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Buea Catholic University Takes Off October 4 

By Walter Wilson Nana

The University Institute of the Diocese of Buea, UIDB, will take off for the 2010/2011 academic year, on October 4. This is the kernel of the first ever council meeting of UIDB, which took place in the conference hall of the Bishop’s House in Small Soppo, Buea, Monday, September 27.

At the session, Mgr. Immanuel Balanjo Bushu, Bishop of Buea Diocese and Proprietor of UIDB, told the councillors; "We are here because some progress has been made in the project. Many people of goodwill have worked tirelessly to reach the stage at which things are presently for the opening of UIDB very early in October 2010."

Conceived four years ago, the creation of UIDB was motivated on the following; requests from members and groups in the parishes of Buea Diocese, newspaper reports about the thousand of candidates each year who were unable to gain admission into state universities for the lack of space and the need for good technical education.

Drawing inspiration from Ex Corde Ecclesiae – The Apostolic Constitution by Pope John Paul II and the Code of Canon Law, Bushu said; "Every diocese has the inherent right to found and own a Diocesan University and running a university is in line with the teaching of Jesus Christ, who sent the Apostles to go and teach all nations." From Canon 807, the Prelate quoted; "The Church has the right to establish and to govern universities, which serve to promote the deeper culture and fuller development of the human person and to complement the Church’s own teaching office."

Dr. Wilfred Gabsa, Inspector of Academic Affairs at the Ministry of Higher said UIDB has come to support Cameroon government’s efforts in strengthening the higher education sector. "It is a positive signal, shared by the Ministry of Higher Education. The council members raised some lapses, but I am optimistic they will progressively overcome them.

The government cannot manage the approximate 57,000 students churned out after the Baccalaureate and GCE Advanced Level examinations. So, the support from the confessionary institutions is welcomed. Government prescriptions are being respected and we are ready to guide them towards the expected successes."

The President of UIDB, Rev/Fr. George Jingwa Nkeze said their philosophy is that of training their students how to learn. "Our lecturers, administrators and students will be open to learning. We are set for October 4, which will open with our foundation and general orientation week of activities. The admissions of students have been done and staff recruited. Our own tradition at UIDB will take off, which is the holistic blend to higher education."

Tuning in with new trends in higher education, Fr. Nkeze said that their students will be served with a rich online library, as it is across the world. "We’ve a data centre in UIDB and the students will do their research online," he added. Authorised to function by Higher Education Ministerial Order No. 10/02173/N/MINESUP/ of May 26 2010, UIDB has as budget of FCFA 366 million with an enrolment of 300 students for the 2010/2011 academic year.

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