The early sixties were years characterized by the emergence of Independent African nations, including Tanzania, from colonial rule. As the winds of change swept across Africa South of the Saraha, the White Fathers recognized that skills in communication, community, development, accounting, management and administration had to be developed, in order to educate the personnel who would take positions of leadership in the countries of East and Central Africa that were gaining their independence.
The founder of the Nyegezi Social Training Institute (NSTI) envisioned a training that would not only impart academic and professional skills but also inculcate values of civic and social learning.
The Nyegezi Social Training Institute was established with a view to training indigenous manpower, regardless of race or creed, in general management as well as in professional skills such as journalism, accountancy, material management, and Health Administration.
When Bishop Joseph Blomjous retired in 1964, he handed over the institute to his successor, Bishop Renatus Butibubage, who in 1975 entrusted it to the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC). The Tanzania Episcopal Conference guided and managed the Nyegezi Social Training Institute in achieving its aim of manpower training. More than 2400men and women graduated from the institute for service in the countries of East and Central Africa until the 1998.
Since 1992 there was a move within the Tanzanian government to liberalize the provision of social service. The changes in government policy coincided with a desire among church leaders to establish a catholic university in Tanzania. Relying on the Catholic Church’s long tradition in higher education, the Bishops of Tanzania decided in 1996 that the time was ripe to extend the church’s services to university education.
The Nyegezi Social Training Institute in Mwanza was the nucleus of the new Catholic University, “St. Augustine University of Tanzania” (SAUT).
The Tanzania Episcopal Conference founded SAUT to embrace the ideals of the Gospel message as it comes to the world through the World of God and through Catholic Tradition and the teaching Church. In matter of faith and morals, the University acknowledges the authority of Canon Law and the Apostolic Constitution “Ex-Corde Ecclesiae” for Catholic Universities. At the same time, St. Augustine University of Tanzania, having been established in accordance with the laws of the country, operates under the direction of the Tanzania Commission of Universities (TCU) in accordance with the provisions of the Universities Act No.7 of 2005.
The University attracts students from Tanzania and elsewhere, particularly the countries of East and Central Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Burundi, Malawi, and Zambia.