The 2nd Online Education Conference for Universities and Higher Education institutions was, on 5th August 2021, organised by the Uganda Vice Chancellors' Forum (UVCF) in collaboration with Cavendish University Uganda (CUU) under the theme, 'Securing the New Normal: Protecting Higher Education Institutions During and after the COVID-19 Pandemic'.

This becomes the 2nd Online Education Conference to be hosted by Cavendish University Uganda during the lockdown, following last year’s conference which was held on 10th July 2021.

The Conference was officiated by Prof. Mary Okwakol, Executive Director of the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) and Prof. Olubayi Olubayi, the Chief Academic Officer of Maarifa Education Holding - the Sponsors of Cavendish University Uganda.

The topics which were discussed included the following:

  • Failures and Lessons Learned for a Post Covid-19 Higher Education Sector by Prof. George Ladaah OPENJURU (Vice Chancellor, Gulu University)
  • Integrating Covid-19 SOPs into Higher Education Culture and Planning by Prof. Mouhamad Mpezamihigo (Vice Chancellor, Kampala International University)
  • Administrative and Legal perspectives of Enforcing SOPs in Higher Education Institutions by Dr. Daniel R. Ruhweza (PhD) (School of Law Makerere University), President Emeritus of the Uganda Christian Lawyers Fraternity
  • Teaching Strategies that Engage All Learners Online by Prof. Johnie W.F. Muwanga Zaake (Deputy Vice Chancellor UTAMU)
  • Technology to Enhance the Learning Experience by Dr. Correia Oscar (Deputy Vice Chancellor, Cavendish University Zambia)
  • Technology-enabled Open Book Examinations, among others by Dr. Sabiiti Olive (Deputy Vice Chancellor, Cavendish University Uganda)

The half-day event was moderated by Mr. Fredrick Mufta, Cavendish University’s Sales & Marketing Director and the sessions were chaired by;

  • Mr. David Mutabanura (Executive Director – Cavendish University Uganda
  • Prof. Joy Kwesiga (Vice Chancellor – Kabale University)
  • Prof Christine Dranzoa, Vice Chancellor – Muni University
  • Prof. George Openjuru, Chairperson UVCF/ Vice Chancellor- Gulu University

The conference attracted a distinguished list of prominent academics, regulators and executives in the higher education sector and was attended by over 100 participants from 17 universities in Uganda. Other participants followed the proceedings live via the Cavendish University Uganda (CUU) Facebook page.

The Universities which were represented included;

  1. Cavendish University Uganda
  2. Muni University
  3. Kampala International University
  4. Gulu University
  5. Kabale University
  6. Africa Renewal University
  7. Makerere University
  8. Uganda Christian University
  9. Livingstone International University
  10. Busitema University
  11. Bishop Stuart University
  12. African Bible University
  13. Uganda Martyrs University
  14. Uganda Technology and Management University
  15. Team University
  16. Clarke International University
  17. International Business, Science and Technology University

In her address, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of NCHE acknowledged that the 'New Normal' from an education perspective includes several aspects, among which is obtaining the required technology and mastering the skills to deliver teaching and learning online or remotely while ensuring that learning outcomes are met.

The Vice Chancellor of Cavendish University Uganda, Prof. John Mugisha recommended that, "High Education Institutions (HEIs) need to develop knowledge and technological capabilities relevant for the time. Open Distance and E-Learning (ODEL) should be improved from being an emergency measure to a permanent feature of the teaching and learning if Covid-19 is still around."

Prof. Paul Mugambi, the Executive Director – Uganda Vice Chancellor's Forum noted that the presentations and discussions would guide the progress of University education in Uganda.

The Chief Academic Officer of Maarifa Education Holding, Prof. Olubayi Olubayi, rated the conference as a first class conference evident in its timely discussions, with topics very important to the times.

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