A first of its kind in Ethiopian universities, the University of Gondar sets a path towards a more sustainable use of its territory. The 2 day consultation started on 5 December 2017. By focusing on UoG’s campus master plan and its landscaping design the day brought UoG’s higher officials, The Ethiopian Construction Design and Supervision Works Corporation (ECDSWC) and The Building and Urban Design and Supervision Works Sector (BUDSWS) to consult on the way forward.
The day allowed UoG administrators, deans, teachers and experts to see blueprints of the future of UoG. Concepts including new building designs, green areas, roads, complexes and new super areas were presented with vivid illustrations that showcased a leap towards modernization.
At the moment, the University of Gondar can be seen building many state of the art facilities. From the behemoth IT building, which will be the biggest of its kind in the country, to the under construction natural and computational science structure near king Tewodros stadium, it can be noticed that the infrastructure at UoG is constantly progressing.
But with that being said is it enough? According to the consultants and experts, that were given the monumental task of planning the master plan and landscape design, a lot goes into creating a well thought out environment.
Such concepts such as land form, water features, modes of transportation, life cycle analysis and energy analysis systems are just some of the few specifications that will make UoG’s campuses that much more suitable. In addition to these technical specifications new areas would also need to be included to make the best of the campus experience.
The ‘University City’ is a concept that was brought up to illustrate the future of campus life. It is a commercial area that would be a blend of all the campuses. It, in essence, will be a city within UoG where Maraki, Tewodros and Fasil campuses can integrate.
At its current depth the university can be seen covering a wide swath of usable land. Among the majority of the space taken 35 percent of UoG lands is covered by residence areas, 17 percent by forests and 17 percent with services.
With plans to demolish some areas, a more comprehensive roadmap towards a more sustainable campus was revealed. Places like China-Faluja, the garage and livestock areas were mentioned and, if given the green light, will be removed to free up space for more conventional and worthwhile concepts that will enhance the University of Gondar.
In his closing remarks the University of Gondar’s president, Dr. Desalegn Mengesha, focused on his praise and admiration for the work that was done by the professionals. “So far a good approach was taken,” said Dr. Desalegn “and the campus master plan needs to encompass all people including staff, students and the public.”
The president also alluded to the future of Ethiopia’s top flight educational institution being an international university. “Universities are international institutions,” he said, “UoG is not only competing with domestic universities, but we are also competing with international ones.”
For this to happen though Dr. Desalegn believes that UoG needs to include international standards. This is one of the reasons why he considers the 20-year master plan to be so significant. Being a first of its kind to come up with such a concept the University of Gondar is looking to be a pioneer in this aspect where other universities, in the future, can follow.
By becoming an international campus much of the attention on classrooms and labs will be less significant. And a more serene atmosphere where students can enjoy their time at the University of Gondar is a major focus moving forward. As Mr. Amare Setegn, director of the Engineering Services Directorate expressed work will begin in the upcoming 5 months and the scientific way forward that was taken into consideration by the professionals is sure to have positive benefits.
Now with the first step being taken to conceptualize and advance the future of one of Ethiopia’s oldest universities it’s only a matter of time until future generations experience a place where all people feel a sense of comfort and simplicity.
By Samuel Malede| Public and International Relations Directorate