Marketing Uganda higher education services in Rawanda
The Education sector in Uganda has registered high growth since liberalization in the late 1990’s. The sector recorded an 89% growth in the number of licensed universities with a remarkable yield of USD 36m in 2010 from export of education, demonstrating the robust response of the private sector to market opportunities in tertiary education.
Uganda boasts of 29 universities dominated by local students with approximately 16,000 foreigners according to statistics from the National Council of Higher Education 2010. The significant growth in the education sector is consistent with the National Export Strategy and Trade policy both, which prioritize the promotion of trade in services.
In line with Uganda Export Promotion Board’s mandate “ to facilitate export development, diversification, promotion and coordination of all export related activities”, It has partnered with Commonwealth Secretariat to organize a “Study in Uganda Universities exhibition” exhibition taking place in Kigali Rwanda from 5th to 7th July 2012 at the Kigali Serena Hotel, to showcase services of 12 universities including; Kabale University, Bugema University, Islamic University ,Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda Marty’s University Nkozi, Bishop Stuart University, Uganda Christian University Kyambogo University, St. Lawrence University , Mountains of the Moon University, Kampala University and Gulu University, under the theme: “Experience the Diverse cultures, join the grand alumni”.
The Hon Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde together with the Hon Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Jessica Alupo, will lead the delegation to Rwanda – Kigali to enhance the export of university education in East & Southern Africa region. The Hon Minister of Education of Rwanda Hon. Dr Vincent Biruta will also grace this 3 day event.
Uganda Export Promotion Board in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat, Ugandan Universities, National Council of Higher Education and the Ministry of Education have since 2010 spearheaded an intuitive to market Uganda Higher Education Services in the EAC and COMESA region.
The inflow of foreign student has a multiplier effect on Uganda’s economy; in addition to increasing the foreign exchange earnings, export of education services boosts the tourism sector as these foreign students visit the tourist attractions during their leisure time in the true character of what is now dubbed EDU-TOURISM. They increase the profitability of the academic Institutions through optimization of the capacities of the Universities. The student numbers have also resulted into growth of other service sectors noticeably the transport and financial sectors. The students provide a considerable market for agricultural and other commercial products. This significant impact on the economy is what compelled the implementation of the project.
The Marketing of Uganda’s Higher Education Services initiative is being implemented in two phases; Phase I involved assessment of Universities for Export readiness and development of a strategic framework for Marketing Uganda’s Higher Education. This provided a foundation for Phase II which is currently being implemented and will entail the following activities:
1. Support for regional marketing activities
2. Improving and enhancing University services to international students
3. Strengthening inter-university collaboration
This platform serves as an opportunity for Rwanda and Uganda to tap into mutually accessible and diverse knowledge pools, in addition to cementing our socio cultural relations. It also brings together 12 premier Ugandan Universities in one forum, boosting their potential for global competitiveness and enabling the process for insightful decisions on the choice of university to be made by prospective students.
As Uganda prepares to celebrate 50 years of independence, it can also boast of the progresses made in development of its Education sector.