FEATURES: Ruparelia Foundation has given away over 1000 bursaries and scholarship opportunities to Ugandas to study at Victoria University, the Daily Express has learnt.
A traffic officer at the rank of Police constable David Siya is among the 1000 vulnerable persons who have secured full scholarships and bursaries at Victoria University.
Siya who is attached to Central Police Station in Kampala is slated to study a bachelor’s degree in Public health at the Kampala-based university.
Siya finished O’ Level at Sebei College Tegeres in Kapchwora district and senior six at Hilton College in Mukono says while on duty sometime last year, he was approached by one of the staff of the university and asked to know his family background.
“I told him my background is very humble and I was struggling to make ends meet. He told me to keep my fingers crossed adding that if all goes well I may win a scholarship to study my dream course so that I can uplift my family,” Siya said.
He lauded his bosses at Police for allowing him time to balance between national duty and academics.
The acting vice chancellor of the university Lawrence Muganga said depending on various situations and opportunities, the university will open up close to 100 full scholarships to selected students under different categories.
He added that the management of the university also knows that there are several other students who are struggling to secure tuition, to ably join a university.
Muganga said the Ruparelia Foundation has given 1000 Victoria University bursaries that they are using to make education accessible to Ugandans by granting a 60% reduction of tuition.
“We are left with a few slots of the 1000 bursaries for this March intake. We will give out only 600 bursaries for applicants in a direct entry procedure and 400 other slots will be offered through the additional quota, awarded through selected leaders in communities,” Muganga said.
He made the remarks while announcing full scholarships to five students, who have had financial challenges, yet have passion for learning and contributing to changing of society.
Muganga noted that all students deserve a quality education. He said as a university, they know times have not been easy in terms of earnings for so many families owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He explained that right now, the university is focusing on an authentic learning education model.
“Students do real things, build products, make presentations, collaborate; just like in real-world occupations and professions,” Muganga said.
He said the basic idea is to make students likely to be interested in what they are learning, more motivated to learn new concepts and skills, and be better prepared to succeed in their career if what they are learning mirrors real-life contexts.
Director Rajiv Ruparelia said the Ruparelia Foundation’s slogan is changing lives, and by changing the lives of the five people, the country will see transformational development taking place in communities.
“Transformational development means that from one person, you can transform an area and start to see development,” Rajiv said.
He said development is not only in the areas of infrastructure but in all aspects including humanity, agriculture, and industry among others.
“It’s unending to make our lives better and enhance the lives of people around us,” Rajiv said.
He said if these five people are educated, they are going to go out there to become leaders and by creating future leaders then they will train other people from their respective communities to improve lives in communities they lead.
Rajiv said the selection process of the five beneficiaries was extremely robust and they must take their education seriously and go back to serve the real world.
“You’re not going to be here at Victoria University as part of your journey, you must strive to leave a mark with the people you touch and those you change throughout the journey,” Rajiv said.
He said in addition to the 1000 bursaries so far give out, as Ruparelia Foundation, they are so impressed from the selection processes to increase that number only for the March intake to 1500 slots.
He called upon vulnerable communities to take up this chance seriously.
“Many people graduate but after graduation, you should use the knowledge attained to better their lives and those of others,” Rajiv said.
“Why get a lot of knowledge if you cannot apply it? It’s better to have little knowledge as opposed to too much when you cannot apply it to better lives,” Rajiv said.
He said Victoria University students are privileged to be part of a group of 40 other companies under the same ownership.
Rajiv noted that sister companies and hundreds of other partner companies and organisations are a perfect ground for training, internships, and possible job placements.
He explained that at Victoria University they not only educate but also conduct psychometric tests to know the passion, interests, natural abilities, and strengths and weaknesses of their students.