Rwanda is looking to merge its existing six tertiary institutions to form the University of Rwanda. The parliamentary standing committee on education has commenced its deliberations on a bill establishing the University.
The Minister for Education, Dr Vincent Birtua while addressing the committee, called for suggestions that will enhance the bill altogether. He said, “If there is something that we missed out that should be added, we can discuss and find the best solution. We are open to suggestions since all we want is a university that will operate efficiently”.
Institutions to be merged include; the National University of Rwanda (UNR); Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST); Kigali Institute of Education (KIE); the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (ISAE); the School of Finance and Banking (SFB); “Umutara Polytechnic” Higher Institute (UP); and Kigali Health Institute (KHI).
The institutions from which the University will be formed will consequently become colleges offering focused disciplines. The colleges are the college of science and technology, college of business and economics, college of medicine and health sciences, college of agriculture and animal husbandry, college of arts and social sciences and the college of open distance learning.
“The regulations and standards governing all these institutions, currently, are dissimilar yet they are all public institutions,” Biruta said.
According to the draft of the bill, the University’s headquarters will be located in Kigali. The next academic year begins September 2013.
The project which is an attempt by the Ministry of Education to better coordinate teaching activities in public higher education, aims to ease coordination, resource sharing, prevent proliferation and duplication of program, and ensure improved academic excellence.
According to Article 6 of the bill, University of Rwanda has several key responsibilities including participating in the discovery, transmission and preservation of knowledge and to stimulate the intellectual life and cultural development of Rwanda.
It will also be charged with diffusing research findings through oral, written and other various means and to collaborate with other higher learning institutions in the publication of research findings so as to foster Rwanda’s development.