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									UoA News Bulletin                                                    Vol. 3, Issue 1 Nov. 2003
UNIVERSITY OF ASMARA NEWS BULLETIN
VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1                                                                  NOVEMBER 2003


  Law Program elevated to a Faculty
 Yoftahe Kibrom
The University of Asmara’s Law       practice.                               departments; and some have
Program was upgraded into a                                                  acquired an LL.M. abroad and are
Faculty on July 15, 2003 and         The Faculty has so far graduated        either lecturers at the Faculty or
separated from the College of        155 students with the LL.B.             high court judges.
Arts and SocialSciences.             degree. It has also trained 101
                                     government functionaries and            The Faculty has also benefitted
“The decision to upgrade the         judges at Asmara and Hal-hale           from its relations with some
program was taken in                                                                  western universities. The
order to enhance legal                                                                University of North
education in the country                                                              Carolina at Chapel Hill,
by raising its status and                                                             the University of Wiscon-
making it administra-                                                                 sin in Madison, Boston
tively autonomous,” said                                                              University, as well as the
Dr. Mengsteab Negash,                                                                 University of Trent in
Dean of the Faculty of                                                                Italy have been sending
Law.                                                                                  faculty to teach here and
                                                                                      helping the Faculty of
The Faculty currently                                                                 Law in designing its
has 166 students – 36 in                                                              curriculum.
the second year, 35 in
the third year, 60 in the                                                              The “most pressing”
fourth year and 35 in the                                                              problems the faculty is
fifth year. It has three                                                               facing are shortage of
permanent staff and                                                                    instructors and textbooks.
three expatriates. Some                                                                The Faculty hires a
high court judges and                Dr. Mengsteab, Dean of the Faculty of Law         limited number of expatri-
prosecutors and practicing           campuses and granted them               ates to solve its short-term needs.
lawyers have also been teaching      certificates.                           “Yet, the Faculty needs to develop
at the Faculty to supplement its                                             a solid core of local staff,” said the
staff. The dean said, “the exer-     Dr. Mengsteab said the Faculty is       dean. The Faculty suffers from
cise of including members of the     playing its role in reconstructing      lack of textbooks since law is
bench and the bar in the teaching    the nation. “The school has             “country specific” and there are
process enables the students feel    considerably alleviated the acute       no books written on Eritrean laws.
how the laws actually work.”         shortage of skilled manpower
                                     facing our newly independent            What aggravates this problem is
The Faculty of Law has a five-       nation,” he said. Most of the           the Faculty’s lack of a computer
year LL.B. degree program            Faculty’s graduates work as             lab to let its students access the
designed to give basic training in   judges and prosecutors in the           Internet. The upgrading of the law
law. Students also have the          Ministry of Justice; some as legal      program will, nonetheless, “inten-
opportunity to attend court          advisers, law drafters and re-          sify legal education in the coun-
sessions to relate theory to         searchers in other government           try.”

                                                                                                              1
UoA News Bulletin                                                  Vol. 3, Issue 1 Nov. 2003
  Drama Club Stages Show to UoA Community
Yosief Tekle
The Drama Club of the Univer-         themselves. These members come        and A Case of Dismissal,
sity of Asmara had a special          from different departments and        adapted from an Egyptian one-act
evening presentation on Thurs-        years of study.                       play, in May 2003. Both plays
day, Nov. 6, for a third time                                               were staged in Cinema Asmara
since its inception. Members of       Earlier, the Club presented two       on the occasion of the 12th
the University community              shows—Fresh Love in April 2003,       Eritrean Independence day.
packed New Hall to capacity                                                    According to Club reports,
to enjoy the Club’s latest                                                     students’ response to the
production, Our Life.                                                          shows has been very encour-
                                                                               aging.
The show—incorporating
music, dancing and singing—                                                   The Club hopes to continue its
tells about the commitment of                                                 activities in a better-organized
two lovers to each other,                                                     way this year. The Drama
which develops into a deep                                                    Club is open to all students of
obsession as they become                                                      both sexes and from all years
adults and their minds become                                                 and departments, as well as to
victims of a dark fate that                                                   all staff members. Currently, it
forces them apart.                                                            has 20 members, all students.
                                                                              The Drama Club has a plan to
“It was a breathtaking and                                                    present its next show some
stunning story of passion, love,      The drama club in action                time around Christmas.
sacrifice, pain and sorrow,”
said Rahel Asghedom, coordi-
nator of the Drama Club.

