15 November 2012

Rwanda: Govt Names One University Task Force

Photo: Jared Nyataya
Graduation (file photo): In the proposed structure, the University of Rwanda will be comprised of colleges, schools and departments not faculties as the case currently.

Government has constituted a Task Force to fast track the establishment of University of Rwanda, barely a month after the Education Minister Dr. Vincent Biruta tabled a bill on the same in parliament.

The 10-member taskforce was announced after Wednesday's Cabinet meeting.

They include Prof. Paul Davenport, President Emeritus at Western Ontario

Sir David King of Oxford, Prof. Margee Ensign of the University of America in Nigeria, Prof. Silas Lwakabamba, Rector, National University of Rwanda, Prof. George Njoroge, Rector, Kigali Institute of Education and Pr Reid Whitlock, Rector, School of Finance and Banking.

Others are Dr. Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya, Rector, Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, Dr. James Gashumba, Rector, Umutara Polytechnic, Dr. Papias Musafiri, Vice-Rector, Academic Affairs, School of Finance and Banking and Dr Laetitia Nyinawamwiza, Ag. Rector, Higher Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (ISAE).

Tabling the bill that seeks to merge public universities late last month, Biruta requested parliament to treat it as a matter of urgency, saying government wants students at the seven public universities to start the new academic year under a new setting.

The next academic year begins September 2013.

In the proposed structure, the University of Rwanda will be comprised of colleges, schools and departments not faculties as the case currently.

A working paper availed The New Times indicates that the task force will oversee the transition process at the renamed University of Rwanda until the appointment of the Vice Chancellor and senior management team.

A timeline of vents in the paper indicated that the taskforce was to be appointed before end of December 2012.

"I do not set the Cabinet agenda. I just propose. But it [appointment of task force] will be done soon," Minister Biruta told The New Times during an interview.

According to Higher Education Council Executive Director, Prof. Geoffrey Rugege, one of the key tasks to be performed by the task force is to conduct an assessment of the existing academic and administrative staff to be reappointed in the new structure.

Its initial work will provide the foundations of the University's organisational and functional structures and its strategic plan determining such issues as its headquarters, recruitment procedures among other things.

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