By Isaac Akugizibwe
Ayay Akol Deng Akol says that he felt extremely happy the moment he confirmed that he will be able to graduate with a masters of Business Administration majoring in Human Resource Management at KIU's 26th graduation ceremony on 12th November 2022.
The South Sudanese-born Ayay is one of the students whose time at KIU was elongated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. It is upon this that news of being cleared for graduation made him relieved.
"I feel ecstatic that I am finally set to graduate at this prestigious University, come November 12th, 2022. We came a long way despite the daunting challenges and interruptions/lockdowns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in the final analysis, the end usually justifies the means," he says.
He also admits that his time at KIU has been fruitful both in and outside lectures. He appreciates the magnificent KIU Campus that gave him the best atmosphere to explore the best of his abilities and has kept him fascinated for three years.
"I've had a marvelous experience as a student at KIU. With the state-of-the-art library (The Iddi Basajjabalaba Memorial Library) and overall infrastructure, the learning environment is not only multicultural, ethnic but also secular, religious-wise, hence, offering a conducive atmosphere for world-class learning," he says.
" I have made many friends from different backgrounds during the course of my studies here. The level of passion and professionalism amongst the teaching and support staff is unprecedented," he adds.
Despite finding some difficulty to incorporate himself into the way of life of the Kansanga Community, Ayay says that the hospitality of the local population and their culture has kept him feeling at home.
"The community of Kansanga, and indeed the great people of Uganda have been very hospitable to us. I have not found any improper treatment as a consequence of my status as an international student, I just feel at home. I had difficulties at the beginning though, especially with local cuisines such as matoke, chapati, and other stuff. But I integrated quickly. It just turned out that Chapati with beans is now my favorite meal. In a nutshell, it is an amazing experience," he notes.
Ayay's life will surely never be the same again come 12th November though he admits that a lot has changed since he joined Uganda's leading Private University. When asked what he would tell Students in high school about KIU, Ayay was quick to point to the statistics.
"The statistics speak for themselves. Kampala International University has consistently ranked as the best private University in the country. Before I applied for admission at KIU, I did my homework," he discloses.
"I visited numerous Universities including Makerere, Uganda Martyrs, Kampala University, Victoria University, Uganda Christian University, Cavendish University, and the International University of East Africa, among others but in the end, I resolved to “explore the heights at KIU,” he adds.
"If I must do another academic course here in Uganda, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick Kampala International University, once more," Ayay notes.
Now that he is completing his Master's degree, Ayay believes that he is well-equipped to run the labour market marathon.
"I am also assessing other academic options. Time will tell," he says.
"I am grateful to my family for their patience and support throughout my studies. Leaving your family behind for further studies is a hard decision to make. It wasn’t easy forgoing other opportunities in favour of this academic pursuit. But the benefits outweigh the costs.
Ayay started basic school in 1999 at Ajiep Primary School located in a small center in the then SPLA/M liberated area of Kuac, the present-day Warrap State. He joined John Paull II in Wau town, Western Bahr el Ghazal State in 2010 from where he joined the University of Bahr el Ghazal between 2011-2016 to pursue a bachelor of business administration and post-graduate Diploma in Political Science in the same University from 2017-2018 before joining KIU.