The Government of the Republic of Uganda (GoU) is expanding its higher education network to address the growing demand for higher education fuelled by the expanding national population projected to reach over 35 million by 2014 and growing regional initiative like the East African Federation framework. The expansion of higher education is in line with GoU strategic Vision 2040 of transforming Uganda into a middle income economy which is supported by skilled labor force. GoU is investing heavily in science and technology as anchors of economic transformation. To achieve this vision GoU intends to put a lot of effort into building fundamentals which will act as structural elements of the economy. This includes: world class physical infrastructure; ICT infrastructure, Science and Technology, Innovation and Engineering (STIE); and globally competitive human resource (Uganda Vision, 2040). The setting up of Soroti University is one of the efforts towards the realization of that dream.
Soroti University is planned to be a Science and Technology-based University nesting on the principle of Vocationalisation of education. The defining character of the University is linked to the core priorities of Central Government as specified in the country's National Development Plan 2010/2011 – 2014/2015. The Plan lists the primary growth sectors (Agriculture, Manufacturing, Mining, Oil and Gas Forestry, Housing, Tourism, ICT and Business).  Complimentary Sectors which include among others Trade Development, Science, Technology and Innovation.  The Social Sectors that include skills development, Education and Sports. Collectively education which is the responsibility of a University is the developer and supplier of the human resources necessary to move and exploit other sectors.

Soroti University intends to anchor its life on five thematic areas to address the human resources gaps in Uganda, in the region and/or develop more capacity to enable society to cope with poverty, unemployment, inadequacy of skilled workers in key sectors endemic problems like health. It will also address national concerns such as modernizing agriculture, supporting industry, raising the level of technical skills for operating small and medium size businesses, raising science education, increasing ICT diffusion and business education.