The initiative of establishing the « Catholic University of Mozambique » arose from the Peace Conversations held in Rome, between Frelimo and Renamo leaderships. To unlock the obstacles that were holding back these talks, in June 1992, the former Archbishop of Beira, Jaime Pedro Gonçalves, who is now late, came up with the idea of founding a Catholic university of quality, whose vocation would be to promote Peace and Reconciliation through the provision of quality education for all young Mozambicans, regardless of their race, ethnicity, social origin or religious denomination. In this regard, the Catholic Church in Mozambique accepted to take part in correcting the structural injustices in which higher education and training institutions were organized. These were exclusively based in the capital in Maputo, with the exception of one faculty from the Pedagogical University that already existed in Beira. Therefore, on 4 October of the same year, the Peace Agreement was signed between the two belligerent political parties, and therefore, UCM was being born to the service of peace and reconciliation, with the institutional commitment to eliminate one of the causes of the armed conflict in the country.
The Catholic University of Mozambique (UCM) was officially established in 1995 as a private higher education institution (see Decree No. 43/95 of 14 September). This institution belongs to the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique (CEM), with its headquarters in Beira, Sofala province. It is one of the first private universities in the country, and it was the first university to have its headquarters outside the capital city- Maputo. Moreover, it was the first university to teach higher degree courses without any fee charged to the students concerned.
On 10 August 1996, UCM opened its doors with the Faculty of Economics and Management (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão (FEG)), in Beira and the Faculty of Law (Faculdade de Direito (FADIR)), in Nampula. In 1998, UCM opened the Faculty of Education and Communication (Faculdade de Educação e Comunicação (FEC), in Nampula and in the following year (1999), the Faculty of Agriculture (Faculdade de Agricultura (FAGRI) was inaugurated as well. In 2000, the Faculty of Medicine, located in Beira, was established, and this was later on turned into Faculty of Health Sciences (Faculdade de Ciências de Saúde (FCS). In 2002, the Faculty Tourism and Computer Sciences’ Management (Faculdade de Gestão de Turismo e Informática (FGTI)), located in Pemba was also established. In the following year (2003), UCM opened the Center for Distance Learning (Centro de Ensino à Distância in Beira, and in 2009, the faculty of Engineering (Faculdade de Engenharia (FENG)). UCM has also opened three delegations: one in Tete (in 2008), another one in Quelimane (in 2009), and the last one for Computer Sciences, in Beira (2010). In 2011, UCM’s University Council turned Quelimane’s Delegation into Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Políticas (FCSP)), closed down the Delegation of Computer Sciences in Beira, and opened LIchinga’s Extension (Extensão em Lichinga).
UCM has also got research and consulting centers in almost all the provinces where it is represented. In Pemba, there is the Center for Technological and Sustainable Development Research Center (Centro de Investigação de Desenvolvimento Sustentável e Tecnológico (CIDST)). In Cuamba, there is the Agrarian and Sustainable Development Research Center (Centro de Investigação Agrária e Desenvolvimento Sustentável (CIADS)), while in Nampula there are three research centers, namely, Konrad Adenauer Research Center (Centro de Investigação Konrad Adenauer (CIKA)), Community Development Research Center (Centro de Investigação e Desenvolvimento Comunitário (CIDC)) and the Center for Legal Advice (Unidade de Aconselhamento Jurídico (UAJ)). In Tete, there is Development and Natural Resources Research Center (Centro de Investigação de Recursos Naturais e Desenvolvimento (CIRNDE)), while in Chimoio, there is Development Technologies Research Center (Centro de Investigação de Tecnologias e Desenvolvimento (CITED)). In Beira, there are four research centres, namely, Applied Management and Economics Research Centre (Centro de Investigação em Gestão e Economia Aplicada (CIGEA)), Saint Augustine Research Centre (Centro de Investigação Santo Agostinho (CISA)), Geographical Research Center (Centro de Investigação Geográfica (CIG)), infectious Deseases’ Research Center (Centro de Investigação de Doenças Infecciosas (CIDI)). In order to assure high quality standards of the research produced in these research centers, UCM has established Instituto Integrado de Apoio à Investigação Científica (IIAIC) to oversee the research produced in the university.
In this regard, the Catholic University of Mozambique continues to pursue the mission entrusted to her by the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique, which is to train competent, responsible people, who can be availed to respond to the various intellectual and social problems that our society is constantly facing. Currently, UCM prepares graduates, not only at the Bachelors’ Masters’ and Ph.D. degree levels in the various professional fields. Some of these graduates are prominent people in the cultural, political and civil life of the country. This makes UCM a great cultural institution at the service of the whole human person its fullness.
Source: UCM Website