Prof. Ismail Simbwa Gyagenda


The Rector is responsible for the direction of the academic, administrative and financial affairs of the University in accordance with guidelines laid down by the University Council. He is the Secretary to the Council and coordinates the functions of the Council and those of the Executive Board (Senate). The Rector represents the University in collaborating with the Government and other relevant authorities, institutions and other stake holders. The Rector is charged with the responsibility of preparing an annual report on the University affairs and submit to the Executive Board for review before presenting to the University Council. In the absence of the Chairman of the Council, the Rector presides over ceremonial assemblies of the University and confers degrees and other academic titles of the University. The Rector must be a Muslim, citizen of member countries of the OIC and must have distinguished himself in Islamic, Scientific or Academic matters.

Prof. ISMAIL SIMBWA GYAGENDA, PhD, the Rector Islamic University in Uganda


Associate Professor of Education.

Assoc. Prof. Gyagenda assumed office as the new Rector of the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) on 1st January 2021. He takes over from Dr. Ahmad Kawesa Sengendo who served as Rector from 2004 to 2020.

Assoc. Prof. Ismail Simbwa Gyagenda was born on June 16, 1956, in Itendero, Sheema District (formerly a County of Ankole District). He attended Kabwohe Muslim Primary School 1962-69, Mbarara High School 1970-73, and St. Mary’s College, Kisubi 1974-75.

He graduated from Makerere University in 1979 with a 1st Class B.A. Honors (Literature and Religious Studies), and a Concurrent Diploma in Education. He was Chairman, Makerere University Muslim Students Association 1980-1982. He attended the Arabic Language Institute of Ummul Qura University, Makkah 1982-83. In 1987, he graduated from Yarmouk University, Jordan with M.Ed. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. In the same year, he was part of the pioneer staff tasked to start the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) in Mbale, where he was one of the Male Wardens and a lecturer of History of Education in East Africa and Introduction to Arabic.

From 1988 to 2016, he was in the USA, where he obtained an M.A. in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of District of Columbia, Washington, DC in 1989. In 1999, he obtained a PhD in Educational Studies from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

He joined as Assistant Professor the Graduate Teacher program at Tift College of Education, Mercer University, Atlanta Campus, where he taught from 2001 to 2016. On February 10, 2016, he returned to IUIU as Vice Rector, Academic Affairs. His research interests include Culture and Schooling, Integration of Knowledge, Muslims of Uganda, Muslim Education, Muslim Institutes of Higher Education, and Contemporary Issues in Education. He is married, and blessed with six children. His hobbies include reading and recreational soccer.