Hope College

Hope College
of Business, Science and Technology

Developing leadership for a world of hope

Hope University College

Hope University College
4th Quarter 2009 Report (Printable copy)

From the Office of the President

Various activities have been going on to get ready for the accreditation assessment in May 2010 and subsequent commencement of the university college in September 2010.  Central to the fulfillment of these milestones were fundraising for the financial gap of the construction, equipping and furnishing of the university college on one hand and for the operations of the university college on the other.   In October, the President of the university college, Dr. Minas Hiruy, prepared proposals for both financial requirements and distributed the same to our donors.  In November and in December, he traveled to the US and the Netherlands to follow up on his proposals.  His trip to the US was sponsored by Venture Christian Church and that to the Netherlands by Woord & Daad.

While in the US, he consulted with Menlo Park Presbyterian Church approaching the same not only about additional funding but also about textbooks, laptops and volunteering staff members. He contacted some companies and had an audience with one of the vice presidents of NVIDIA, a major high-tech company in San Jose. He interviewed various people interested in being staff members and had a day of discussion with Dr. Doug and Betty Holland, who were set to volunteer at the university college starting next January. 

He was on the lookout for software for our library, store, student records, etc. and for various free book sources that could donate college text books.  He found Books for Africa to do just that provided payment for container rental, book handling and sorting and shipping was made. A major breakthrough came as Woord & Daad pledged a substantial amount of money towards the financial gap and showed interest to in getting some of the needy students who qualified for admission to the university college sponsored. The Presdient then used this good news to encourage the other donors to give what they could.

The trip to the Netherlands during the latter part of December was very useful. The President gave updates and plans up to the opening of the university college to the executives of Woord & Daad. He met the curriculum consortium and the construction consortium and brought them up to date on where things were on the ground on both fronts. Finally, thanking Woord & Daad for its major contribution to towards our financial gap, he talked about what Woord & Daad could do for operational financing.  He was asked to submit a five year proposal for consideration.

Preparation for the May accreditation process continued to be a major focus. We planned to complete the curriculum by February and submit our proposal to Education and Training Quality Assurance Agency, a federal institution that accredits the learning centers like ours by the end of March. Parallel to this plan, we worked on the furnishing, equipping, book stocking, text book importation and manuals for the faculty, students and administration.  The first shipment of books in a 40 feet container arrived in Djibouti from the US during the quarter.  Some 28,000 books were included. BOM Interieurs, a Dutch furniture manufacturer, was awarded the contact to supply all the furnishings straight from the Netherlands.  With funding by Woord & Daad, over 2000 chairs and furnishing materials and fixtures to assemble the tables, cupboards, shelves, etc. were shipped to Djibouti during the quarter as well. We thank World Concern, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and Ms. Sally Anderson, who gathered the books and sent them for shipping.  Hope Ethiopia Inc. of the US paid for the transport for which we are very thankful.

Similarly, with our Board’s approval of Global Computing Solutions to do the installation of the IT cables and data systems, Ethiopiaid paid for the digital infrastructure and Woord & Daad did the same for the data systems.  The cables came by air to Addis Ababa and the equipping of the data systems is expected to follow suit.  The digitalization of the campus is to be state of the art infrastructure allowing not only Internet connectivity but also communication, networking, online learning and other functions using eight servers.

Critical for the furnishing and equipping phases of the university college was the duty free clearance of the items for each phase.  As an operational agreement with the Charities and Societies Agency was the enabling document for duty free clearance, Dr. Minas prepared and submitted an operational project proposal detailing the full profile of the university college along with the budget, material and staffing needs to the Ministry of Education, the government agency in charge of higher education.  The Ministry assessed the proposal and by the end of the quarter was ready to submit its positive feedback to the cited agency. As the university college was transformed from a vision to reality, the first brochure, which had pledge cards for the various cost packages, was written, printed, distributed and posted on our website: www.hopeuniversitycollege.org.  On our website, there also began to appear a number of writings that reflected the progress of the university college. The President thanks all organizations and individuals for helping out in this for not-for profit private institution of learning.

