A total of 426 students graduated with degrees, diplomas and certificates from Rwanda Tourism College, yesterday, during the institution's inaugural graduation event, seen as a major boost to the country's hospitality sector.
Up to 330 graduands were awarded with Bachelor's degrees, while 96 were received diplomas and certificates in different disciplines in the hospitality industry.
Degrees were awarded in hotel and restaurant management and travel and tourism management, while those who got diplomas studied international air transport and cargo handling.
The certificates were awarded in services including, food and beverages, food production, airport operations and front office operations.
Speaking to The New Times, Marie José Nyiransabimana who graduated with an international diploma in Air line Cargo handling said; "I think I am likely to easily get a job as the (hospitality) field lacks qualified personnel. I am ready to serve passengers with their cargos from and to their destination."
The rector, Callixte Kabera, affirmed the RTC's commitment to producing high quality service providers not only for the national market but also at the international level.
"Remember intelligence and character is the goal of true education. All this is possible for you now with the kind of skills you have acquired from RTC. These two virtues are important in life and you have to uphold them," said Kabera.
The founding legal representative of RTC, Zulfat Mukarubega, challenged the graduands to use the skills they have acquired to help transform the country, mainly the service sector.
"RTUC has equipped you with the skills and competences you need to transform the Rwandan society in the area of customer service, hospitality and entrepreneurship. Many Rwandans are looking up to you to set the benchmarks as employees and, more importantly, entrepreneurs," said Mukarubega.
The Executive Director of the Higher Education Council, Prof. Geoffrey Rugege, urged the graduands to provide quality services in hospitality, which he said is a key sector in the country's development process.
Rwanda Tourism College started in 2006 as Rwanda Tourism University College (RTUC) with five students, and was accredited in 2008. It now has 3134 students.