The University of Asmara
                                      Volleyball Team Stood Second,
Drama Club was established in
November 2002 with activities
                                      Championship To Start
that enable students to perform       Yosief Tekle
plays written by members              In the Eritrean Social Marketing      the University played one game
                                      Group (ESMG) sponsored volley-        on Tuesday (November 25) and
The UoA News Bulletin is published
                                      ball season, from October 18 to       already defeated Himbrti 3-0.
monthly by the Office of Public       November 9, the University of
Relations and Communications          Asmara team stood second out of       10 teams are participating in the
University of Asmara, Asmara,         12 teams, after being beaten by       championship this year: Univer-
Eritrea.                              Abusalama 3-1. The University         sity, Abusalama, Natna, San
Telephone: 161926, ext. 259           itself hammered Setit 3-0 to reach    Francisco, Himbrti, Sawa,
Fax: 162236                           the finals.                           Benifer, TL Star, May-Nefhi, and
 Email: prcuoa@asmara.uoa.edu.er
                                                                            Bidho. Those games held in
Contents may not be reproduced        The University of Asmara team,
without written consent from the PR
                                                                            Asmara are played in Bocciofila
                                      which is in the first division, has   Stadium. The championship will
office.
             Written by:
                                      meanwhile started participating in    be played out throughout the
            Tirhas Teklay             the Volleyball Championship for       year; the UOA News Bulletin
           Yoftahe Kibrom             2004 that began Saturday, Novem-      will publish the schedule as it
             Yosief Tekle             ber 22. So far in this tournament,    becomes available.


                                                                                                         2
UoA News Bulletin                                                   Vol. 3, Issue 1 Nov. 2003
Center for Gender Research, Studies, and
Resources soon to be opened in the University
Tirhas Teklay
Recognizing the central role of     awareness for new university            well as international organizations
women in the national develop-      students and a leadership-training      interested in women’s issues, will
ment process, and having a          program for university women. It        strengthen the work of the
genuine concern about the low       will enable female students to          Center. It will prioritize research
level of educational attainment     organize and ask how they could         focused on national and global
and socio-economic wellbeing        possibly bring about a change of        issues of human development in
currently achieved by the vast      attitudes towards females by            general and strengthening the role
majority of Eritrean women, Dr.     illustrating the positive and nega-     of women in particular.
Belainesh Araya of the College      tive sides of Eritrean culture that
of Education put forward a          limit them to dependent roles.              Help is Needed
                                                                            Themesgen
                                             In 2003/04 the ratio of
                                             female to male students at     Woldeghebriel Berhe, a
                                             the University was only        current student in the
                                             1:7, despite strong efforts
                                             to encourage and enroll        Department of Civil
                                             women. The new Center          Engineering, suffers from
                                             hopes to increase the          a severe, debilitating
         Dr.Belainesh                        number of female Univer-
                                             sity students and eventu-      spinal cord illness that
                                             ally increase the leader-      cannot be treated in
                                             ship roles played by
                                                                            Eritrea.
                                             women in income-earning
                Dr. Belainesh
                                             activities and national
                                             development.                   The University of
proposal for the establishment of
                                                                            Asmara community has
a Center for Gender Research,       According to Dr. Belainesh, this
Studies, and Resources at the       Center will play a pivotal role in      launched a fund-raising
University of Asmara.               identifying and defining the critical   campaign to try and help
                                    issues, generating the required
The proposed Center is intended     knowledge, and developing the           Themesgen obtain treat-
to strengthen the University of     information for strategic ap-           ment abroad. All contri-
Asmara’s capacities in research     proaches to assure women’s full         butions are invited and
and teaching that contribute to     participation in the nation’s devel-
the understanding of gender-        opment, both as contributors and        welcome.
based issues and problems in        beneficiaries.
Eritrea. These efforts will
                                                                            Please make a contribu-
complement those of many other      The Center will link knowledge
Eritrean organizations working to   generation with problem–solving         tion through the desig-
advance the status of women in      through an inter-disciplinary           nated representative in
the country.                        research model. Partnerships with
                                                                            your department. Ask for
                                    the National Union of Eritrean
The Center is also expected to      Women and the National Union of         more information in the
provide a program of gender         Eritrean Youth and Students, as         Department office.