As the phase of construction of the university college reached over 80% and a number of operational activities began, the Board of Hope Enterprises made a decision to separate the financial administration of the university college from the main office.  The Board has also been discussing on how the university college can be fully autonomous.  The Board decided to examine the new law for charities and societies as well as the organizational implications of the accreditation agency of the federal government to consider this matter at a later date.  The Advisory Board has been very helpful meeting three times in 2009 and addressing various issues.  A plan has been made for set meetings in 2010 and preferences about timing are being collected from the members.

Academic Affairs

The curriculum was revised and a new version was issued thanks to the efforts of Dr. Fisseha Itanna, who spearheaded the development of the curriculum as the first Vice President for Academic Affairs of the university college. The revision was based on the stakeholders’ report, several consultations with faculty experts at Addis Ababa University, Adama University, both known federal universities and various private institutions like Harar University College, Unity University and St. Mary University College. The federal universities gave us a very good idea about what is required of us from the standpoints of the Ministry of Education and showed us clearly the tradition in course planning and offering. The various faculty members consulted shared their know how amply.  The visit to Harar University College, some distance of about 540 kilometers, was headed by the President and was particularly useful as the university college was similar in size and has been offering bachelor’s degree in technical fields.  The university college showed the arrangements of laboratories and workshops and the routine followed to ensure competence.  The Dean was gracious in sharing with us various ideas apart from curriculum like student recruitment, admission, grading, student discipline and staffing.

Given the emphasis to be in line with international standards and reaches of knowledge, a number of note worthy institutions in the north and in the south were consulted.  The programs of Georgia Tech, a top rated US university, Thames Valley University in London and various university catalogs collected over the years helped a lot. The Dutch universities, Dronten Agricultural University and Christian University of Ede, had a lot to teach us about competence and organization.  All that was gathered from Cida University, another not-for-profit institution, in Johannesburg, South Africa, was quite educational especially in the areas of handling students from disadvantaged backgrounds and of sustainability. Similarly, we received very helpful feedback from our donors and visitors to our website on the curriculum that was posted.  In this regard, the Hollands helped a lot before they arrived. Added to these inputs were the written manuals of the accrediting agency, which gave useful information on standards governing class size, resourcing, outcomes and the happy balance between theory and application.

Our choices of departments are highly integrated and will be quite useful in developing a professional pool which will contribute greatly to Ethiopia’s industrial development through technical, managerial and entrepreneurial skills.  This role is welcome news at a time when the country exhibits growing agricultural productivity and industrialization and an economic growth that has made the country the fifth fastest growing economy in the world. There was a lot to improve in each department’s courses matching the content to the demands of globalization and digitization. We, for instance, replaced hand drawing with CAD systems in the Department of Building Construction. Computer applications were instituted in all disciplines as we plan to use online learning resources parallel to in-class teaching. This blended approach will work well in our digital campus. 

We are working to implement Competency-Based Training, which makes us unique as we are the first institution to introduce this approach to the country. Dr. Corne Kocks, Ms. Jolanda Berntsen and Prof. Gert Wim Stoffer of Dronten Agricultural University were to spearhead the reformulation of the curriculum according to this strategy.  The strategy has four milestones, which are theoretical grasp, shop experience, application in actual business and personal development.  We feel that transformation in each of these four areas will contribute significantly to student growth and leadership development.

After all the consultation and revision, it was great to have a complete curriculum document for each department.  We can call this achievement a collective effort to influence the hearts and minds of young Ethiopians in ways that will assist the country’s development.  The present curriculum is of course the beginning, as we plan to add relevant departments to each faculty based on demand and capacity.  We also have the ambition to open up satellite campuses in our existing operations in the country with the operation in Dessie being the first to benefit from this expansion.

The basic structure of the three faculties was not changed though the name of the Faculty of ICT was changed to the Faculty of Information Sciences to keep on track with current nomenclature. Due to recommendations to start with minimal number of departments, the departments of electrical technology and marketing were dropped leaving each faculty with two departments.  The final list of faculties and departments that was adopted is as follows:
Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship:
         Department of Accounting and Finance
         Department of Entrepreneurship and Management
Faculty of Information Sciences:
         Department of Information Technology
         Department of Information Systems
Faculty of Science and Technology:
          Department of Industrial Technology
          Department of Building Construction Technology

Following the identification of the courses for the six departments, a preliminary list of text books was prepared based on recommendations of various experts that we engaged in the process.  We posted a plea for text books on our website, thanks to the cooperation of John van Deman. An appeal was also made to individuals/groups for them to help by contributing textbooks from the list.  Responses have been encouraging as we sense people feeling good about giving knowledge to the extent doing so means showing one how to fish rather than giving one fish all the time.

