By Jok P Mayom
JUBA, 28th April 2015 [Gurtong] – The 18th graduation ceremony was graced by the Chancellor of the University President Salva Kiir, who was the guest of honor.
The graduation was marked with a colorful procession of the graduands from the University’s main campus to Customs campus near custom roundabout led by a Police Band.
The President upon his arrival at the venue joined the procession from the assembly point to the pavilion.
President Kiir applauded the graduands for their hard work and the far they have come to the point of graduation.
“As the Chancellor of this University, I greet and welcome you all for this historical occasion for the class of 2015, I know that reaching this day was not easy you have walked a very long way and you have reached this occasion today” he said.
This is the 18th graduation and the first of its kind since the independence of South Sudan in 2011.
President Kiir said it is an indicator of growth. “For the University of Juba to conduct its graduation after independence is an indication that indeed our higher education is progressing and we will eventually meet the target although our country is going through difficulties due to the ongoing crisis”.
While congratulating the graduands, President Kiir used the opportunity to assure everybody that he is determined to bring peace in the country.
“As a leader of this country I will honor and remain determined to continue doing my best to bring peace back to our country so that we can all focus on the development of our country using education as a vehicle for development” he added.
“Our main objective is to develop the human resources that have the capacity to seeing beyond the presence capable of analyzing its environment and has the way to go beyond high riser” he said.
On his part the Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Apurot Akec congratulated and appreciated the role of the academic staffs and university administration in making the graduation of the students a success.
Prof. Akec laid numerous challenges but above all thanked the government for its success in relocating the university from the North and its maintainance.
Noting one of the sayings, Akec said, “If you can dream, you can do it. Yes we have done it.”
He thanked the partners including the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) for the construction of the college of law campus where the graduation was done.
Juba University was founded in 1975 in response to the need for higher education in southern areas of Sudan. Due to the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983 – 2005), the university relocated to Khartoum, for safety of staff, students and infrastructure.
In 2006, the government at that time agreed to change the name of the university to Juba National University. Following the attainment of independence by South Sudan in July 2011, the university has relocated back to Juba, where it was founded. The university gives instruction in the English Language.
The University offers colleges including Graduate College (now Graduate Secretariat), Computer Studies Center (now College of Computer Science and Information Technology), College of Applied and Industrial Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Law, School of Management Sciences, College of Arts and Humanities, College of Art, Music and Drama, College of Art, Music and Drama wholly moved to Juba, Colleges of Education, Community Studies and Rural Development.
The university also has centers including; Center for Peace and Development Studies, Human Resource Development and Continuing Education, Distance Learning, Languages and Translation, and Women and Child Studies.