Rebranding IHSU to CIU

The Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda, The Executive Director National Council of Higher Education and Other Representatives, The Promoter of International Health Sciences University soon to be Clarke International University, Dr. Ian Clarke, The Chancellor-Bishop Dr. Zac David Niringiye, The Chairperson University Council-Prof. Moses Galukande, distinguished Guests, Ladies, and Gentlemen.

Thank you all for honoring our invitation and for making time to be here tonight.  

Honorable Speaker, When I first started teaching, which was very far from here, I was reminded of one quote from a renowned scholar…It had three sentences:

I hear and I forget.

I see and I believe.

I do and I understand. Confucius 

That last sentence, I believe, should be the sentence that defines what we strive to do in education.  Every single time we stand in front of a student, we must remember that they have to do to be able to understand. It also means that we need to be able to revisit the way we have traditionally taught; the way we have traditionally managed student engagement; the way we have traditionally thought of knowledge, ways of knowing, and how that translates into actions—working.

In the last 10 years, IHSU has increasingly paid attention to that last line. I do, and I understand…by increasing the number of industry partners we need to foster practical, skill-building experiences for our students and maximize their learning experience. 

We started the school a little more than ten years ago, with a School of nursing and only 16 students. I am delighted to inform you, as my other colleagues have mentioned, we have graduated more than two thousand healthcare providers for this country in the last ten years. 

But we know, Hon. Speaker, that the profile of our learners has changed.  How our people access and interact with information has changed. Lecturers and professors spend more time and energy fighting technology and trying to wean students off of WhatsApp, Google, Facebook, Video games, web surfing, and so on.  Every student who walks into our doors is often carrying a disruptive tool in their pocket in the form of a powerful multimedia handheld device.

Digital technologies have changed the traditional pedagogical paradigm and provide the impetus for universities to leverage these technologies to revolutionize and or augment the student learning experience.  

Under Clarke International University, we will spread our winning model from IHSU and have already pursued outstanding faculty and strong industry partnerships that will support innovative pedagogy in the newly established School of Business and Applied Technology. 

We know that there is a need to promote 21st-century skills and academic content as similarly important graduate outcomes.  The cultivation of these broader skills and dispositions beyond the core academic content is critical and merit thoughtful consideration. We hope that this approach will help balance our curricular and will produce better graduates for the market.

And therefore, as a University in this space, we want to make a promise to fellow Ugandans who are standing here today. We want to continue to pursue being a Values-based University that inspires leadership, critical thinking, innovation and outstanding academic training that transforms communities.

There is no need for us to exist if we are not able to achieve that agenda.  And so we ask, that every industry partner we have, every Ugandan who comes across our graduates, students, and faculty, to continue to challenge us and remind us of this promise that we are making here today. That we will hold on this as a values-based university.  That you will see in us leaders who are oriented to transforming your communities and our communities.

Honorable speaker as I finish, allow me to mention: that I have lived out of this country for close to 20 years, and I have come across outstanding Africans, Ugandans, who leave their countries, and this country and they soar.  They excel, and they are brilliant. So I wonder what has happened to us here at home. Why can’t we be that variable that makes a difference? Why are we only able to shine when we leave our own countries? Can we discover what it is that is going to make us excel right here at home?  Can we all make a decision and a promise to do just that? We are brilliant, Honorable Speaker. We know when we get out of our country we win.  We win every academic and service awards et cetera.  So there is nothing wrong with Ugandans. We need to figure out what it is that is keeping us behind right here at home. And I do believe that the University provides a platform for us to be able to change those disabling dispositions; to be able to challenge young people to think differently; to be able to challenge ourselves as educators to release that potential so that Ugandans can begin to transform their own communities, one community at a time starting right here at home.  So, I would ask for your support in achieving the CIU’s agenda. It is work worth doing.

We are the right university. We have the right people. We can do this.  Thank you for being here tonight.