Nyagatare — The graduation ceremony was the second of its kind since the higher learning institution started in 2006.
The graduates were from the four main faculties of Veterinary Medicine, Agriculture, Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and the School of Business and Applied Economics.
Among the 737 graduates, 243 were females representing over 40 per cent of the total number of students at UP.
The State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Dr. Mathias Harebamungu, who presided over the function, congratulated the graduates for what he termed as an academic milestone.
"You are receiving the pride that you have worked so hard for...this is a great achievement in a person's life. Graduating from a higher learning institution with a degree must surely rank high among achievements in life," he said before adding, "Today you have become part of that small group that is privileged to have a university degree."
He, however, reminded the graduates that the skills they have acquired should be taken back to the community to address issues that hamper development in their communities.
"Don't take things for granted. This is your time to start giving back... take the leads in our national development.You have to work hard and develop a culture of resilience and self reliance".
The State Minister further reminded the audience that the government of Rwanda was going through the first phase of development, saying that Rwandans can't afford to relax, but move fast to attain transformation goals as stipulated in vision 2020.
"We push for development towards the knowledge based economy... the country intends to educate more than 10 percent of its citizens up to the university level," said the Minister.
Umutara Polytechnic Rector, Dr. James Gashumba, thanked the university's founder members for their patriotism and culture of nationalism in spearheading and initiating the establishment of the Institution.
"Today's ceremony reflects work done by founder members... their incomparable collectiveness are manifested in today's sparkling ceremony," he said.
The Rector however cited challenges the university face, including lack of modern infrastructure.
Francois Xavier Rucamumihigo, who graduated with a First Class Honours degree, thanked the government for its relentless support for education in the country.