Students supposed to join public Higher Institutions of Learning in the next academic year will do so under the proposed one University. The university which will be known as University of Rwanda (UR) is expected to start the integration of the seven public institutions in September this year.
The idea of a one university was first mooted at a retreat of senior government officials, policy-makers and educationists, held in the western district of Rubavu in February 2011.
In a news conference on Wednesday, the minister of education Dr. Vincent Biruta announced that the merging of the public universities will be a process which will take a period of two years to comprehensively integrate.
Presenting the road map to the achievement of the University of Rwanda, Dr. Papias Musafiri, Acting Rector of the School of Finance and Banking (SFB) explained that the merger will help improve the quality of education because the institutions will combine their resources and will be branded as one “world-class” higher learning Rwandan institution.
He also said that the University’s aim will be to transform public higher education in Rwanda improving the quality and efficiency of teaching, Research and create a world-class higher learning institution.
The university will also ensure quality and relevance of higher education, develop research capacity, encourage innovation, improve coordination between institutions and operational efficiency, strengthen partnerships and enhance regional and international visibility.
According to Musafiri, it is critical that the transition and planning process to establish the UR is based on open communication, and supported by strong management with a clear vision, for the merger to be successful and cost effective.
It is at this point that he called on the media to partner with the ministry and taskforce to communicate the scheme effectively.
The task force to fast track the establishment of the university has proposed that the university include six specialised colleges—Agriculture and Veterinary science, Medicine and Health Sciences, Education and Open and Distance Learning, Business and Economics, Science and Technology, and Arts and Social Sciences—which will in turn be comprised of eighteen specialised schools.
It will be upon the taskforce to decide where each of the colleges will be located in the next few months along with other actions to be undertaken to have the university up-and-running.