Somaliland: University Of Hargeisa the Old and The New Chapters!

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“Keen to learn, motivated to help, and eager to be recognized as important contributor to your society”

By: Farhan A Suleiman

Somalilandsun – Young students of boys and girls chat along the sparkling corridors of their compasses in the University of Hargeisa with hope conversations; they go in and out of the university, interesting to attend their subjects.

This inspiring new chapter was brought by the new president of University of Hargeisa Dr. Abdi H Gass. The president succeeded the post after a public announcement made by the council which is the highest policy making body of the university.

Dr. Abdi took over the reign of University of Hargeisa in July 23, 2012 after well over 30 years’ of experience in the education sector. With a vision of educational expertise has enriched his strategies towards innovation and expansion in the University.

UoH is the process of instituting a strong Financial, Personal, Academic, etc. system to make the university accountable and transparent. UoH is striving to meet its vision of becoming the best university in East Africa. This vision must be realized in the light of meager financial resources and culture that is resistant to change.

Iam the third batch of 32 students graduated from the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in 2012, and still evoked the inspiring message from the president of University of Hargeisa, he said ” Dear students , it is a momentous event, because it marks the end of one milestone in your lives. Years at University of Hargeisa were especial, because they helped you to become the individuals you are today”.

The University is recently pursuing new short courses for the professional people to create more space for career enhancement. These courses were specifically offering by the Institute of peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS). IPCS is the first institute that focuses on studies and academic research in the areas of peace and conflict within the entire Somali-speaking community in the Horn of Africa. The Scene University of Hargeisa is a place of hope, respect and ambition.

PRESIDENT GASS’S NEW INITIATIVES AND PRIORITIES.

Prof Abdi Hussein GaasPresident Gass’s initiatives and priorities focus on making certain that University of Hargeisa fulfills its mission as an excellent nation’s university that is operated competence and successfully. During his short time, he contributed these different initiatives including Academic, Management, Financial and Communications as mentioned below.

 University Audit-Findings of all the problems facing the university and action plan forwarded to the University’s Board of Trustees. There was an open meeting held at UoH for this where all stakeholders attended.

 Security measures have been tackled by creating a student ID system for the first time. ID’s are checked at the gate every morning before entry, in the classrooms, and around campus. The ID system also helps us keep track of the students who paid their tuition. This helped alot since we don’t yet have a financial and/or student management system.

 Met with all students to discuss ways to work together, suggested they create a student union on their own to help bridge the gap between students and administration.

 Met with deans to strength relationship between faculties and administration. UoH previously lacked unity between deans and higher administration. Now there is a strong relationship between all counterparts of the university which now created a sense of order at the institution

 Met with professors and lecturers. Encouraged for them to make a union to help bridge the gap between them and UoH administration.

 Strengthen the relationship with the international Somaliland communities by meeting or holding conferences with the Somaliland communities of USA, Kenya, UAE, Kuwait, and Djibouti. All which are now working for ways to help UoH. USA community is donating a container full of university level books and computers. Other communities are working on building a website called Friends of UOH to help with all of the university needs.

 Turkish Government donated 40 computers to UoH also gave scholarships for students to attend universities in Turkey.

 Began transparent hiring process where all job postings are posted publicly through many mediums. Followed by the board of trustees looking over every competent applicant. The process is ended by a written and oral exam which is done free and fairly by code not name.

 Strengthened University Policy on campus for all students and staff.

 Opened an English Bridge School program to help students and other Somalilanders build their English literacy due to the medium of instruction being English at the university. This will help the students better understand what they are learning while making them globally competitive.

 Hired a competent Chief Accountant that has been taking care of the financial aspects of the university. As well as a well experienced Vice president for academic and student affairs who has great visions for the students and academic standing of the university.

 Working on opening a Gaariye Institute of Languages in honor of Gaariye and to help preserve the somali language,culture, and literature. Other languages will be taught here as well.

 Opened first ever Masters Program with Dalarna Univeristy of Sweden. It is an online midwifery and nursing program.

Though the access to university education has been increasing, the quality of education in many Somaliland universities appears to be on the shrink. Lack of well-trained and motivated lecturers and poor & inappropriate curriculum is among the main reasons explaining this diminishes. It is also clear that it does not provide needed skills for young Somalilanders to compete in an increasingly competitive labor market. Consequently, the likelihood of poorer young people proceeding to secondary and tertiary education is hindered due to the massive challenges and uncertainty they live.

To reach our full potential and lay the foundations for future development of our country, University of Hargeisa was established in the year 2000 for the need of university due to growing number of students graduating from the high schools. The university objective was to bring up intelligent, educated and far-sighted students who lead the country into global development. Today approximately 5000 students at the University both in morning and afternoon shifts. The university has got six main faculties; Business Administration, Economics, Law, Science and Medicine and Islamic studies. The university is also has postgraduate schools and implemented a distance learning program in the field of information Technology (ICT), journalism and other courses. The study goes on annual two semester basis with two vacations in the year. One month in the winter and two months in the summer.

With regards to my university days, I recalled that there were lots of panel discussions resting on different area such as, Somaliland Natural Resource Allocation”. This debate was took part by ministries, politicians, educators and also the students of different faculties leaded by the economic section student in the university. It was a sign of improvements that enables us an economic students to participate fully to make the University of Hargeisa a place where every one of us can display his/her hidden knowledge and give advice to turn one from the other.

What I have down pat during my four years of education is doomed stories. Going University of Hargeisa is somehow learning of your tribe. Every student joins the university because of knowing his enemy. The people behind this were members of senate, faculty deans and lecturers whom they share with same ethnicity. Students were assorted the issue of clannish and no one has the dream of working the unity of his society, that was the old chapter of University of Hargeisa.

Finally, it is the time to support the new management team of University of Hargeisa to turn nation’s dFarhan Abdi Suleimanreams in to reality.

Written By: FarhanAbdi Suleiman (Oday)

Email: oday1999@yahoo.com

Phone: 252 – 2 -4401132

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Farhan is a Social Worker and Youth activist in Hargeisa. He holds a BA in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Hargeisa and also postgraduate Diploma in Peace building & Conflict Management at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) in University of Hargeisa.

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