From Arrupe College to Arrupe Jesuit University

 

The approval for Arrupe College to be a university by the Zimbabwe Council of Higher Education (ZIMCHE) has brought so much joy among Arrupeans and creates multiple opportunities for the Arrupe family and the Zimbabwean community. 

The dream has finally come true. Arrupe College, will now be known as Arrupe Jesuit University, becoming the first Jesuit University of the Conference of Jesuit Major Superiors of Africa and Madagascar. 

It was established in 1994, as a Jesuit School of Philosophy and Humanities and for several years has been operating as an associate college of the University of Zimbabwe under which it has offered thousands of students degrees in Philosophy. 

The college has also been an affiliate of a prestigious Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and has offered it Baccalaureate Degree in Philosophy here in Zimbabwe. 

Located within a stone’s throw of its former university (UZ) in Mt Pleasant Harare, Arrupe University will now offer its own degrees and join the network of about 300 Jesuit university world wide. 

In an interview, the Principal Dr Kizito Kiyimba SJ, said the university will not change but continue with its Jesuit formation programmes which will become part of the bigger curriculum. 

he added that the university will enroll more lay people than before and that the Jesuit community will tap from the universality of a university community. 

“We think that when Jesuits are being formed inside the university context, there is a lot of wealth to be drawn from there, the universality of the university is good for our formation.”

So far 15 Jesuits are teaching at the ‘college’, and with the transition, there is a platform of more experienced and renowned Jesuits to be missioned.

Dr Kiyimba SJ said while he thinks that “Jesuits have much more to offer,” the transition is also an opportunity for the university to “employ qualified Zimbabweans” to teach and contribute to the nation’s higher education system. 

Several degree and certificate programmes are on the cards as the university starts its enrollment. 

Philosophy programmes will continue and new and high valued programs such as the Doctorate in Philosophy will also be introduced. 

In regards to educational programmes, Dr Kiyimba SJ said “We are going to go in a big way in Education. We talk about Ignatian pedagogy so we are going to model a program that suits Jesuit schools but that will also be open to other schools.”

“We are also going to offer masters in Early Childhood Development. In education we are ready to fly,” he added. 

Some of the degree programmes on offer include BA (Hons) Training for Transformation, BSc (Hons) Information and Communications Technology, Certificate in Development Studies, Certificate in Environmental Studies, Diploma in Leadership, and various short courses. 

The university has also partnered with recognised institutions like the Cisco Systems, Inc, an American multinational technology conglomerate, that will offer basic and advanced computer and ICT skills courses. 

Dr Kiyimba SJ said the university’s business plan allows them to start slowly and sustainable and aim to enroll 250 new students. This means that with the current infrastructure, the university can now accommodate about 350 students on campus at any single time. 

The inauguration date has been set for the 24th of February 2018 t 09:00hrs at the university’s campus in Mt Pleasant, Harare. 

 

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