                                                                                                           3
UoA News Bulletin                                                     Vol. 3, Issue 1 Nov. 2003


UoA Opens a Public Relations Office
Yosief Tekle

The University of Asmara              or by visiting the University          inaugurating a new monthly
opened an Office of Public            website at www.uoa.edu.er and          newsletter for the University
Relations and Communications          sending an e-mail.                     community. “The UoA News
on Monday, November 3. The                                                   Bulletin serves as a tool to
new office will serve as an           “The PR office will also reach out     reactivate and strengthen internal
outlet for many voices at the         to alumni of the university, as well   communication at the University.
University, enabling individuals to   as members of the Eritrean             It is available online, which will be
educate the nation about the          Diaspora around the world,             of special interest to alumni and
work and progress of the              informing them about the work and      to Eritreans in the Diaspora,” Mrs
institution.                          mission of the university,” the        Wilder said. “We invite people to
                                      President added.                       read the UoA News Bulletin on
“The PR [Pubic Relations]                                                    the Internet at www.uoa.edu.er
office will                                                                                        and send us
enhance the                                                                                        their com-
quality and                                                                                        ments.”
quantity of
internal commu-                                                                                   Information
nication to create                                                                                tools of the
a strong sense of                                                                                 Public Rela-
community,                                                                                        tions Office
affinity, and                                                                                     include an
collective                                                                                        informative
strength and to                                                                                   set of publica-
make members                                                                                      tions and
of the community                                                                                  online materi-
well informed                                                                                     als about the
and able to                                                                                       University,
inform others,”                                                                                   which will
said Dr. Wolde-                                                                                   give it a
Ab Yisak,                                                                                         higher na-
                                      The UoA PR Team
President of the                                                                                  tional and
University,                                                                                       international
                                      The Public Relations office,           public profile.
Meanwhile, an Alumni Associa-         headed by Mrs. Jennifer Wilder,
tion has been launched by the         PR practitioner from the U.S., will    As the leading institution of higher
Office of Student Affairs, with       as well promote the scholarly and      learning in Eritrea, the University
the assistance of the new PR          educational work of the University     of Asmara plays an important role
office. Former students who           to the external community, sharing     in the development and progress
would like to join the Association    the resources and talents of the       of the country. Improved commu-
can gain more information by          University with the public.            nications will go far to extend the
telephoning the Office of                                                    benefits of its educational mis-
Student Affairs at the University,    In addition, the PR Office is          sion.



                                                                                                            4
UoA News Bulletin                                                    Vol. 3, Issue 1 Nov. 2003
 New Student Affairs Office and its Activities
   Yosief Tekle & Tirhas Teklay

In September 2002, a Student          The newly renovated cafeteria,         modate 1050 students, while the
Affairs Office was established        serves free meals to 500-day           capacity for women is only 250.
to “provide efficient and effec-      program students at a time. With       Existing dormitories are filled to
tive services that improve            the increasing number of students,     capacity and are below standard,
students’ welfare on campus.”         shortage of manpower, and lack of      though new women’s dormitories
The services under this office        necessary facilities such as steam     housing more than 500 students
include: the medical clinic,          boiler and stoves, additional          are under construction starting
cafeteria, dormitories, student       improvements are still required to     June 2002.
counseling and guidance ser-          ensure efficient services.
vices, job placements, sports and                                            According to Mr. Tekie, a stu-
intramural activities, and other      Mr. Tekie Asehun, Director of          dents’ lounge on the main campus
student organizations.                Student Affairs, said that construc-   is slated for completion by 2006,
                                      tion of a new cafeteria, with a        at an estimated cost of 2.8 million
Services of the Medical Clinic        capacity of more than 500 stu-         Nakfas. It will add conference
are offered to promote and            dents, is scheduled to be carried      halls, an Internet café, a
enhance the good health and           out starting the year 2004. In         bookshop, and libraries for blind
well-being of students and            addition, the old cafeteria will be    students, greatly expanding
ensure their academic success.        extended to accommodate 600 to         physical facilities for students.
                                      700 students at a time.
Currently, it provides outpatient                                            To involve students and staff in
medical health services to the        “ Without incurring additional         improvement plans, a series of
regular students of the university.   costs, we have improved the            meetings were conducted with
Though the clinic has no physi-       quality and quantity of the food       employees of the cafeteria,
cians, pharmacists and labora-        services in the students’ cafete-      dormitories and some students to
                                                                             get feedback on the overall
                                                                             working procedures of the
                                                                             University, problems and possible
                                                                             solutions.

