By Keefa Nuwahereza
Ruparelia Group owned Victoria University has done what no other private University in Uganda has ever done before; that is directly linking the education and training, research, innovations, inventions and other academic programs of the Indian curriculum with Uganda’s.
Victoria University has done this by signing Letters of Intent with 16 Universities in Gujarat, India, with which they will undertake student exchange programs,exchange lecturers, researchers, boost startups and engage in other academic projects together.
Under the same arrangement students in Uganda will have several scholarships at Victoria University to go and study at Universities that have signed the letters of Intent, chief among which is Gujarat University, which is running a research project calledGujarat Student Startup and Innovation Hub (I-Hub).
The development was reached upon between the management of Victoria University and a delegation of officials from India, who visited the University on Monday.
Some of the officials on the delegation included; “The delegation included; Vibhavariben Dave, Minister of State for Education Department, Government of Gujarat, Anju Sharma IAS, Principal Secretary (education) Government of Gujarat, High commissioner, Indian Embassy, Vice Chancellor, Dr Himanshu Pandya, Paresh Dave, Joint Director-of technical education, Rajesh Patel, Representative of Marwadi University (Lead University) and other 10 representatives from India.
According to documents seen by this reporter pertaining to the project, Victoria University, Kampala, Uganda and Gujarat Student Startup and Innovation Hub, Gujarat (India) on the basis of friendly cooperation and mutual enhancement agree to cooperate in the following areas:
1. Both parties agrees to cooperate in organising Open innovation challenge, Hackathons, Bootcamps involving students , innovators and start –ups of Uganda.
2. Cooperate in enabling the start-ups develop E commerce, Digital technology support and mentor them.
3. Organising joint incubation programmes to support starts-ups
4. Joint efforts to help start ups from Uganda to scale up in Gujarat ecosystem
5. Technical support to start-ups who wish to leverage infrastructure of I Hub and create value
6. Facilitate collaboration with other start-ups and ecosystem stakeholders in Gujarat
Both parties agree that this Letter of Intent is only a beginning of our friendly collaboration. Details and specific collaborative agreements will be pursued by future discussions.”
However, apart from Gujarat University, Victoria University signed the same letters of intent with other Universities which include;GANAPAT University, MARWADI University and Sankalch and Patel University, Swirnim Startup & Innovation University, Veer Named South University,
Prof. Krishna N. Sharma, said Gujarat State has got 70 Universities but government chose only the top 16 to visit the fast growing Victoria University.
Prof. Sharma said that; “We had two categories of collaboration; one with the Ministry of Education where we have a collaboration called I-Hub or innovation Hub.
So we have signed an intent of collaboration where we are going to do joint innovations, joint research and sharing resources etc.”
He added that; “We are going to sign more MoUs with other universities. We have special scholarships for Victoria students and alumni. In other areas we are to explore opportunities to do joint research, joint publications, exchange of staff and students.”
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