The Ministry of Education requires a new university college to have at least three academic staff for each department.  With our six departments, that would be 18 academic staff.  Our own staffing analysis based on contact hours arrived at approximately the same number.  As far as qualifications were concerned for the teaching staff, we needed professionals in business administration, accounting, entrepreneurship, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, management information systems, information technology and English at the master’s and Ph.D. levels.  We have advertised these posts locally and internationally, with our website serving as the international recruiter. Our plan is to fill about a third of the positions with volunteers recruited from abroad.  The volunteers would be provided staff housing on campus and a monthly stipend. A number of people have already expressed an interest to teach.

We have been exploring a number of ways to institute a language lab considering the importance of communication in the development of leadership and the critical lag in this area particularly in the use of English.  Similarly, we began to explore the development of a science lab given that most of our departments are science based.  We had searched for some software in these regards.  

Construction, Furnishing and Equipping

The construction began to progress faster than usual after a slow pace caused by the company’s staffing problems.  We began to see the finished buildings and sensed what the campus was going to be like when completed.  A number of visitors saw the college site and expressed how they looked forward to the completion of the whole campus.  As is often the case with finishing, there were a few things requiring correction and they were brought to the attention of the company.  Following our insistence, China Jiangsu hired a new project manager.  We continued to hold the regular bimonthly meetings with the contractor and the consultant right on the site.  The contractor had promised to complete all the buildings by May.  The first phase building which includes the library, administration building, one class room complex and the student center were almost completed.  What remained was the putting of epoxy on the floor of the library and the installation of the IT infrastructure.  The contractor promised to complete this phase by the end of January 2010. 

The progress on the second class room complex, the faculty complex and the staff residence went well.  But the auditorium slowed due to the funding shortfall in that complex, whose cost doubled. The foundation work on the technical services building was almost completed with the application of a mat foundation considering the swampy nature of the area.  A major challenge in the construction was clearance of building materials by the company and poor planning in logistics.  Staffing problems were also noted as the company failed to employ enough staff to finish the work as per the appointed timetable.  The company was served with notices to rectify these problems. 

Administration and Finance

Dr. Behailu Abebe, the Vice President for Administrative and Financial Affairs, was busy with the various aspects of administration and finance. Staff and student handbooks based on the charter of the university college were prepared.  Different kinds of forms for human resources, finance, administration and student personnel were prepared. The administrative and financial directives and routines were formulated. An attempt was made to develop a database for each form using Microsoft Access. Information was also gathered from similar institutions to identify the computer software needs for administration and finance.

The Vice President represented the university college on the Greater Horn of Africa Regional Alliance’s meeting here in Addis Ababa during the second week of November.  The alliance is constituted of partner agencies of Woord & Daad from the Greater Horn of Africa. The university college has the status of an observer and will apply for membership once it starts operation.  A number of representatives from the Horn and Southern Africa had expressed an interest in sponsoring students to the university college.  A pledge had been made to entertain such requests once the university college achieves a level fit for international students.

Dr. Behailu also handled all matters that had to do with consignments, making various trips to the authorities and transit agencies. By the end of December, five consignments had been sent to Djibouti and to Addis Ababa. However, we were not able to clear the consignments duty free due to the delay in the signing of the operational agreement with the concerned agency.  The following table summarizes the status of the consignments, which were funded by Ethiopiaid, Woord & Daad and Hope Ethiopia, Inc.


Consigned items


Date of Port of Call

Stored in


Books (1 container)


5 Oct., 2009



Chairs (three containers)


16 Dec., 2009



Chip and fiberboard    


4 Nov., 2009



Digital Cables


11 Dec., 2009

Addis Ababa


Fire alarm systems

South Africa

23 Dec., 2009

Addis Ababa

Respectfully Submitted,

Office of the Presdient
155 Churchill Road
P O Box 12382
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel.: +251 11 1560346, Fax: +251 11 1552638
Email: hopeuc_dl@yahoo.com
Website: www.hopeuniversitycollege.org

2nd Quarter 2009 Report

1st Quarter 2009 Report

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