The university is growing by the years
Wide-ranging university reforms in Cameroon brought about the University of Buea. Conceived in the English-speaking tradition, the UB seeks to foster the essence of that system, while situating itself within the larger bilingual and multicultural context of Cameroon” the institution asserts in its mission statement. The Anglo-Saxon model Institution stresses relevance, tolerance and creativity as it forms critical and independent minds.
The UB is located in the historic town of Buea, former capital of German Kamerun, former capital of the Federated State of West Cameroon and now the capital of the South West Region of Cameroon. The UB draws its students from the 10 Regions of Cameroon and welcomes a hosts of citizens from friendly countries.
With an ever growing student population today hitting the 15.000 mark, the 24-year-old University of Buea (UB) is gaining in infrastructure and programmes to satisfy career seekers.
Created in December, 1992, as one of the five new Universities in Cameroon to decongest the then single University of Yaoundé, Buea has leaped from the then Advanced School of Translators and Interpreters begun in 1985 to seven Faculties, one School and two Colleges.
On-going construction works are seen around the campus to provide accommodation for classes, offices and workshops. Examples include the Amphi 500, the administrative and pedagogic blocs for ASTI and the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, and the classroom bloc three. Also under construction is the UB volcano monitoring bloc critical for the Mount Cameroon eruptive moods.
The University of Buea hosts seven Faculties, one School and two Colleges. These Faculties include FA, FAVM, FED, FHS, FET, FS, and the FSMS. The lone School is ASTI and the two Colleges are the COT and the Kumba-based HTTTC, some 75 kilometres from the Buea main campus. The various programmes of the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Science (FAVM) may lead to a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (B.Sc.) after four years, a Masters in Science (M.Sc.) in two years, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in three years full time, and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in six years full time.
The UB population averaging 15.000, includes over fifty physically and visually impaired male and female citizens who even enjoy priority amenities.
Governance in UB is conceived and engineered on concentration and devolution of management, powers with decision making bodies including Council, Senate, Congregation and Committees, instances at which staff and students are represented
The UB employs a diversified staff of about 300 permanent and 200 part-time academic staff alongside some 473 support staff. The main campus has a fibre optic network connecting most of the buildings on campus.
Outreach activities of the University are increasingly lending training, research and funding to the private sector to ensure that graduates are relevant to the labour market. The University of Buea provides mentorship and plays a supervisory role to several tertiary educational institutions in Cameroon.
Professor Roland Ndip: “Over 90 Percent of Students Are Back on Campus”
Registrar University of Buea
Professor, can you paint a picture of class resumption in the University of Buea?
It is no secret that the turbulence that characterised this ending year has made us to change our calendar of activities significantly. As we speak (14 Sept, 2017) we are just rounding up the second semester examinations for 2016-17 academic year. The exams ended on Monday 18 September, 2017. After these exams the students had two weeks of break and they return for what we have termed the summer school. This summer school will take care of the courses for the first semester which were not covered up to 70 percent as our rules and regulations require. These courses were not written during the first semester exams. These courses will be taught during the two-week period. This programme runs from the 8th to 25th October, 2017. After the courses are taught the students will write an exam that will end the first semester. During this examination period there will also be re-sit exams which normally comes up in September. This time we will be having re-sit exams in late October just to catch up with time. So, our new academic year, 2017-18 will only begin in November because all these exams will take place in October and there will be a Senate meeting to ratify the results for the first semester. Then, the second semester would have already been ratified because we are already having exams now. The Senate for the second semester will be meeting on the 4th of October to ratify the second semester exam. So the end of the first semester will come at the end of October to close the academic year. Then our staff will have about two weeks of rest from the 1st to the 14th of November.
When will UB re-open for 2017-2018 academic year?
Hopefully, on the 15th of November we are going to begin the new academic year 2017-18. I also want to indicate here that as we speak calls for applications into our various programmes are on-going. We have the classical Faculties of Science, Arts, Education, Social and Management Sciences are being done on-line. Prospective applicants are advised to go on-line to the UB website to access the form and complete. We are also advising the students who were admitted last year but because of these perturbations which we had were not able to return to school and so never wrote any exam that we are giving them another opportunity to still apply as fresh students. They will be considered as we start the new academic year. But for professional programmes and Faculties including Engineering and Technology, College of Technology, Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, Health Sciences, HTTTC Kumba, and the Advanced School of Translators and Interpreters all must go through a competitive entrance exam. The call for all these applications are on-going. Some of them will expire in a week as we speak. For example the Faculty of Engineering and Technology the exam will be written on the 23rd of September and the others will be written progressively as we go to the end of September.
What percentage of students can we say have comeback to campus after the troubles we had last year?
As we speak, over 90 percent of the University of Buea students are back to campus. It is very encouraging. At the heat of the crisis we had so many students who left. When we started in February, it was timid. But as we moved towards the end of the first semester the population started increasing. And by the time we wrote the first semester exam a conservative estimate had about 60 percent of them back here. When we began the second semester the number kept on increasing. Now we have over 90 percent back to school.
What are the new things being introduced in the University of Buea this year, Professor?
The programmes that have already gone to the academic and planning committee, which are studied and approved will go on. The University will always spring some surprises, anyway! No new Faculty is coming up this time. We are still awaiting the creation of the Faculty of Law that you mentioned. It is not within our competence to create any.
Security wise, is your University a serene place now?
I think it is very calm. We are very vigilant and we continue to do so. We only hope that things will be better. My message to parents and students is to encourage them to take their studies seriously. They have to be very conscious and cautious with their environment because now we have lots of misleading information circulating on the internet. They should seek for the right information from the right source, which is the authorities of the University or the website of UB.