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ST. AUGUSTINE UNIVERSITY OF TANZANIA

 A University for the 21st Century


 The prospect of a major new centre of learning and culture in Tanzania is being realized.  On a 600-acre site outside Mwanza near the shores of Lake Victoria, the new St. Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT), sponsored by the Catholic Church, enrolled its first class of 25 students in September 1998. 

 

This was the beginning of a new Bachelorís programme in Mass Communication, and it was followed in 1999 by a Bachelor of Business Administration course with emphasis on Accounting and Finance, Marketing, and Human and Material Resources Management.  Other courses to be added year by year will in time swell the enrollment to 2,000 or more students.

 

Actually, those first students in 1998 were not at all lonely.  St. Augustine University incorporated the former Nyegezi Social Training Institute, numbering some 280 students, and continued to offer Advanced Diplomas in Accountancy, Materials Management, and Journalism.  In addition, one-year Certificate courses in Accountancy and Health Administration will continue. A new one-year Certificate in Journalism and Media Studies was begun in 1999, to be joined in the year 2002 by a Certificate in Secretarial Science.

 

The full scale of this great enterprise is outlined below.

  History and Need

 

Intellectual and educational leaders in Tanzania have long felt the need for a richer mix of academic offerings in this country.  In the 29 years since the University of Dar es Salaam (1970) was established, fewer than 20,000 degrees have been awarded.  Sokoine, an agricultural university, was started in 1984, but this has produced only about two thousand more graduates.  In 1995, Tanzania enacted legislation allowing private universities to be established under rigid conditions that would assure the integrity of their degrees. 

 

Relying on the Catholic Churchís long tradition in higher education, the Bishops of Tanzania decided in 1996 that the time was ripe to extend the Churchís service to university education.  The logical area for a new university was in the Lake Zone, and the ideal approach would be to use the Nyegezi Social Training Institute (NSTI), already a tertiary institution, as the foundation for this exciting development.

 

Nyegezi Took the Lead

 

It was back in 1960, as the winds of change were sweeping across southern Africa, that Bishop Blomjous of Mwanza encouraged the White Fathers to establish an educational centre at Nyegezi, ten kilometres south of Mwanza.  Specializing in journalism, accountancy, and community development, the Nyegezi Social Training Centre would educate personnel to undertake positions of leadership in the countries of East and Central Africa that were to achieve their independence during the coming years.  Over the years, Nyegezi sent more than 2,300 graduates into the service of government, business, religion, the media and other institutions.  It continued to graduate some 100 professionals each year.  What better foundation on which to build in establishing a new university?

 

 

A Rich Network of Colleges

 

St. Augustine University of Tanzania, centered in Mwanza, is the hub of an educational complex spanning a large area of the country.   In the heart of Mwanza, the Bugando Medical Centre, established in 1972, will be the site of the Constituent College of Health Science, offering degree courses in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and nursing.  The Constituent College of Education, located in Mwenge outside Moshi, will begin the training of primary and secondary school teachers in 2002.  The Constituent Colleges of Law and Technical Sciences are projected for Songea.  In addition, the Philosophy and Theology faculties of the Catholic seminaries in Tanzania may be allied to the University.

 

The Central Campus

 

Within the shadow of the Nyegezi Social Training Institute (1960-98) lies a 575-acre campus that the Tanzania Episcopal Conference has set aside for St. Augustine University of Tanzania.  Originally part of the property of the Diocese of Mwanza owned by the White Fathers, these grounds were handed over to the Tanzanian government in 1967 for an agricultural college. 

 

With the governmentís consolidation of agricultural training centres, the property was returned to the Church in April 1997.  Bordering on Lake Victoria, it contains a model irrigation system developed by the German government, as well as rich farm lands and facilities for poultry, dairy cattle and other animals.  It has approximately 100 buildings, some in need of  extensive repair and renovation, including 40 houses for faculty and staff, classrooms, and residence facilities for 244 students. It currently houses some 165 SAUT students, who take all their classes on that campus  An increasingly large part of the University will be located there in the coming years.

