Gulu College (Uganda)

Neighborhood College Engagement at Gulu College


Gulu College is a public larger schooling establishment, established by an act of parliament (instrument No.16 of 2003). The College is situated in Gulu Metropolis, Northern Uganda about 350 km from Kampala. Gulu College has 6 colleges and two institutes and affords a spread of graduate and undergraduate diploma applications in agricultural sciences, medical sciences, schooling, pure science, legislation, enterprise administration, and peace and battle research. At present, the college affords 46 applications (each undergraduate and graduate ranges). The whole employees inhabitants (tutorial and administrative) stands at 560 whereas pupil’s enrollment is at 4,500 to 5000 on common.

Gulu College was born out of the necessity to contribute to rural transformation and peace constructing in submit conflict northern Uganda. The philosophy underpinning the community-engaged nature of Gulu College is premised on three key pillars: 1) the necessity to present actual life publicity to college students to allow them perceive and admire neighborhood circumstances and challenges they might be anticipated to have interaction with upon commencement; 2) the necessity for the neighborhood to take part in producing graduates which can be related to the labour market calls for; and three) the necessity for the college to contribute to socio-economic transformation of the neighborhood in full collaboration with the neighborhood.


Gulu College has recognised the necessity to institutionalise Neighborhood College Engagement on the college, and steps have been taken in that route. The engaged nature of Gulu College is streamlined in its strategic route, embodied within the motto, visions and mission statements.

Motto “for the neighborhood transformation”

Imaginative and prescient: “To be A number one Educational Establishment for Promotion of Neighborhood Transformation and Industrialization for Sustainable Growth”; and

Mission: “To supply entry to High quality Greater Schooling, Coaching, Analysis and Improvements for the Supply of Acceptable Companies in the direction of Neighborhood Transformation and Sustainable Growth”.

The College has additional developed and authorized a Neighborhood College Engagement coverage in 2020, it has additionally authorized the institution of a directorate of Neighborhood College Engagement (2021), and adopted the Scholar Centred Outreach (SCO) Mannequin as a guiding framework for neighborhood college engagement within the new strategic plan (2020/21-2024-25)1. The SCO mannequin positions Gulu college college students to work with rural communities for college kids’ personal experiential studying whereas facilitating innovation processes in the neighborhood. The SCO mannequin allows the scholar to 1) share data, expertise and experiences with the neighborhood; 2) determine neighborhood issues and reply appropriately with technical backstopping from the school; and three) determine and gather enterprise particular challenges and remodel them into enterprise improvements for dissemination and uptake by the community1 2


Gulu College is dedicated to working with communities to unravel issues, develop improvements and strengthen future regional and nationwide alternatives. The college emphasises working with susceptible and marginalised communities, together with out of college and unemployed youth in rural and concrete settings, refugees, and their host communities within the area individuals with disabilities and the elderlies. The college is thus centered on addressing key cross reducing points together with gender inequity, casual financial system, rural research, conventional and native data programs, together with local weather change points.

To make sure relevance to neighborhood wants and aspirations, Gulu college includes the neighborhood in key actions together with curriculum growth and opinions, planning and administration of grants’ proposal design growth and implementation. The college has additionally opened its laboratories, well being unit, sports activities amenities, and buildings to be used by the neighborhood. Via its completely different colleges, the college engages communities in areas of well being, agriculture, schooling, peace and battle administration, and enterprise. It’s necessary for every tutorial program at Gulu College to have a neighborhood engagement element that allows college students to work with the neighborhood throughout their research time or service studying. Similarity, growth and analysis grant proposals developed on the college are mandated to have neighborhood growth/engagement parts embedded in it. The college continues to tackle analysis and initiatives to additional improve the influence it has in the neighborhood via improved relationships and integration of communities in instructing and studying processes.

To focus on the Gulu college method to neighborhood engagement, we describe three Service studying/neighborhood engagement method that’s at the moment operating within the College.

Faculty apply program

The College of Schooling and Humanities (FEH), conducts a faculty apply program as its core neighborhood engagement/service-learning exercise to organize the scholars for the world of labor. The goal of college apply is to allow college students purchase sensible expertise or instructing and managing a faculty. Throughout college apply, college students take part in instructing and normal college administration actions. The host college supplies steerage and mentorship to college students on how you can plan, educate and handle the instructing and studying course of, together with class management. Faculties additionally present college students with instructing supplies, lodging, and meals amongst others. Faculty apply doesn’t solely profit the college, but additionally the taking part faculties who profit by way of contributing to mentoring the long run academics, whom they must recruit. Moreover, college students additionally provide extra manpower assist for instructing and studying within the faculties the place they’re connected.

Neighborhood Clerkship program

The College of Medication at Gulu college affords neighborhood clerkship as a part of its curriculum providing for its medical college students. College students are positioned at rural Well being centres II, III and IVs (these are well being centre situated in rural communities) inside northern Uganda with the aim of enabling them to achieve sensible work expertise in rural and with rural communities. In the course of the neighborhood clerkship, college students take part in assessing and managing sufferers, conducting minor operations, antenatal care and normal hospital administration beneath the steerage of a professional medical officer. Moreover, college students take part in neighborhood well being outreaches together with vaccinations, college well being inspections, and neighborhood well being dialogues. Most rural well being amenities in northern Uganda are understaffed, and as such college students on clerkship provide aid for the host facility as they improve within the accessible manpower. The variety of sufferers visiting the well being facility has been reported to extend when clerkship college students are current, underpinning the essential position of clerkship program in the neighborhood. College students acquire a useful expertise via the hand-on expertise in dealing with and treating sufferers, which construct their confidence, and competence to work upon commencement.

