New Vision (Kampala)

East Africa: Education Woos Rwandan Students

The minister of trade, Amelia Kyambadde and education minister, Jessica Alupo are leading a delegation to Kigali, Rwanda for a three-day higher education exhibition that opened Wednesday.

The "Study in Uganda Universities Exhibition" is intended to showcase Uganda as the hub of university education in East and Southern Africa region.

The exhibition will run from July 5 to July 7 at the Kigali Serena Hotel under the theme: "Experience the Diverse cultures, join the grand alumni".

A total of 12 universities in Uganda have been selected to take part in the event. They are Kabale University, Bugema University, Islamic University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda Marty's University Nkozi, Bishop Stuart University, Uganda Christian University Kyambogo University, St. Lawrence University, Mountains of the Moon University, Kampala University and Gulu University.

The exhibition is organized by the Uganda Export Promotion Board, in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat, Ugandan Universities, National Council of Higher Education and the , ministry of education.

According to a release from the ministry of Trade, the event will serve as a platform for Rwanda and Uganda to tap into mutually accessible and diverse knowledge pools, in addition to cementing our socio cultural relations, according to a statement from the media centre.

Since liberalization in the late 1990's, the education sector in Uganda has recorded an 89% growth in the number of licensed universities, raking in $36m in 2010 from export of education.

Uganda boasts of 29 universities dominated by local students with approximately 16,000 foreigners according to statistics from the National Council of Higher Education 2010.

The inflow of foreign student has had a multiplier effect on Uganda's economy in form of increased foreign exchange earnings and boosting the tourism sector as the foreign students visit tourist attractions now dubbed EDU-TOURISM.

Uganda has since 2010 spearheaded an initiative to market higher education in the East African Community (EAC) and COMESA region. The initiative involves assessing universities for export readiness of universities and developing a strategy for marketing them.

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