Textbook donations benefit African students

Students at the higher education resource centre, which has been stocked with book donations from the University of Portsmouth.

Students at the higher education resource centre, which has been stocked with book donations from the University of Portsmouth.

Donations of textbooks from the University of Portsmouth are helping a Ugandan graduate to improve higher education in his own country.

Joseph Kahuma, a graduate of Portsmouth’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) course, set up a higher education consultancy in Kampala – Uganda’s capital city – to benefit students in sub-Saharan Africa.

The business includes a resource centre, which Joseph has stocked with thousands of surplus University books.

Joseph, who has returned to Uganda after 14 years living and studying in the UK, said he was inspired to set up the consultancy while studying for his MBA and saw it as an opportunity to give something of practical value to others interested in higher education.

He said: “I’m indebted to Portsmouth Business School, the University Library and the entire University community for the support and encouragement they have shown for this project – including the donation of so many textbooks, which have been invaluable in stocking our resource centre.

“Thanks to this partnership with the University of Portsmouth – and hopefully many other UK institutions to follow – our consultancy will improve the quality, relevance, accessibility and affordability of higher education in this part of Africa.”

The books cover a range of academic disciplines and were donated from surplus stock held by the Library and Portsmouth Business School.

Joseph added: “Studying for the MBA wasn’t just instrumental in setting up this project – the project itself was conceived and researched as part of the course.

“I used all aspects of my MBA learning, including leadership, organisational development, business growth and strategic thinking, at every stage of the venture, from concept to implementation.

“As part of the MBA programme we were taught about ethical business practices, including taking care of environmental concerns in light of global warming. I believe this model is the best way of recycling knowledge and technology in education as well as striving to make the world a better place.”

Before graduating from the MBA, Joseph studied sociology and social policy at Portsmouth.

Students at work in the resource centre.

Students at work in the resource centre.

MBA programme manager Jennifer Morgan commented: “I’m delighted that University colleagues stepped forward to support Joseph’s business endeavours to help improve educational opportunities for higher education students in sub-Saharan Africa.

“This is a great example of how the University can use knowledge transfer in a direct, practical way for the benefit of the international community – and of course it also reflects well on the quality of our MBA course, which gives students the skills and confidence to start ambitious business ventures of their own.”

 

 

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