Thursday, January 17, 2013
Uganda: Govt Hails Victoria University On Recent Move
The Ugandan Government has commended Victoria University management for rejecting orders from UK-based University of Buckingham (UB) to embrace homosexuality. The two universities have been collaborating for over a year, with majority of Victoria University students offering University of Buckingham courses. They, however, parted ways early this week after UB asked Victoria to include a clause in its statue stating that "no person will be discriminated on the basis of sex orientation", among others. As a result, Victoria suspended all UB courses and remained with only the Bachelors of Public Health and Nursing. Ethics and integrity minister, the Rev. Fr. Sam Lokodo applauded Victoria University for staying their ground and respecting the law. "We enjoy autonomy and independence as a country. We follow our laws and nobody should intimidate us to promote a certain culture," said Lokodo on Wednesday. "I express profound regrets for the action taken by the University of Buckingham just on the basis that Victoria University was not ready to include this adopt clause." Higher education State minister, Dr. Chrysostom Muyingo, also observed that it was shocking for a university like Buckingham to relent on the key academic goal and instead focus on promoting a practice that is detested in Uganda. Faridah Bukirwa Shamilah, the spokesperson of the national council for higher education also explained that Victoria University had freedom to reject any clause that would be deemed illegal in Uganda. The problem, according to sources, emanated from anti-gay comments made by a guest speaker during a conference at Victoria University about a month ago. Meanwhile, Victoria University vice-chancellor, Dr. David Young, has also clarified that the 150 affected students would continue with their studies from UB or be transferred to Middlesex University in Dubai. He said consultations on who would meet which costs were ongoing and asked students and parents to stay calm. "Each of the affected students will be issued with a partial transcript to enable them join other universities if they are unwilling to go where we are planning to take them," Young said. He was noncommittal on whether the university would admit new students to pursue local programmes. "The focus of our attention at the moment is on catering for the current students. Any other questions will be addressed later," he stated.