                                                                             Student’s research papers have
                                                                             also helped to identify problems
                                                                             and propose solutions related to
                                                                             student welfare.

                                                                             Many academic staff members
                                                                             and external institutions have
                                                                             expressed their willingness to
                                                                             participate in improving student
   The UoA Female Dormitory under construction
                                                                             life at the University of Asmara.
                                                                             The office considers service to
tory technicians, the university   ria,” he said. “It seems that the         students to be its major task, and
    The UoA Female Dormitory under construction
has signed agreements with         students are content with the             seeks to strengthen an environ-
public hospitals in Asmara so      changes.”                                 ment and support structure that
students can be referred to these                                            will ensure the success of all
hospitals whenever necessary.      Male dormitories currently accom-         students, Mr Tekie added.


                                                                                                            5
UoA News Bulletin                                                    Vol. 3, Issue 1 Nov. 2003
College of Education – Meeting a Critical National Need

Established in 1997 as a fledgling    Educational Psychology to take on       had already assumed due to the
program, the College of Educa-        important jobs administering the        shortage of professionals at that
tion at the University of Asmara      nation’s schools and counseling         level. Another training program
today is the undergraduate major      students. Teaching degrees and          was held for 20 refugees from
of more than 1,000 students,          diplomas can be earned in Science       the Sudan and Somalia, enabling
making it the largest college at      Education and Social Science            them to teach in refugee commu-
the University. Well over 400         Education, and many students earn       nities where schools and teachers
professionals graduate each           diplomas in Middle School Educa-        are in great demand.
year, joining the nation’s teach-     tion. Those pursuing degrees in
ers and educational administra-       Education can major in Biology,         As the College of Education has
tors and counselors. But, as          Chemistry, English, Geography,          grown and broadened its pro-
many teachers as the University       History, Mathematics, and Physics,      grams, it has received invaluable
graduates each year, the need         and they are prepared to assume         financial support from DANIDA
continues to expand around the        teaching positions in the country’s     through a linkage program at the
country.                              high schools. Diploma candidates        Danish University of Education.
                                      can major in English, Geography,        “We have greatly benefited from
Of the current students, 675 are      History, Mathemat-
pursuing a bachelor’s degree          ics, and Science to
and 474 are enrolled in the           assume teaching
diploma program. The College          positions in middle
is struggling to meet the educa-      schools.
tional and counseling needs of
this large population with only 12    Consistent with its
current teaching staff. Accord-       mission to serve the
ing to Sr. Lettedinghil               country, the College
Ogbamichael, Dean of the              of Education also
College, the student/staff ratio is   provides
one of the program’s greatest         consultancy
challenges. “We have an acute         services to the
shortage of staff,” said Sr.          Ministry of Educa-             Sr. Lettedinghil, Dean of the College
Lettedinghil. “We are working         tion. As in all                of Education
hard to attract new faculty from      programs at the
abroad, and we are helped by          University, the College seeks to          our linkage with DANIDA,” said
other colleges at the University      collaborate with the public sector        Sr. Lettedinghil. “Some of our
that offer our students non-          in education, keeping their curricu- staff members received training
pedagogical subjects.”                lum relevant to the needs of the          with their help,” she said, adding
                                      nation. Every summer, workshops that such funds also enabled the
The College of Education              for teachers, school supervisors,         Faculty to purchase much-needed
prepares graduates to fill the        and directors enhance the skills of       equipment. Unfortunately, this
middle and secondary school           those already in the profession.          linking program is now threatened
teaching needs of the country,        Last summer, 300 elementary               by cuts in DANIDA’s budget, and
which are currently vastly            school teachers were given                the Dean is seeking alternative
understaffed. Students pursuing       intensive training to attain the skills relationships to maintain the flow
a Bachelor’s degree can major         necessary to teach at the junior          of resources and staff from
in Educational Administration or      level – a job which many of them          abroad.