Centre for neighborhood based mostly analysis

On the centre for Neighborhood Primarily based Analysis (CBR), Gulu College works with rural youth teams in northern Uganda to enhance their livelihoods via neighborhood studying café applications. This system targets susceptible youths, aged 20-28 years previous, most of whom are homeless orphans. The neighborhood studying café focuses on points which can be of curiosity and concern to the neighborhood youth, particularly small-scale entrepreneurship. Quarterly conversations(cafés) are usually held with chosen actors together with non-governmental organisations, College, enterprise neighborhood. The main focus is on discussing alternatives and challenges to entrepreneurship and how you can assist the youth to have a greater livelihood. In addition to entrepreneurship, this system additionally engages the youth in music, and humanities as a means of incomes a residing. Initially concentrating on actors in northern Uganda, the café has now expanded past northern Uganda to draw individuals from different universities in Uganda. Outcomes of those café feeds into youth programming with non-governmental; organisations and/or is taken up by the centre for additional analysis. The centre conducts workshops and quick programs in participatory and neighborhood engaged approaches to analysis, with an emphasis on Indigenous Information programs and data democracy3


The Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Medication Centre of Excellence (PHARMBIOTRAC) program is one among 24 Japanese and Southern Africa Greater Schooling Centres of Excellence (ACE II) Packages and was established at Gulu College in 2017 in collaboration with Mbarara College of Science and Know-how (MUST). The principle goal of PHARMBIOTRAC is to construct a essential mass of specialised and expert human assets that may advance sustainable conventional medicinal practices and Pharm-Biotechnology for socio-economic growth of Africa. The undertaking does this via disseminating data about conventional drugs as an alternative choice to standard drugs and conducts analysis discoveries in conventional drugs that may assist the well being sector diversification. Hosted on the College of Medication, Gulu College, PHARMBIOTRAC undertaking is working with conventional herbalists within the rural northern Uganda to regularise their operations in addition to enhance their medicinal practices and livelihoods. That is anticipated to contribute to the accessible worldwide diversities within the remedy and or administration of the rising human illnesses similar to COVID-19.

College students’ neighborhood attachment

Via the College of Agriculture and Atmosphere (FAE) Service studying method what is named the SCO mannequin, Gulu college works with smallholder farmers to provide their college students sensible real-life exposures in addition to contribute to neighborhood growth via college students’ neighborhood attachment program. The neighborhood attachment program locations college students to work instantly with smallholder farmers and farm households for a interval of 8 weeks. Following the Scholar-Centred Outreach (SCO) model1, Gulu college works instantly with smallholder farmers or not directly via agribusiness organisations, non-governmental organisations, and/or native governments who serve smallholder farmers.Scholar placement with smallholder farmers is a technique designed to realize two primary aims; 1) produce properly educated and grounded agricultural growth professionals and alter agent who’re acquainted with rural farming practices; and a couple of) contribute to the agricultural growth and transformation of smallholder farmers45, along with contributing to the revision of the prevailing curriculum of on the College of Agriculture and Atmosphere.


The orientation of neighborhood college engagement at Gulu College is motivated by its location in Northern Uganda, an space characterised by excessive poverty ranges, low schooling ranges and restricted entry to primary companies. Neighborhood college engagement at Gulu College has been developed out of the necessity to meet each the college’s in addition to the neighborhood wants i.e., offering actual life publicity to college students to allow them to grasp and admire neighborhood circumstances and challenges, the necessity for the neighborhood to take part in producing related and match for function graduates, and the necessity for the college to contribute to the socio-economic transformation of the neighborhood.

The community-engaged nature of Gulu College is clearly mirrored in its motto, imaginative and prescient, and mission statements, which emphasises neighborhood transformation. Gulu college envisions neighborhood transformation as constructing of neighborhood’s and universities capability to sustainably transition to a wholesome, economically vibrant and socially peaceable neighborhood. Neighborhood engagement at Gulu College is embedded in all facets of their instructing, studying, analysis and growth. Gulu College has taken steps to formalise neighborhood engagement via growth of a neighborhood engagement coverage, establishing the directorate of neighborhood engagement, and prioritising neighborhood engagement in its strategic plan. Being engaged has facilitated mutual transformation for each the college and the neighborhood. Via the scholar’s neighborhood attachment program, Gulu College has been in a position to prepare and proceed to coach well-grounded graduates in addition to contribute to the socio-economic transformation of smallholder farmers. Via neighborhood college engagement (which embody service studying, analysis and innovation partnership, or Neighborhood engaged pedagogy. The neighborhood feels that their voices are heard, valued and their experience acknowledged by the college.

The community-Engaged nature of Gulu College has been recognised regionally and internationally. For example, Gulu College at the moment hosts two UNESCO Chairs i.e., via the UNESCO Chair in Lifelong Studying; Youth and Work (in Partnership with Groningen College); and UNESCO Chair in Neighborhood Primarily based Analysis and Social Duty in Greater Schooling (in partnership with College of Victoria, Canada and PRIA, India).

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