One World University
One World University (OWU) was established in Mozambique in 1998 with the aim of strengthening the nation’s educational system. The university offers two baccalaureate degrees: one in education and another in community development.
Graduates of the education program are qualified to teach primary education at the college level. Mozambique has been struggling to meet the demand for qualified primary school teachers, with student-teacher ratios often exceeding 70:1, particularly in rural areas. OWU is helping to meet the critical need for new teachers, by supplying the instructors who can train new primary school student teachers at the nation’s teacher training colleges.
Photos 1-5: Constructing OWU; Photo 6-7: OWU inauguration with Mozambican President Armando Emilio Guebuza; Photo 8-9: Students participating in a seminar and graduation.
Combining classroom instruction with independent study and high-levels of hands-on teaching experience, OWU inspires its students to learn all that they can. In the process, they discover first hand that learning must be made relevant and enjoyable, so that children feel positive about coming—and remaining—In school. Graduates also understand the importance of involving parents and the community, and how to foster a positive environment that places a high value on obtaining an education.
The second degree program in community development was added in 2009. This new degree was inspired by Mozambican President Armando Emilio Guebuza, who said, “I would like you to make a course for fighting poverty. This is what we need. People who work in the districts and with the people. You should graduate bachelors in the fight against poverty.” We agreed. In honor of the President and his leadership, the new community development program was named, “Fighting with the Poor.”
The new OWU campus in Changalane, 80 km from the capital Maputo, was built with the assistance of Planet Aid and with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, EDULINK, and the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The campus is set back from the main road, surrounded by acres of land, and close to the Pequenos Libombos mountains near Swaziland. OWU uses a part of the land as a model farm, feeding students and producing a surplus of products that are sold locally. The Changalane community is also involved in Farmers’ Clubs activities and other training programs to help improve livelihoods.