Victoria University last month (November) secured an international accreditation for its freshly introduced Master of Science in Health Safety and Environment Management from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) boosting the program’s credibility further.
Following the great news, VU Vice Chancellor, Dr Lawrence Muganga released a full statement below on the significance of this development, making emphasis on the benefits of this new program to both Ugandans and international students with interest in the Health and Safety field.
Here is Prof Lawrence Muganga’s Full Statement
I am so excited that Victoria University is not only the first University in Uganda that carries a Master’s program in Health, Safety and Environmental Management but also this program has been accredited by the United Kingdom’s Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).
Our Masters’s Degree in Health, Safety and Environmental Management is one of a kind in this country and the region. We are one of the few universities in Africa and the first in the East African region to offer this much sought-after course. Therefore, this accreditation is remarkable to us as a university, but also as the education sector and the country’s services export strategy.
What being accredited by the IOSH means, is that our programmes are of international stature. A Ugandan student or student studying here can pursue a course of the same quality, the same standard as a student who is doing a similar course at a University like Oxford which offers the same course. That is the kind of education and education standard that Victoria University is providing in this country.
To ensure that our degrees are internationally accepted, and are of international quality, we take an extra step to ensure that we get our courses accredited by internationally renowned accrediting organisations. We want to have our students pursue degrees that are pursued by the same students who go to Harvard University, or the University of Toronto, Canada; the difference only being the jurisdiction or institution and maybe the course instructors and lecturers. That is why we are going the extra mile to get our courses tested and accredited internationally.
That is how we want to do things. We are proud that we have stood out strong, for our emphasis on quality. We do this because we believe universities should provide a platform for authentic learning to manifest. We want real-life learning. We want education that lasts; education that is relevant in the jobs market and practical for the needs of the country. We want education that works. We want our students and parents to be assured that the knowledge that we are offering is much less the same as what is being offered to students in the US, Canada, Sweden, Norway etc- pursuing a similar course.
Creating internationally competitive graduates
Victoria University is the only University in Uganda, where learning by doing and graduating with experience is a must and non-negotiable. As a sector, we must agree that education should mirror real life and the needs of our society; that our education should be of international standards, such that we don’t need to have standards that are only for Uganda. Why should graduates from other countries come and work here easily yet, graduates from Uganda don’t find it easy to work in other markets? Ugandan graduates should be able to fit in, live and find meaningful work in other labour markets. This is the only way students and parents can get a full return on their investment in education and as a country, we can meaningfully enhance our earnings from international Labour export and as such increase remittances.
So that is why we are endeavouring that all our programs have that international quality assurance; that you can equate them to those offered in jurisdictions that have better universities and labour markets than what we have in this country. That is why all our programmes at Victoria University are aligned with labour market needs and we are also trying hard to make sure that we bring them to international standards by subjecting them to similar quality checks and getting them accredited by international organisations. We want a student of Victoria University to pursue the same degree a student of Harvard, or British Columbia is pursuing in Canada. We want a Victoria University student to pursue the same degree a student of MIT in the United States is pursuing.
I would like to use this opportunity to invite Ugandans out there who are trying to balance work-life and education or those trying to get a career change or enhance their earnings by getting more meaningful jobs or promotions, to come to Victoria University and pick from a range of our relevant, flexible, internationally accredited degree programs that provide the education and credentials you need to reach your goals in this world. All our programmes offer an opportunity to work as you study because we want our students to gain work experience, which makes us Uganda’s first experiential learning education-driven University.
Future-ready and tech-savvy graduates
We also offer our students a chance to study from anywhere, at any time through our state-of-the-art online learning management system that is built for real-life learning, because we know that our students live in the real life, so we have to bring education to them. We also understand the financial realities that have often hindered education for many of us, which is why we have chosen to offer the most affordable international degree programs in East Africa.
We also know that technology will soon dominate the labour market. Technology and the Internet of Things will become our new and alternative universe. Therefore, our students are taught and assessed with the help of the latest technology to master the digital competencies and literacies required in our today’s digital economy. Being cognizant of that is helping us to be welcomed by international jurisdictions, several of them because we are matching their standards and quality. That has been our goal it continues to be our goal.
Our graduates are not only welcomed in other jurisdictions, but we are also now attracting students from other countries- 50 in total. These include Norway, Afghanistan, the United States of America, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Tanzania, South Sudan and Kenya, etc.
so I can say that wherever you are as a student who aspires to do greater things, remember you are built to win, therefore join us to learn and transform the world. I again argue you to be part of Victoria University because
Education is as important, almost as the air we breathe. That is why we value it. I urge students and parents out there, to make the right investment in Victoria University because the international quality and international standards that we pursue daily, will manifest in the final graduates that we send to the labour market.