                                                                                                            6
UoA News Bulletin                                                    Vol. 3, Issue 1 Nov. 2003
Transforming the UoA from a teaching to a research university
Yoftahe Kibrom

Beginning in the winter of 2004,     for discussion on how graduate          “In a traditional university set-
the University of Asmara will        studies should evolve in the            ting,” said the director, “apart
introduce graduate studies in        university.                             from training students, graduate
selected areas. Students will be                                             study is also a good tool for
able to enroll for Master’s           The director said they are adapt-      conducting research.”
degree programs and to pursue        ing a thematic approach to re-
research under the guidance of       search, and intend “to establish        These activities are closely
university faculty.                  research centers with appropriate       related to human resources
                                     themes.”                                development, “Since human
The Office of                                                                     resource managed appropri-
Research and                                                                      ately is a good tool for
Human Resources                                                                   enhancing research.”
Development and
Coordination of                                                                   Maintaining a good working-
Graduate Studies                                                                  linkage with the country’s
(ORHRGS) facili-                                                                  public and private organiza-
tates the programs.                                                               tions is important for partici-
                                                                                  pating in reconstruction and
“Each selected                                                                    development efforts. The
college is evaluating                                                             various academic depart-
its needs and capaci- Dr. Ghebrebrhan carries out research on earthquakes in ments will be the ‘main
ties to decide which      the country                                             actors’ whereas the
departments should                                                                ORHRGS “will facilitate it
start graduate programs,” said                                              and oversee its appropriate
Dr. Ghebrebrhan, the Director of They expect this strategy to create implementation.”
ORHRGS.                               a good working environment,
                                      bringing researchers in different     The university will need external
The task of the ORHRGS is,            disciplines together, making all      partners to supplement its capac-
however, three fold dealing with      research relevant to the needs of     ity. The office views South
research, human resources             the country, while maximizing the     African universities as potential
development and graduate study. ratio of development output to the          external partners, since there
The office will issue guidelines,     amount of research funds.             already is a ‘good base’.
evaluate proposals, monitor
research and allocate funds           The office is trying to get funds for “Now that the university is being
making certain that preparations      research. But the director said,      geared to becoming a research
for graduate studies are carried      “The beneficiaries of the research university,” said Dr. Ghebrebrhan,
out appropriately.                    outputs should eventually be          “it is important that we start
                                      responsible for sustaining these      graduate studies.”
“ With regards to research,” said     efforts.”
Dr. Ghebrebrhan, “our main goal                                             The decision to begin graduate
is to direct research throughout       The new Master’s program will        training and research represents a
the university and address the        require two years of study, one       landmark in the growth and
research needs of the country.”       devoted to course-work and the        stature of the university.
                                      second to research.
The office also creates forums

                                                                                                             7
UoA News Bulletin                                                     Vol. 3, Issue 1 Nov. 2003

      New Appointments
 New appointments to faculty and administrative positions at the University (since June, 2003)

Academic Appointments:                Social Work Department                     Head, Research Library
Dr. Mengisteab Negash,                Dr. Debashis Chakrabarti,                Department
  Dean, Faculty of Law                   Head, Journalism & Mass               Ato Ibrahim Mohammed,
Professor Tej Dhar,                   Communication Department                   Head, Users Service Depart-
  Dean, Faculty of Arts               Dr. T.P. Singh,                          ment
Ato Berhane Zekarias,                   Head, Agricultural Engineering         Ato Adhana Mengisteab,
 Head, Electrical Engineering         Department                                  Head, Technical Service
Department                            Dr. Dagnew Gebereselassie,               Department
Dr. Melake Tewolde,                     Coordinator, Agricultural
    Head, Department of Eco-          Sciences Diploma Program                 Department of Finance:
nomics and Finance                    Ato Sirak Mehari,                        W/ro. Sara Emahatsion,
Dr. Sara Ogbay,                         Coordinator, Agricultural                Head, General Fund Unit
   Head, Department of English        Economics Unit
Dr. Dan Adrian Hunter,                Professor K.S. Krishna,                  Consulting, Testing and Training
    Head, Department of Com-            Coordinator, Agricultural              Center:
puter Science                         Extension Unit                           Ato Khaled Mukthar,
Dr. Lizy Janes,                                                                   Head of the Administration
  Head, Sociology & Social            Administrative Appointments:             and Finance Division
Work Department                       University Library:
Ato Missa Sultan,                     W/ro. Ghidey Kahsay,
  Acting Head, Sociology &

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