Bunyoro Kitara Royal University: a community university seeking for leverage in Oil and Gas Management Training

Bunyoro Kitara Royal UniversityOn 15th September 2014 Bunyoro Kitara Royal University opened its gates to its first lot of students. The University whose campus lies along Rukurato Road neighbours Karuzika the King’s Palace in Hoima and stands just opposite Hoima Public Library.

From the conception of existence, the essence of Bunyoro Kitara Royal University has always been embedded deep in the idea of the community. No wonder the university is enjoying vast support from Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom and the Local Governments of Hoima, Masindi, Kibaale, Bullisa and Kiryandongo. The five are the districts within the Bunyoro Region. The King of Bunyoro His Highness Omukama Solomon Gafabusa Iguru is the university’s Chancellor.

According to the Public Relations Officer of the University Bamuha Allan the university is at the moment offering free courses to the members of the community.

“We have to make them understand how the university operates. Our assumption is that they don’t understand how a university operates.” Bamuha notes

He says under this arrangement community members can attend classes with the students for up to 6 months and they don’t have to pay for the service.

Despite being a privately founded university, the Public Relations Officer says the university is lobbying government to take up ownership of the university. When the government heeds to the call it is hoped that Nyabyeya Forestry College and Kigumba Petroleum Institute will become part of the university.

“It is part of what the university is lobbying for. The plan is to have Nyabyeya as the constituent Agricultural and Forestry College of the University and Kigumba Petroleum Institute as the constituent Petroleum College of the University.” Bamuha affirms

Though previous attempts to lobby government for such an arrangement have proved futile, Bamuha is hopeful that in the future the government will listen because at least now they have something to show.

“That is why we chose to start it ourselves.”

“We now want government to take it up from here.”

“We realised the urgency of the region having a university. We didn’t want to be left behind. And we could not wait for the government to do it for us.”

The university offers more than 15 courses in the areas of Business, Agriculture and Environment, Information and Communication Technology and the Humanities.

However it aims at being the centre of excellence in the areas of Agriculture, Cultural Preservation and Performing Arts plus Oil and Gas Management.

Bamuha says “We are an agricultural community. We therefore want to be a centre of excellence in Agricultural training. We are also one of the oldest Kingdoms in Africa. We therefore want to be the centre of excellence in cultural preservation and performing arts.”

Above all the university wants to be a centre of excellence in Oil and Gas Management studies

“We are in the oil hub and we are going to be the first university in the entire country to offer a Bachelor’s degree in Oil and Gas Management. I must be proud of that”

“We have 15 consultants in Oil and Gas who are going to run this program. They are the best any one can ever have. We have packaged this to suit the best of standards. I am telling you, we are the best.” Bamuha says.

The 15 consultants that the new institution is banking on are beneficiaries of the Tullow Oil and British Council Scholarships. They have pledged their support towards the prospect of starting the course in the university.

Bamuha also says the course will be a preserve of students who have studied science subjects at the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education level because the university wants to encourage the young people to do science subjects for it is only then that they can easily tap in into the opportunities that lie in the Oil and Gas sector.

The university has as well purchased a 50- acre piece of land in Kyakapeya along the Hoima- Masindi highway, a place to which it hopes to spread its wings in the future.

The mission of the university is “to be the centre of excellence in training, creativity, innovation and research in order to produce holistic graduates who meet and provide solutions to the needs of their society and beyond.”

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