African Rural University for women (ARU)
In 2006 URDT launched the first African Rural University (ARU) for women. The goal of ARU is to award Bachelor's degree in Technologies for Rural Transformation.
ARU provides hard won opportunity to women as they are often denied access to higher education. ARU aims to create pool of female leaders who are academically trained as rural transformation professionals, so to provide rigorous scientific input in rural development processes and to actively participate in socio-economic empowerment of marganalized communities.
ARU students come from economically poor backgrounds but are all talented rural women who are committed to serve as transformational and value driven leaders. ARU fills in gap as unique tertiary institution that offers academic education grounded in rural community and based on URDT's hands on home-grown development approach and its experience in rural transformation. ARU also promulgates ongoing research and collaboration, both local and international, in integrated rural development.
Since 2006, cohort of 20 test-students co-created the academic program with the faculty in order to insure its relevance and practicality within rural settings. ARU applied for and was rewarded with Letter of Interim Authority from The Ugandan National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) in 2007. Soon, ARU will offer three year course-degree program in Technologies for Rural Transformation (TRT) to female students. The modules include: visionary leadership, systems thinking, sustainable development including agriculture and environmental ethics, participatory action research, marketing, anthropology, peace studies, health and rural technologies. In addition, ARU students participate in learning circles to shape their character, and they learn new skills through participation in the other URDT programmes.
ARU graduates will be deployed to set up village transformation centres in Kibaale District and beyond. The institutional linkages with URDT's community radio, Institute for Vocational Studies and Appropriate Technologies, the Human rights and Justice centre and the URDT girls' school provides unique setting and give students hands on experience in the practice of transformational leadership.