Hope College

Hope College
of Business, Science and Technology

Developing leadership for a world of hope

Hope University College

Hope University College
1st Quarter 2009 Report

The university college started the year with the employment of Dr. Fisseha Itanna as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dr. Behailu Abebe as Vice President for Administrative and Financial Affairs.  Both started work in their respective fields with the former working on the curriculum and the latter on administrative and financial manuals.  The President, Dr. Minas Hiruy, in turn has been working on various fronts.

Faculty Options

In view of the Advisory Board’s decision to deliberate on the departments of the second faculty, science and technology, and on a choice of a  third faculty in a half day workshop, a rapid assessment on the third faculty considering various options was done.   Dr. Fisseha spearheaded the rapid assessment involving stakeholders such as the Ministry of Education and known experts. He also visited Addis Ababa University, Adama University and Haromaya University for inputs.  As the faculty of science and technology was to be built on the three streams construction technology, general mechanics and electrical technology of vocational training that we offer within our Addis Ababa and Dessie branches, Dr. Fisseha had to find out what the fields would embody at a degree level. A lot of useful information was gathered in Adama University, which started out as a technical college.  In an attempt to design a program that is of high demand and that reflects current technology, the programs of Thames Valley University and what were gathered from the Internet were very helpful. The three fields chosen were found acceptable, feasible and marketable.  Then as to the third faculty a number of faculties were considered. 

These included faculties of information sciences, environmental science, food science, social science and music.  Dr. Fisseha weighed the options in terms of market relevance, feasibility, funding opportunity and acceptance. Based on these criteria, information sciences and environmental science were found to be most favorable and recommended for application during the first cycle while the rest were considered for subsequent cycles.  The findings of this rapid assessment were sent to the principal sponsor, Ethiopiaid, and the other partners for their comments.  Useful feedback was gathered from them. 

The Advisory Board met on March 3, 2009 at 9am in the temporary office of the university college and discussed the findings along with the feedback gathered from our partners. After lengthy discussions in the presence of the Senate, the three faculties of 1. business management and entrepreneurship, 2. science and technology and 3. information technology were adopted.  As to the departments within each faculty, business was to have three departments in management, finance and marketing, science and technology was to have four departments of industrial technology, construction technology, electrical technology and environmental science.  Information technology was to have two departments of information systems on one hand and computer science on the other.  Following these decisions, Dr. Fisseha began to prepare the details regarding courses.

Pre-accreditation Process

Keeping in mind our plan to start classes in September 2009, Dr. Fisseha approached the Ministry of Education during the week of March 10 about the pre-accreditation process.  To our surprise, we were told that the requirements had changed requiring all institutions to have everything on board for the pre-accreditation assessment first rather than operating on promise of investment like used to be done before. This meant that for September 2009 commencement, we have to have the buildings, equipping, the furnishing, the book stocking and the staff hiring completed first before the Ministry could come and do its assessment.  We gathered that the pre-accreditation was to be given within two months of assessment, which are scheduled in December and May. The Senate discussed the new development and assuming to invite the assessment team of the Ministry next May, the Senate was of the stance that we will not be ready for the assessment given that the buildings in the first phase will not be ready by then.

Administrative and Financial Affairs

Dr. Behailu was deployed to attend to the completion of the administrative and financial handbook based on the draft charter prepared by the President and subsequently endorsed by the Advisory Board.  Dr. Behailu contacted a number of government institutions to get a sense about exiting laws and directives in these matters.  He then contacted both public and private institutions to get an understanding of their administrative and financial systems.  He also collected detailed pre-accreditation and accreditation material from the Ministry of Education and distributed copies to the other members of the Senate.  Dr. Behailu attended to matters related to the VAT and duty free importation of certain items that are to come from abroad.  In early February, he followed up on the president’s letter to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to get VAT free status. The letter was passed to a committee with an instruction to make recommendation as to whether or not NGOs can qualify for VAT free status.  Unfortunately, the committee has not submitted its recommendation since the assignment last June.  Specific material lists for furniture and data systems are being awaited to approach the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency with requests for duty free importation of items.