 

A Blueprint for the Future

 

A university should be a spawning ground for a ferment of ideas that will help Tanzania and its people achieve their fullest human potential.  At the same time, it should prepare talented graduates in fields where it is most capable of meeting the needs of the country.  Thus, the initial Bachelorís programme in Mass Communication (1998) was followed in 1999-2000 by a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with specialisations  in Accounting and Finance, Marketing Management, Materials Management, and Human Resources Management. A B.A. in English Literature and Writing and a B.S. in Information and Communication Technology are planned for 2001-2002.  The Masterís degree in Mass Communication is anticipated for 2002, the M.B.A. in 2003, and the Masterís in English in 2004.  To meet the urgent needs of the Lake Region for well-trained office staff, a Certificate in Secretarial Sciences will be introduced in 2002.  Other degree programmes will follow.

 

B.A. and Masterís degrees in Philosophy can be provided through the Catholic seminaries of Tanzania, and, as need dictates, the University will consider offering a Certificate and a Diploma in Pastoral Theology.  Teaching degrees will be awarded through Mwenge Teacher Training College beginning in 2004 and degrees from the Bugando Medical Centre will follow.

 

Sharing a Great Adventure

 

Starting a new University calls for persons with a vision and a heart large enough to surmount the numerous challenges facing this endeavour. The greatest challenge is to keep oneís eyes fixed on the ideal of superior quality that should characterize an institution in the tradition of great Catholic universities and dedicated to one of the foremost scholars of the West and of Africa, St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430). 

 

Educators and scholars dedicated to teaching and advancing their fields through competent research will be warmly welcomed into the academic community of St. Augustine University.

 

Investing in Excellence

 

Individuals with a vision of Tanzaniaís immense potential and its need for a great cadre of educated persons will want to share in this great adventure with their moral and financial support.  Among the urgent projects requiring financial support for the new University are the following:

 

Renovation of buildings (hostels, staff quarters, chapel, classrooms, library, offices)

Audio-visual teaching devices for the classrooms

Construction of a large new tank to supply water for the new campus

Installation of a fire control system

Renovation of buildings for photo-journalism and for audio and television 

 production studios

Supporting the University in developing the radio station and its transmission 

 facilities

Renovation of a building for the Computer Centre and purchase of 50

 computers with Internet capability and 20 printers

         Installation of diesel-powered generators for radio transmitters at two

         locations and for lighting classrooms, library, and hostels.

Solar-powered backup to serve as an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) for computers

Repair and upgrade of irrigation system installed in the 1970ís

Cultivation of rice fields, farmlands and orchards

Restoration of dairy cows, poultry and other animals

 

Sholarships for needy students and assistance in faculty development and meeting the salaries of new personnel will also be of great importance.

 

The generous support of individuals and business firms is essential for the realization of these projects.  In addition, foundations and other institutions will be approached to lend their assistance.  In short, the strength of St. Augustine University will come from the wholehearted collaboration of a great academic family in close relationship with generous donors from Mwanza, other parts of Tanzania, elsewhere in East Africa, and abroad. 

 

We warmly welcome all who are ready to enter upon this great adventure by investing in excellence -- those who share the vision of Tanzaniaís potential for inspired leadership among African nations in the 21st century. 

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Fr. D. Rweyongeza, Vice Chancellor

St. Augustine University of Tanzania

P.O. Box 307  Mwanza, Tanzania

 

Tel:   255-028-2552725, 2550560, 2550166

Fax: 255-028-2550167, 2500575

e-mail:  saut@africaonline.co.tz

     Internet: http:/saut.ac.tz.tripod.com

 

 St. Augustine University of Tanzania, like its predecessor, the Nyegezi Social Training Institute, is located 10km south of Mwanza, on the road to Nyegezi and Malimbe that branches off from the main Mwanza-Shinyanga highway.

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