Brief History of Debre Markos University

BACKGROUND

Debre Markos University is found in the Northwestern part of the country at Debre Markos town. The University is located in the Eastern part of the town approximately two kilometers from the central square. It covers an area of over 100 hectares.

Debre Markos is located 300 kilometers North-West of the capital Addis Ababa and 265 kilometers South-East of Bahir Dar, the capital of the Amhara National Regional State. It is situated 2400 meters above sea level. The town has 1380ml average annual rainfall and minimum and maximum temperatures of 150C and 22OC respectively. Debre Markos town is one of the high land areas of the country. For instance, 39 kilometers North-East of Debre Markos, there is a mountain called “Chokei ”with a height of 4413 meters above sea level. This mountain is the source of many tributaries to the Blue Nile River Basin. In addition to this, the Blue Nile Gorge, the biggest in Ethiopia, is found 70 km South –East of the town. Around the vicinity there are renowned traditional church schools, such as Dima Giorgis, Merto le-Mariam, Debre Work Mariam and Debre Elias etc. where Geeze and K`ine are practiced. The University is founded in an area with immense research and investment potentials, suitable weather conditions and tourist attraction sites.

The Ethiopian Government is making a significant effort to develop the capacity of the country by increasing the supply of skilled manpower. One component of this capacity building program is establishing new Universities based on the need of the country. Debre Markos University is one of the thirteen newly established Universities in the country.

Debre Markos University foundation stone was laid on January 2005. It was inaugurated on 18 November 2007. After the completion of the first phase of the construction, the University began its service in February 2007 admitting the first batch of 760 regular students in the Education Faculty. Soon after its establishment, the University employed 53 academic, 34 supporting permanent staffs and 21 contract workers.

UNIVERSITY MANDATE

Debre Markos University is responsible for providing relevant educational programs at undergraduate and graduate study levels. In addition, the University offers continuous short-term training, research work and consultancy services.

Based on the Higher Education Proclamation №. 650/2009 Article 8, without prejudice to other provisions of this proclamation, every institution (University) shall:

  • Uphold the objectives of higher education and the guiding values of the institution; and ensure that it is an institution of scholarship;

  • Develop programs of study and provide higher education; prepare and supply qualified graduates in knowledge ,skills, and attributes on the basis of needs of the country; and award academic qualifications in accordance with its programmes;

  • Undertake and encourage relevant study, research, and community services in national and local priority areas and disseminate the findings as may be appropriate; undertake, as may be necessary, joint academic and research projects with national and foreign institutions or research centers;

  • Recruit and administer its personnel and manage its finance and property in accordance with this proclamation and other applicable laws;

  • Legislate and implement internal rules and guidelines in accordance with this proclamation;

  • Prepare and implement institutional plans, budget and organizational structures, and submit performance reports in accordance with this proclamation;

  • Establish cooperation relations with industries and other institutions in pursuit of this mission;

  • Give recognition or award prizes or honorary degrees to persons of outstanding achievements or contributions to society;

  • Provide support to primary and secondary education and provide support and cooperate with preparatory and technical and vocational schools as may be appropriate;

  • Publish annual and multi-year statistics on educational input-and-output and financial incomes and expenditures as stipulated in this proclamation;

  • Discharge other responsibilities provided for in this proclamation and in its instrument of establishment.

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS AND STAFFS

The student population in all the programs (regular, summer and extension) increased to 19,400 in 2013 academic year.

The University runs undergraduate programs in both regular and continuing education divisions in six Colleges and one school with 34 departments namely, College of Social Sciences and Humanities (Amharic, English, Geography and environmental study, History and Heritage management, Psychology, sociology, Educational planning & management and Civics and ethical education), College of Business & Economics (Accounting, Economics, finance and Management), College of Agriculture & Natural Resources (Natural resource management, Rural development, Animal science, Horticulture and Plant science), College of Natural and Computational Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics and Sport science), College of Technology (Information technology (IT), Electrical engineering, Mechanical engineering, Civil Engineering, Construction Technology Management and Water Resource and Environmental Engineering) College of Health Sciences (Health officer, Midwifery, New innovative medical education initiative and Nursing) and School of Law.

The University started training on Agro economics this year. Thus, it increased the undergraduate programs to 35.

The university accommodated 10,557 regular and it enrolled 3,250 new regular students in 2013 academic year.

The University held discussion on nine designed curriculum at the end of 2012 to start post graduate Program. The programs designed include Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Literary study, Environmental and Land Resource Management, Ecological and Systemic Zoology, Business Administration, Accounting and Finance, Animal Nutrition & food Technology, Crop irrigation and Public Health. The University is enrolling students in these fields of study. And Physics curriculum is also prepared in 2013, this increases the post graduate programs in to ten.

Besides to this the University designed and practiced Institutional Quality Assurance. Following this research was conducted on the application of modularization. The University accommodated 772 academic staff, 58 assistant workers and 710 permanent administrative workers totaling 1,540 up to the end of September 2013.

To meet the demand for qualified personnel, the University is undertaking a staff development program on short and long term basis.

THEMATIC AREAS OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN

The University has embarked a formulation of a five year strategic plan (2010-2014).It summarizes the following four thematic areas, which is derived from the University`s mission and vision.

  1. Excellence in teaching learning

  2. Enhancing problem solving research

  3. Excellence in institutional development

  4. Excellence in community engagement & communications

It has identified strategic issues (problems) and goals. To avert this, strategies and objectives are set for each strategic issues and goals. 

PHYSICAL FACILITIES

In the University 93 buildings are under construction by eight contractors with the supervision of GIZ. They are all approaching to complete and they are all functional at this time. To give a quality education in Science, the university is under fulfilling laboratories and workshops.

The university had electricity power, water supply and telephone lines which have big functions in higher institutions. The University’s pathway constructions are on the way to be completed. On the other side, the lack of standardized showers and sewerage avoidance canals are considered to have negative impacts. However, the University, is delivering dial up and wireless internet services in the libraries and buildings. The libraries are open for 24 hours. .

There is electric power, water supply and few telephone lines in the University which provide service to the University community. Road and pathway construction is underway. However, other basic infrastructures like, sewerage system, standard bathroom and wash basin are not available at all. There is a dial- up and wireless internet service in the libraries and some buildings. Libraries work for twenty four hours a day and seven days a week.

FUTURE PLANS OF DEBRE MARKOS UNIVERSITY

Debre Markos University with a five year strategic plan has actively been involving in expanding and diversifying academic programs, Empowering female staff,enhancing academic performance of students, massive capacity buildings, and conducting problem solving research and providing community services.

The vision and mission of Debre Markos University will come a reality with the committed and collaborative efforts of all the concerned bodies (the board, presidents, directors, deans, department heads, instructors, students, University and outside community and government bodies). We call everyone to share our dream for the highest standards of education and excellence!

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