China Jiangsu had its ups and downs causing work slow down up to about mid February, 2009.  The president along with the project manager, Niek Hoffius, and the consultant complained about this problem noting the sad consequence of delay and the absence of many of the Chinese that were required to be on site working as per our agreement.  The President then wrote a letter detailing the complaints to the contractor.  In a joint meeting held between the company and the university college, the contractor acknowledged the complaints and promised to make amends.  Soon after wards, we found out the main reason for the slow down. The country representative and the project manager of the company did not see eye to eye.  The very day we found out about this tension, we had a meeting with the country representative, who told us things would be resolved very soon.  Very soon indeed both went to China and matters were resolved with the project manager coming back as the country representative and the speed of work picking up.  Additional Chinese workers were also deployed.  However the building materials that were to be imported from China for the finishing of the buildings of the first phase did not come by the end of January as promised.  We complained about this delay.  In February, we got a letter from the contractor asking for an extension of delivery time from May to June.  We objected to this request realizing the impact to our timetable.  And as March came, we noted that none of the finishing items came and we even began to doubt if the buildings can be completed by June.

Budget Revision

In the meantime the construction consortium had been meeting in Holland following up on the progress of the construction.  Knowing that unending cost overruns and payment of VAT had adversely impacted the budget of the university college, a new bill of quantity was prepared by the consortium and emailed to the President along with proposals for cuts in the volume of work.  The new bill of quantity that also included the VAT was done by the donor of the master plan, Mr. Hans Treurniet, who also did the original bill of quantities.  The new total came to Birr 89,717,826.00, being almost twice the amount of the initial budget of Birr 46,124,435.00. The consortium, planning to discuss the proposal in Addis Ababa on February 3, deployed its delegation involving the chairman and donor of the university college, Mr. Henk De Pagter and two other members.

The delegation arrived in the morning of February 2 and that afternoon, it visited the construction in the presence of the President and the project manager as well as representative of the contractor. The following morning the consortium held its formal meeting starting at 9 am right in the office of the construction site.  During the first half of the morning, the meeting was held with the contractor in the presence of its new country representative, Mr. Zhou Jun and the contractor’s site manager on one hand, our project manager, Mr. Niek Hoffius, the Director of the consulting firm and the president on the other hand.   During the second half of the morning the meeting was held with the consulting firm without the presence of the contractor.  Various technical issues were addressed during both meetings and there was a resolution on each much to our happiness.  After lunch, the consortium then held a meeting with the President and the project manager without either the contractor or the consulting firm.  At this time, the main issue was the cost overrun and the proposals for cuts in the volume of work. 

In this regard, it was proposed that the installation of six of the seven elevators and the back up generator be pended until funding allows.  There were also proposals for cuts in cost in certain areas like books and digital infrastructure.  Furthermore, cheaper manufacturing options for the furniture were sought while maintaining European standard. Considering the proposed cuts, the cost was brought down to Birr 82,622,525.00 giving a saving of Birr 7,095,301.00.  Then, upon examining the income side of the project, it was realized that additional money was given and/or pledged through Woord & Daad and the Chairman of the consortium, who expressed a willingness to fund the additional costs including that of the elevator of the library whose original cost he had sponsored.  This brought the total of funding on hand to Birr 60,000,000.00 leaving a deficit of Birr 22,622,525.00.


We explored various options in getting the furniture of the college manufactured. We assessed what our workshop could do and what we could do by way of imports of finished furniture.  We realized that while our workshop could make the furniture, quality and material durability could be a problem.  Chinese finished products were seen to be inferior during our visit therein and imports from Europe were found to be expensive following search by our project manager. Then we approached a Dutch company that has a plant here in Ethiopia. This company told us that if we could import Austrian timber, they could manufacture the furniture here with the desired quality.  We visited samples in its Debrezeit plant with the project manager and the chairman of our Board, Mr. Negash Kebede, early in March and realized that both the quality and price was suitable.


While the contractor is putting in place the entire infrastructure to enable Internet connectivity all throughout campus, a bid was sought for the data system.  We had a local firm of reputation, Global Solutions, submit its quotation. Turning over the proposal to our partners for analysis, the experts of Ethiopiaid and our partners in the Silicon Valley and the Netherlands gave us very helpful feedback. Two other vendors from the UK and the Netherlands also submitted their proposals. We approached the local firm with all the comments.  It told us that it would meet the recommendations of the experts.  Meantime, with one of the comments being that the digital system is overdone, the bill of quantity is being revised with the consulting firm. The purchasing committee shall then assess the offers and make a decision.

Respectfully Submitted,

Office of Public Relations
Hope Enterprises
155 Churchill Road
P.O. Box 30153
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251-11-1560345/1560346
Fax: +251-11-1552638
Email: hope@ethionet.et
Website: hopeuniversitycollege.org

3rd Quarter 2008 Report

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