The Higher Education Council has approved the Rwanda Tourism University College (RTUC) giving it green light to confer full degrees.
RTUC which opened its doors in 2006 has only been offering vocational training and certificate or diploma courses in tourism on a provisional license.
In an interview, HEC Director Prof. Geoffrey Rugege confirmed the development and said that the team sent to inspect the university had given it a go ahead.
In April this year, the Education Ministry sent a team to inspect the university after it had requested for accreditation in 2011.
The institution has been operating on a provisional license which it acquired in 2008, the same year it began offering degree programmes in hotel and restaurant management and travel and tourism management.
The University is now set to award degrees to 326 graduates who started their studies in 2008.
Meanwhile, the college has more recently acquired new land to build a campus at an estimated cost of more than Rwf10 billion.
When complete, the college will form a key component in the country’s drive to inject greater homegrown professionalism into the tourism and hospitality sector, where the lack of skills has often been decried.
The college campus is situated in Kigarama Sector, Kicukiro District where the first phase is almost complete. The phase comprises of lecture rooms, administration block, computer lab and a laboratory school.
Now only the Catholic University of Rwanda based in Muhanga District is operating on a provisional license.
There are seven public institutions offering bachelors degrees with 10 offering diploma programmes. 15 private institutions are offering both diploma and degree programmes and according to Rugege, some have applied for accreditation to offer Masters Programmes.
The college has more recently acquired new land to build a campus at an estimated cost of more than 10 billion Rwanda francs, which when complete, will form a key component in the country’s drive to inject greater homegrown professionalism into the tourism and hospitality sector, where the lack of skills has often been decried.
A regular source at the Rwanda Development Board had this to say: “Manpower development for the sector ranks very high in the national agenda for Rwanda. The country is aware of some deficits here and there to lift our service delivery to the standard levels of say Kenya. But the private and public sectors have been working hand in hand to address this issue and bring in trainers and lecturers, promote on the job training and offer decentralized courses, so that we can match our country’s tourism attractions with equally good service levels.”
A number of privately-owned tourism training institutions have of late either opened or applied for recognition and licenses to provide, in years to come, skilled labor to an ever-growing number of hotels and safari lodges now springing up along the scenic lake shores of Lake Kivu or near the country’s presently three national parks of Akagera, Nyungwe Forest, and Volcanoes.