October 28, 2015 By Memunatu Bangura
Vice Chancellor of the University of Makeni (UNIMAK), Father Dr. Joe Turay, has called on the government and other organisations to support the university as it is faced with serious challenges.
He explained that UNIMAK is a private university which cannot afford to send students out of the country for studies, adding that the institution is faced with challenges that need the urgent attention of government and other partners.
“We are not receiving subvention from government and the support from our missionaries overseas is not forthcoming,” revealed Father Turay. “The government and other partners should come in and support to enable the university achieve its goal.”
With a humble beginning, he said the university was established to provide quality education that will address the social, political, religious and economic challenges in the country.
“Formally the Fatima Institute, the University of Makeni (UNIMAK) is the dream come true of Bishop Emeritus Rev. Dr. George Biguzzi. As the first private university in Sierra Leone, UNIMAK offers certificate, diploma and degree courses under the following departments: Agriculture, Business Administration and Management, Communication and Information Technology, Development Studies, Education, Law, Philosophy, and Public Administration,” he said.
He added that with Rev. Professor Father Joseph Alimamy Turay as Vice Chancellor, UNIMAK continues to support students with its little resources to ensure they achieve their academic goals.
The university, according to Father Turay, is currently giving priority to women in terms of encouraging them to gain enrolment. He said the institution has provided full and half scholarship support to about 60 students to the tune of Le200 million.
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The university has for the first time produced two female students amongst the three that were enrolled in the Law School, he said.
“UNIMAK has encouraging fees, which are normally used as running cost for administration and operations,” he disclosed. “Despite the above challenges, UNIMAK continues to operate with its core values of reflecting high Christian ideals, striving for academic excellence and courses; it is demand-driven and therefore meet the community needs, emphasising on quality and not quantity, leading in education development, and values and treats everyone with respect,” he said.
He pointed out that the university has been supporting the mobilisation, psychosocial and clinical pillars in the Bombali District Ebola Emergency Response. These initiatives, he said, have created partnership with European and African universities in establishing a legacy with safety infectious disease research laboratories, which became functional at the Sylvanus Koroma campus at Yoni.