Unity, Oromia State University Sign Memorandum of Understanding
Unity University and Oromia State University signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 7, 2018, at a ceremony held in the Conference Hall of MIDROC Technology Group Corporate Centre. The MoU was signed by Dr. Arega Yirdaw, President of Unity University, and Ato NegussieTaddesse, President of Oromia State University.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Arega Yirdaw, President of Unity University, from the outset, appreciated the initiative taken by the leadership of Oromia State University to establish collaboration with Unity University; and thanked the leadership for the same. The University President continued to outline the focus areas of Unity University, whereby he elaborated in detail about programmes like General Education, Health Science, Leadership, Engineering (with particular emphasis on Architecture and Urban Planning, Mining Engineering, Information Technology and Construction Technology), and Executive Training Programme.
Having said this, Dr. Arega spoke about the early years of Unity University and the concerted effort exerted to make the University “A Quality House”. With this in focus, he mentioned about the tasks accomplished with a view to enhancing quality education by way of being selective in the programmes offered. He underlined that the objective was to provide unique opportunities for students. “This”, he said, “enables students to join Unity by their choice.”
Further, the President dwelt at length on the issue of university-industry linkage. In this connection, he made note of the unique situation of Unity University as member of the MIDROC Technology Group companies. At this juncture, Dr. Arega cited the example of the opportunity provided by MIDROC Gold Company for students of Mining Engineering Department of the University. He emphatically noted that students and academic staff of Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, with which Unity had signed Memorandum of Understanding, were provided the same opportunity, and visited LagaDambi mining site in Oromia Region.
Going further into the broad spectrum of opportunities the new Agreement would open up for students of the two Universities and the youth in general, Dr. Arega pointed out the growing challenges from the youth regarding the demand for job opportunities. He underlined that “The challenge is a healthy one; except for capacity limitations in the country to meet the demands.” To this end, he noted, “Since MIDROC has a considerable number of projects in Oromia Region, the signing of the MoU will open up wider opportunities for joint efforts, including conducting problem-solving research, to help fill the gaps along this line.” In conclusion, he reiterated, “We can undertake joint projects that can be exemplary and replicated in other areas as well. And we are ready for that.”
Speaking on his part, Ato NegussieTaddesse, President of Oromia State University, talked about the establishment of the University in 1992 (E.C.), as a short-term training centre named Oromia Management Institute; which subsequently grew into Public Service College of Oromia in 1997(E.C.); and was gradually upgraded to University level in 2009(E.C.). The President mentioned the various activities of the University, which involved Teaching/ Training, Research and Community Services.
As regards the current status of the University, Ato Negussie pointed out the student population (undergraduate and postgraduate programmes), the number of graduates so far, and the University’s ties with various local and foreign institutions of higher learning. At this juncture, Ato Negussiereiterated, “There is no way that a university will be totally self-sufficient and stand on its own to undertake its multi-faceted tasks. There is growing need these days to enhance knowledge sharing and experience exchange.” In this connection, he underlined that in light of Unity University being a member of the MIDROC Technology Group companies, Oromia State University would have broad opportunity to benefit from sister companies of Unity, through the provisions of the MoU.
In conclusion, Ato Negussie underlined the need for collaborative endeavours; and hence, the significance of the signing of the MoU. He further stated that the signing of the MoU should not be an end in itself. He stressed, “We need to speed up the process of implementing the provisions of the MoU and produce tangible results.”
This was followed by extensive discussion,which involved exchanging of views and opinions regarding possible areas of collaboration. There was expressed view on both sides that the MoU should be put into practice as soon as possible, with a view to contributing due share of the two institutions to efforts aimed at overcoming challenges of the day. To this end, there were suggestions that people should be assigned from both sides to serve as focal persons, and follow up on the implementation of the MoU. Accordingly, Dr. Butte Gotu, Deputy President, and Wz. Tegest Heruy, Vice President, were assigned from Unity University; whereas Ato EresoNegi, International Relations and Communications Director, and Ato LemiTafa, Business Development Director, were assigned from Oromia State University.