Catholic University of Mozambique
University description (as per official university website)
The Catholic University of Mozambique (Portuguese: Universidade Católica de Moçambique, UCM) is a university in Mozambique.
The university was founded on 10 August 1996 by the Mozambican conference of Bishops.At the time, higher education in Mozambique was only available in the capital, Maputo. The university currently has locations in Beira, Chimoio, Cuamba, Nampula, Pemba, Quelimane and Tete. One of the intentions was to make higher education available to central and northern Mozambique. As of 2007, approximately 3,270 students were enrolled at the university. The rector is Prof. Dr. Padre Alberto Ferreira.
The initiative to create the Catholic University of Mozambique (UCM) came up during the peace negotiations in Rome between Frelimo and Renamo. In June 1992 the negotiations were deadlocked; to unblock them, the mediator, Dom Jaime Pedro Gonçalves, Archbishop of Beira, presented the idea to establish a quality university for the centre and north of Mozambique. The Catholic Church promised to correct the unequal structure of the concentration of higher education institutions in Maputo. Subsequently, this led to the signing of the peace agreement on October 4, 1992 between Frelimo and Renamo.
The Catholic University of Mozambique was established as a contribution to peace and reconciliation, as an institutional compromise, and was officially founded in 1995 (Boletim da República, Decreto N° 43/95, September 14). In August 1996 UCM opened its first faculties in Beira and Nampula.
From 2000 onwards, there has been an exponential increase in student enrolment. In 2000, UCM had an enrolment of 50 students; by 2005 this had increased to 405 students, and by 2008 UCM had an enrolment of 4497 students. To date over 7,000 students have graduated from UCM and the number is anticipated to continue increasing at an exponential rate as observed in these previous years. Table 1 summarises student enrolment at UCM from 2000 to 2008.
Table 1: UCM student enrolment from 2000 to 2008
Year Number of female students Number of male students Total
2000 10 (20%) 40 (80%) 50
2001 24 (36%) 43 (64%) 67
2002 50 (39%) 79 (61%) 129
2003 63 (38%) 103 (62%) 166
2004 121 (36%) 213 (64%) 334
2005 140 (35%) 265 (65%) 405
2006 234 (42%) 322 (58%) 556
2007 348 (43%) 470 (57%) 818
2008 1627 (36%) 2870 (64%) 4497
The number of female students has always been consistently lower than the number of male counterparts. On average, UCM has had 36% female students and 64% male students.
Institutional structure and management
UCM is involved in the national framework of governance and administration for higher education institutions and belongs to the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique. UCM is governed by the chancellor, the Archbishop of Beira, the rector, the vice-rector for finance and administration and secretary general, and the vice-rector for academic affairs and development.
UCM currently has six faculties in four provinces:
Faculty of Economics and Management (Beira)
Faculty of Law (Nampula)
Faculty of Education and Communication (Nampula)
Faculty of Agriculture (Cuamba)
Faculty of Health Sciences (Beira)
Faculty of Tourism Management and Information Technology (Pemba)
To date UCM has established research centres in Nampula (Konrad Adenauer Research Centre), Beira (Centre for Geographic Information, GEA-Consult, Medical Research Centre) and Chimoio (Study and Research Centre), as well as a distance education centre (Beira) for teacher education. As part of UCM's strategy to bring higher education to the people, it opened faculty delegations in Chimoio (Economics, Law), Nampula (Economics), Beira (Information Technology), Tete (Economics) and Quelimane (Information Technology and Law).
Each faculty has a faculty board composed of the dean, pedagogic director and administrator. Centres only have directors. In the rectory office there is the rector, vice rector finance and administration, academic affairs and development, human resources department and public relations department.
Mission and vision
UCM perceives itself as a bona fide university community, guided by the principles of truth and human respect, based on Christian thinking, ideas and values. UCM principal mission is to prepare young people to acquire the knowledge and develop themselves to master contemporary life in Mozambique, thus contributing actively to the moral and socio-economic development of the country and its communities. Therefore, UCM promotes, develops, produces and preserves the integral education and ethics of the human being. As a higher education institution, UCM is the central reference point in the centre and north of the country in training professionals committed to life and progress of the Mozambican society who are also capable of responding adequately to the complex challenges of the global world.
As a private institution, UCM does not receive financial contributions through the general state budget. UCM basically manages to finance its academic program through tuition fees, paid by its students, their families and sometimes by private and public scholarships.
The present system finances public universities directly (97%) through the state budget (OGE) at average costs of 2.500 USD/student, while 3% come from the students paying for inscription and study fees. From 2008 on, a new model should be introduced, which is composed of a scholarship rate of 1.500 USD/student and an institutional contribution of 1.000 USD/student. In a simplified form, one student at a public higher education institution “costs” the state at average 2.500 USD/student, financed out of the general state budget.
UCM follows a policy to keep its tuition fees as low as possible, without putting quality in jeopardy. In its early years, with support of the international donor community, UCM even succeeded to maintain tuition fees at the same level for students from their start till to the graduation.
To guarantee UCM autonomy and financial sustainability, tuition fees are fixed annually, based on reality and minimal costs to provide quality and innovative academic programs. In 2008, tuition fees for a three-year bachelor program was fixed at an equivalent of 1.200 USD, tuition fees for an additional year to obtain a Bachelor of Honour’s degree are at 1.500 USD, same as the annual tuition fees for the medicine faculty. UCM continues to offer quality education in the centre and north of Mozambique for considerable lower costs, contributing a more broad-based access to education in disadvantaged parts of the country.