilled,” he says.
“Our journey has been exiting and challenging. As an institution, we have made great progress and students are arriving from around the world to study at IUEA.
He says that most of them are attracted by high quality of education provided by IUEA.
“We now live within a post-industrial information revolution that is based on ICT. Therefore, Uganda’s future will be transformed and improved only to the extent that all Ugandans master ICT, and our university, as East Africa’s technological university of choice, is at the forefront of training people to take full advantage of technology and innovation,” he says
He says the University has assembled together a team that includes Prof. Dawoud S. Dawoud who is one of the most highly respected professors of engineers in the world, and Dr.Emeka Akaezuwa who is an ICT expert from New York.
IUEA is dedicated to producing well qualified graduates who are masters in their fields of study, employable, and capable of creating jobs. Focus on quality, the professor says, has seen the university grow faster than expected.
“Parents and students are looking for the Harvard of Uganda, and that is us, the International University of East Africa. We offer the best learning conditions in Uganda using the most modern facilities in the country and we employ highly qualified and motivated professors and lecturers from around the world.” he says.
He notes that the institution has established Uganda’s first Library of Technology which has over 40,000 volumes of books, millions of e-books, and efficient WiFi.
They have also established a unique MBA program in which all classes are held seminar-style in order to promote critical thinking and maximum participation.
Challenges and future prospects
Like any other institution of higher learning out there, things have not been easy.
Prof. Olubayi says that the biggest challenge in East African universities is finding top qualified lecturers with relevant qualifications.
However, as an institution, they are supporting some of our their own lecturers to pursue PhD degrees, and by importing PhDs from the diaspora by organizing programs in which top notch visiting professors are part of their teaching teams.
Going forward, Prof.Olubayi believes that IUEA will we are in the long term process of establishing a technological university of choice that is simultaneously a hub of scholarship, exploration and innovation
About Prof. Olubayi
Prof. Olubayi Olubayi is the Vice Chancellor of the International University of East Africa (IUEA) in Uganda. He is a scientist and an expert in education, leadership and entrepreneurship.
As a scientist and eclectic scholar, Olubayi earned his Ph.D on bacteria-and-plant cell interactions at Rutgers University, USA, and holds a research patent on the flocculation of bacteria. As a scholar, he is the author of several scholarly articles in microbiology, biotechnology and social science.
As an educator, Prof. Olubayi taught at Middlesex College and at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA for 16 years, and is currently teaching critical thinking in the IUEA MBA program.
He is an advisor and consultant to government officials in Kenya and South Africa, and to the United Nations Development Program on matters of literacy, education, biotechnology, sustainable development and global citizenship. He is also an advisor to Ph.D students in the Kemri/Wellcome Trust Research Program in Kilifi, Kenya.
As a social entrepreneur, Prof. Olubayi co-founded the NGO Kiwimbi International and the widely respected American NGO Global Literacy Project which sets up libraries worldwide and provides service learning opportunities to persons interested in international experience and global citizenship.