Busitema University will open its Arapai and Namasagali campuses in August. The University Secretary Dr. Maurice Muhwezi-Murari said in a statement dated April 27 that Arapai Campus will open in August for the academic year 2010/2011.

“The initial academic programmes will include a Bachelor of Science in Animal Production and Management and a Bachelor of Science in Dairy Technology. It has also been decided that the campus retains the Diploma in Animal Production and Management and Diploma in Crop Production and Management. Other existing programmes will be reviewed to see which of them can be retained,” Muhwezi-Murari said.

Formerly known as Arapai Agricultural College, the campus located 10 kilomtres from Soroti town along Soroti-Moroto Road, is one of the six institutions that were merged to establish a multi-campus public university for Eastern region known as Busitema University - with its main campus at the former National College of Agricultural Mechanization, Busitema in Busia District.

The other campuses are former Nagongera Teacher’s College, Tororo District; Mbale School of Hygiene and School of Clinical Officers, Kaliro National Teacher’s College and Namasagali University.

However, since the university opened in 2007, only two campuses have been operational: Busitema and Nagongera. The opening of Arapai campus will raise the number of operational campuses to four with Namasagali which is also expected to officially open in August.

The university is also expected to eventually open another campus in Pallisa town. Seated on 675 acres of land, Arapai Agricultural College had distinguished herself as a training field for agriculturalists for many years. It started in 1952 with the broad mandate to carry out research and training.

The brain behind this Farm Institute was Mr. Oliver S. Barr, a British national, who was based at Serere Research Station. In 1957, the first 55 students enrolled for a three-year certificate course, but effectively started the course in 1958.

The minimum entry qualification then was Junior Secondary Leaving Certificate, and students paid an affordable amount of fees for training.

In 1961, the minimum entry qualification was raised to Cambridge School Certificate, with a Credit in Science and the course duration reduced from three to two years, leading to an award of a National Certificate in Agriculture and those graduates were referred to as Agricultural Assistants (AAs).

In 1963, the Farm Institute was elevated to an Agricultural College, and in 1964 a diploma course was introduced. In those days, graduates from the institute got automatic employment in the government agriculture extension programmes.

In 1980, the expansion of the college to cater for more students was started with construction of two new blocks of dormitories. However, due to the insurgency in 1986, the work stalled.

As a result, the well-stocked farm and the ably managed arable land which used to facilitate practical training were destroyed and students and staff relocated to Bukalasa Agricultural College until 1992.

Under the Public Service Reform Programme in 1997, the college was transferred from Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to Ministry of Education and Sports which allocated it to Busitema University.

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0 #1 Ejokere Emukule 2010-05-05 11:25
This is a right step in the right direction. Learners aspiring to further their studies from within mother Teso and the neigbouring districts will be oppotuned to reduce on distances to Universities across the Nile Bridge.

We can see meanigful revival of research in agricultural field in the offing and near vicinity. I encourage the brains behind this to accomplish the task

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