Dar es Salaam. The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) has decided to rename Mlimani Campus Mwalimu JK Nyerere in honour of Tanzania’s first PresidentThe move is a gesture to mark the 50th anniversary of the university, according to the UDSM vice chancellor, Prof Rwekaza Mukandala.
He said yesterday that the decision to rename Mlimani is also in recognition of Mwalimu Nyerere’s contribution towards the higher learning institution’s development. He told journalists in the city that it was the former president who selected the location of the UDSM way back in 1961.
Prof Mukandala said the new name will be officially used from October 21, this year, four days before marking the 50th birthday of the oldest university in the country.
“We are doing this in recognition of Mwalimu Nyerere’s contribution to the academic arena. This campus was known as Mlimani campus and now we have decided to rename it after the Father of the Nation, which brings more meaning to what he did,” said Prof Mukandala.
The university was established on October 25, 1961, two months before the country’s independence, starting with the faculty of law, as an affiliate of the University of London.It was later called the University College Dar es Salaam (UCD), as a constituent college of the University of East Africa (UEA). The UDSM was established in 1970.
Commenting on challenges facing it, Prof Mukandala said it was going to construct seven buildings that will have lecture rooms, offices and laboratories so that students may get quality education in a conducive environment. He said the UDSM would construct hostels capable of providing accommodation to 4,500 students and that their tenders have been already announced.
“We are planning to build hostels to minimize the problem of accommodation at the campus. The construction will be in three phases, and for each we will construct enough hostels to accommodate 1,500 students each,” said Professor Mukandala.
Meanwhile, the president of UDSM graduates, retired Judge Joseph Warioba, asked former UDSM students to attend a dinner which will be prepared by President Jakaya Kikwete next Tuesday to raise funds for the construction of a students’ centre at the campus.He said Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, who graduated from the UDSM in 1970, was also assisting to raise funds in his country. He asked members of the public to support the idea.
“I ask all wananchi to contribute to this University; we need to do more for the future of our children and Tanzania at large,” said Judge Warioba.He said the university was facing a lot of challenges, such as lack of enough lecture rooms, workers’ residential houses, students’ hostels and other important infrastructure.
Added Judge Warioba: “ The students’ centre is going to cost at least Sh17 billion. So far we have collected Sh5 billion and we look forward to reach all UDSM graduates through various means so that we succeed in this project.”
It was established that the number of students has increased from 14,000 to more than 20,000. Hostels at the campus accommodate less than 4,000 and the rest live outside it.