My attention is drawn to an article that was published in The Standard of August 01, entitled “UCU takes part in Dar Science and Technology Expo.”
It clearly exposes the weaknesses and gaps within the Communications and Marketing and the Admissions directorates.
UCU is facing a challenge with student numbers dropping in some programmes, for a number of reasons. The major one is poor publicity and marketing. For example, looking at the UCU website, the link to the science programmes provides no tangible information. The TV adverts, which do not provide detailed information, also refer the public to the same website. Science programmes are mainly struggling with numbers because the public has little information about them.
Exhibitions, like the one held in Dar-es-Salaam or the Jinja Agricultural Show, provide a platform for the university to market directly to a potential audience. Both events lacked impact because of the lack of proper facilitation and planning.
Besides teaching and research, university instructors are supposed to do community outreach and solve community or environmental problems.
About the Dar Expo, for example, one wonders how you showcase without involving the relevant faculties (Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Science and Technology) or without a scientist on the team or scientific models! How do you convince people to join your science programmes when the exhibitors have no idea about science? Investing in sciences will make UCU the centre of excellence.