Uganda: Mbarara to Start Course in Petroleum Chemistry

Uganda: Mbarara to Start Course in Petroleum Chemistry

TO ensure that more Ugandans benefit from oil, Mbarara University of Science and Technology plans to introduce a course in petroleum chemistry.

“The course is being introduced as an option but will, in due course, become a fully-fledged programme through which petroleum experts can be bred,” the vice-chancellor, Prof. Frederick Kayanja, said.

He was speaking during the university’s 13th graduation ceremony at the Pharmacology grounds on Saturday.

Kayanja also said they planned to introduce a Bachelor’s course in Physical Education and Sports, develop a biomedical department and a degree course in biomedical engineering.

He said there is need for accelerated development of infrastructure to address the shortage of space in the Faculty of Medicine, which is limiting student intake as well as research activities.

Prof. Kayanja said student enrollment had increased yet the budgetary provision for accommodation and feeding remained inadequate.

The university publicist Doreen Akello said the petroleum chemistry course would start in the 2008/2009 academic year.

Akello added, “It will be an option for students doing chemistry in their third year in the Faculty of Science.”

The Chancellor, Prof. Raphael Owor, said public universities faced challenges of curriculum development and low funding from the Government.

“The financial constraints have caused staff recruitment stagnation. Universities are unable to recruit, promote, retain and motivate staff. The technological, scientific and medical science fields are unfortunately the most affected,” Owor said.

Owor asked the Government to facilitate the university to expand intake in science programmes, following the recent focus on teaching sciences and the sponsoring of science students in universities.

A total of 393 students received diplomas and bachelors and masters degrees. A lecturer at the university, Gertrude Kiwanuka Nakiwala, was awarded a PhD in Biochemistry.

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