Busitema University has won a two billion-shilling grant from the Uganda Millennium Science Initiative to open its own textile engineering program.
Professor Mary Okwakol, Vice Chancellor of Busitema University, says the program will start with the new semester in August. She says the degree program will produce graduates capable of managing textile industries, designing materials and analyzing links between property and structure of textiles.
The Busitema University textile engineering degree program was launched on Saturday at the university campus in Busia. Textile experts from universities in east and central Africa attended the ceremony to offer technical and moral support to Busitema University.
Textile engineering generally deals the application of scientific and engineering principles to the design and control of all fiber, textile, and apparel processes, products, and machinery. Textile engineers are given training and experience in plant design and layout, machine design and improvement and creating textile products.
The oldest textile engineering program in East Africa is in Moi University in Kenya.
Dr. John Githaiga, a lecturer from Moi University, attended the launch of the Busitema degree. He said it was important for government to design policies that can encourage research and training of students, as well as the smooth transfer of technology between the academia and the textile market.
The State Minister for Primary Education, Kamanda Bataringaya, welcomed the program, calling it an important step in giving university graduates practical skills for self-employment and development. He urged private universities to follow suit by teaching subjects that shall increase the marketability of their students.