The Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills has committed 2.8 billion shillings to enhance the quality of higher education among refugee students in Northern Uganda.
The funding channeled under the Norwegian Partnership Programme for Global Academic Cooperation (NORPART) project will see four students offered a fully paid Master’s scholarship program for two years in Norway.
The five-year project that runs from 2022-2026 will be implemented by the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in partnership with Gulu University, Makerere University, and the Center for African Research.
Associate Professor Shai André Divon who represented the project leaders from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences on Thursday said that eight students have since been shortlisted for interviews on the master scholarship.
He notes that the applicants who include four females and four males were screened by Gulu University and will undergo the last session of interviews before four out of them are offered slots for the master’s program.
Prof. Divon notes that the project seeks to focus on the education and research components of the students on issues relating to global development, food security, and nutrition. He says choosing students with refugee backgrounds is to help the students acquire the knowledge and skills based on their interests in order to bring tangible ideas back home.
Prof. David Okello Owiny, the Gulu University Deputy Vice-Chancellor lauded the partnership saying it will help the benefitting students to use their innovative skills for transforming their communities.
Prof. Owiny notes that the University will equally benefit from the project through the development of projects that brings in funds, and digitization of learning through setting up a video classroom and studio for recording podcasts and education videos.
Dr. Collins Okello, the Dean Faculty of Agriculture and Environment says they expect the students who will undergo the training to develop innovative ideas that will help in solving problems within their community.
The partnership launched in Gulu City will also involve research activities in Uganda among the partners and staff exchange in Norway and Uganda for research supervision and joint teaching. The project will facilitate research for three Ugandan students in Norway every year for four months, and four Norwegian students every year to stay in Uganda for four months for field studies in refugee settlements.URN
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