What Does it Take to Pioneer a Young University

Lira Campus

Lira Constituent College for Health Sciences at the new Lira University of Science and Technologhy is a young institution, founded only in 2010. Its agenda: to promote knowledge, provide opportunity for learning, and to develop new practices in health sciences, while at the same time providing and developing health services for the local community and the surrounding rural population. What are the odds?

Fully 70% of Uganda’s population resides in rural areas, where health and medical facilities are limited or non existant. The new Constituent College will develop its curricula, its practices and above all its services in accord with local culture, indigenous knowledge and local traditions. All will blend.

The College is sensitive to its location in Lira in Northern Uganda in a Region still recovering from war ravages. The College is deliberate about its chosen path to the provision of higher education, to learning and to community service. It is alert to its own pioneering role, knowing that few institutions in the World have the opportunity to embark on this kind of effort. To this end the College has erected new structures on virtually virgin grounds some ten kilometers outside Lira town at Ayer village in Lira subcounty, where a library, classrooms and administrative structures have been put in place. Yesterday these were farmland. Today on these same grounds are well tended shrubs, carefully planted trees and well laid lawns that straddle new walkways on which restless feet will for years to come trade. This is the outlook.

Having assembled the necessary support stuff and academic people, lectures and classes commenced last October, with 60 newly enrolled students in attendance. Every one of them is fully qualified although yesterday they would have had no place to go. They along with the College are part of the new adventure and pioneering spirit in Lira that is already transforming the town and we hope in future the entire Region. The College encourages them to play the role and venture where none had been before. Will we succeed?

The author of this document is the College itself. The document is inspired by the entire Faculty and was drafted in collaboration with our first batch of 60 students [Class of 2015], in the spirit of liquid democracy, where influence is derived from all sources and from all directions, top, bottom and sideways. Inside the document are incorporated views from every group that has a stack in the College. This is the first official expression of what Lira Constituent College for Health Sciences is about and of the future we plan to embrace.