By KIU Editorial Team
Kampala International University held its 22nd Graduation ceremony on Saturday, August 22, 2020, a virtual (online) ceremony that was a big success.
As the future of many students all over the country hangs in the balance, 2,253 KIU graduands were able to secure their academic status, thanks to the great job done by the university in showing that a virtual graduation is not only possible but can be achieved with great success.
We look at the key takeaways from the ceremony.
Successful First-Ever Virtual Ceremony
For starters, the graduation ceremony, which was originally scheduled to take place in June, was postponed to August so as to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and comply with the Standard Operating Procedures put in place by the Ministry of Health.
The event had guests and graduands in attendance via social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube. It was also shown live on Urban Television.
KIU Chancellor Prof. Mahmood Mamdani conferred Certificates, Diplomas, Bachelor’s Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, Masters Degrees and PhDs online to 2,253 graduands, who have begun receiving their academic credentials today, August 24.
Media Challenge Initiative (MCI), KIU's partners in live-streaming the ceremony did a good job in ensuring that viewers received quality audio and video.
Guests in Virtual Attendance
The Chief Guest was Dr Hans Hofstraat, the Vice President and Research Program Manager at Philips’ Chief Technology Office (CTO), who attended with a member of the CTO Management Team.
A team from Leiden University including Prof Dr Maria Yazdanbaksh, a Professor of Cellular Immunology of parasitic infections and Head of Department, Parasitology at Leiden University Medical Centre, Prof Dr Barend Mons, a Professor of BioSemantics at the Human Genetics Department of Leiden University Medical Center and founder of the BioSemantics group and Prof Dr Mirjam van Reisen, Professor of Computing for Society at Leiden Centre for Data Science, at the University of Leiden, were all in attendance.
That is not forgetting the entire KIU community including the graduands, students, staff, alumni and well-wishers.
Exploring The Heights
Of course, the graduation ceremony was an opportunity to showcase some of the main achievements the university has attained over the past half-year, and these were not in short supply.
The leading private university in East Africa climbed one position on the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, being named the 3rd best university in Uganda and 58th best university in Africa.
KIU also moved up 1,343 places from 4,719th to 3,376th out of 30,000 Higher Institutions of Learning in the world since the last rankings were made in January.
Secondly, as the academic world was turned on its head following the unprecedented closure of educational institutions on March 20 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, KIU seamlessly transferred to online education thanks to the fully-fledged e-learning platform which was in place even before COVID-19 came into existence.
As KIU Vice-Chancellor Dr Mouhammad Mpezamihigo (in the picture) rightly put it in his graduation speech, “KIU was able to upscale the functionality of the learning management, retooling academic and management staff for online delivery, and also giving a new mapping to our research and innovations schemes,"
Thirdly, KIU Teaching Hospital responded to the onset of COVID-19 by reviving the Ebola Emergency Centre at the A&E (Accident and Emergency) Department to create capacity for handling Coronavirus patients. The Emergency Centre was inspected by Bushenyi District COVID-19 taskforce and Ministry of Health teams and given the green light to treat COVID-19 patients.
As revealed by Dr Mpezamihigo, KIU has embarked on more than 23 COVID-19 related researches, adding that the university's senior professors and researchers have been fully engaged in participating in the finding of a vaccine and understanding the effects of the Coronavirus.
Listing all of KIU’s milestones is definitely an arduous task and we cannot explore all of them here. But you can keep updated about every single step of KIU’s journey to the top of the academic world by constantly visiting our website at www.kiu.ac.ug.
Congratulations to the entire KIU community on a successful virtual 22nd Graduation Ceremony!