UDSM VC to graduates: Be agents of change in Tanzanian society

21Nov 2019
Aisia Rweyemamu
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
UDSM VC to graduates: Be agents of change in Tanzanian society

TRANSMITTING knowledge as a basis of action from one generation to another and to meet the high level human resource needs of the Tanzanian society was among the objectives behind establishment of University of Dar es Salaam.

Established in 1961 as a College of the University of London, in 1963 it became a Constituent College of the University of East Africa. It was formerly established in August 1970, as a National University, through the University of Dar es Salaam Act number 12 of 1970.

The University of Dar es Salaam is a unique community of students and staff dedicated to bring out the best in all its members with aim to provide the best possible environment for teaching, learning, research and public services, and its track record of success is well known in East Africa, Africa and the rest of the world.

This year the university will start offering the international examinations for the Swahili language skills effectively from this month.

Being the first university in the world to come up with the examinations, the university will administer all examination process including marking and subsequently issue an international certificate that will indicate the competency level of the candidate.

Revealing this recently in Dar es Salaam during the 49th UDSM graduation, the university council chairman retired Judge Damian Lubuva said it is the great honour to the university due to the fact that the university is the only college with the oldest institution of Swahili studies since 1930.

He said the move will assist the university to be ranked high internationally.

However, the number of graduates has continued to increase, as postgraduate students have increased to 95 from 81 of last year and undergraduate students have increased to 920 from 655 of last year.

Also the number of female graduates has increased to 38.5 percent from 32.3 percent.

Lubuva said; the university is proud of its achievements, including the mineral resource institution to be part of UDSM after being entrusted by the ministry of minerals this year.

Strengthening security at the university by installing road lights with security cameras in some areas of the university is also among the achievement the institute administration is proud off.

Judge Lubuva said: the council is pleased with the government's decision to start paying workers' claims including housing allowances, salary arrears and many others.

UDSM has also acknowledged the great support by President John Magufuli in assisting the university in various development issues.

“The council is committed to ensure that everything which was directed by the president is fully implemented,” the university chairman noted.

The chairman explained that despite many achievements recorded by the university, there are still significant challenges including shortage of staffs and experts in various profession and security issues of students and staff especially in dormitories and few areas around the university.

Another challenge is the low number of lecturers researching and publishing in internationally recognised journals.

Lubuva has also mentioned student’s loans and accommodation shortage as challenges facing the university, calling upon the government to assist in resolving the challenges.

He added; despite the installation of road lights at the university they are now looking for a more permanent solution in order to assure students and staff with enough security all the time.

 “As the council we will continue to look for more measures on how we will put in place effective strategies to strengthen security.

The university noted that in the 2019 academic year, a total of 8,313 students have graduated in various education levels including diploma, undergraduate, post graduate as well as PhD, awarded by the university Chancellor, the former president Jakaya Kikwete.

During the ceremony, Prof William Anangisye, the UDSM Vice Chancellor, challenged the graduates to positively use the knowledge they have acquired, to pursue development in order for them to be a catalyst for change in Tanzanian society.

He told the graduates they have been effectively prepared by the university to engage with society and bring out development and positive changes.

"The important thing to remember is that, you have a responsibility to the nation as a whole and the responsibility to the university that provide you with the best education," the VC told the graduates.

He urged the graduates to join the community as part of the work force, and to tirelessly search for opportunities rather than waiting for opportunities to search them.

The VC also noted that the university has managed to complete the renovation of 11 workers house and rehabilitating 65 roofs that cost 920m/- from internal source.

Representing his fellow graduates, Arnold Matemu said that the absence of learning equipment for practical especially for science subjects is the problem which needs to be addressed soon for the future of students.