Jimma University emphasizes the role that women play in the development of Ethiopia, and the institution’s policies and programs reflect that. JU recognizes that leaving home and being in a new environment such as a campus, although exciting for most, can also be a significant challenge for some students, and in particular female students. In order to prevent this life change from disturbing female student’s studies, JU has a number of programs to assist female students on their academic journeys.
When female students first arrive, they start their education by receiving an intensive first semester orientation program that prepares them for the challenges of being away from home for the first time. The training students receive informs them of the challenges they may face and offers them guidance on how to thrive and enjoy their college experience.
Female students also receive holistic, personalized support throughout their education through the Women and Youth Affairs Office as well as gender focal people found within each college. Students are able to raise concerns with professionals trained in gender affairs about things on campus that might not be conducive to a positive, gender equal learning environment.
In order to create a safe and comfortable environment for female students, portions of campus are designated as for females only. In doing this, Jimma University hopes that female students have the chance to feel a sense of independence in their individual development.
Programs have also been created to empower female students economically. Female students who have financial concerns are given access to jobs that prevents financial issues from interfering with their studies.
Jimma University makes significant efforts to ensure that the percentage of female graduates increases each year. In doing so, JU ensures that women will occupy an increasing number of important professional positions in a variety of sectors throughout the country.
Increasing female leadership is also seen in the institutions strategic planning, and a number of leadership positions at Jimma University are held by women as well. Efforts towards further diversifying and increasing the number of women leaders on campus are always at the center of institutional development planning.
Jimma University, as a leading national institution of higher education, takes the equality of gender seriously and this is reflected in numerous ways on campus. Jimma University is fast growing and increasing its institutional capacity, and in the vision of being an internationally recognized institute of higher education the importance of working towards improved gender equality is always emphasized.