13 September 2017

Rwanda: UR Says College Relocations, Consolidations to Cut Costs

Photo: The New Times
University of Rwanda, Huye Campus.

Latest reforms at the University of Rwanda that resulted in relocation of some schools and renaming of colleges is meant to reduce costs and bring about efficiency, officials have said.

The changes, which were announced on Monday on the public varsity's website, include relocation of some schools from one campus to another, consolidation of some campuses and closure of some campuses, particularly those offering nursing courses.

The new changes saw the College of Business and Economics merged with the College of Arts and Social Sciences to create the College of Law, Economics and Governance.

Among the changes, Master's programmes in Biodiversity and Conservation as well as of Food Science have been moved from the School of Science and Technology to the School of Agriculture.

The changes have also seen the reduction of nursing campuses from 14 to 10, resulting in the closure of Byumba, Kibungo, Kabgayi, and Nyamishaba campuses.

Explaining the rationale behind the latest development, Prof. Nelson Ijumba, the deputy vice-chancellor for academic affairs and research, told The New Times on Tuesday that the varsity is trying to consolidate all the academic programmes for a particular school in one campus to minimise travel costs.

"We did not want to distribute courses offered by a particular school across various campuses. The idea is to make sure that programmes are consolidated on one campus to ease management and reduce expenses such as travel," he said.

Ijumba also said there were some programmes that were being duplicated between the College of Business and Economics and the College of Arts and Social Sciences, which compelled them to combine the two, leading to the birth of College of Law, Economics and Governance.

He said, overall, the changes are designed to enhance efficiency. For instance, Ijumba said, Food Science programme and that of Biodiversity and Conservation, were more related to agriculture than to science and technology, and therefore it was logical to move the two courses to the Agriculture, Environment and Veterinary Medicine.

The Nyarugenge campus will host the College of Science and Technology; Rukara will be home to the College of Education and Library Science; while Huye campus will host the College of Medicine and Health Science.

Busogo campus will host the College of Agriculture, Environment and Veterinary Medicine.

The schools of agricultural engineering and that of veterinary medicine will be based in Nyagatare.

The changes will take effect the next academic year that starts in October.

Asked if the students that were in the middle of their courses will not be inconvenienced, Ijumba admitted that both the affected students and staff will face challenges but insisted the decision was plausible.

"There will be some inconveniences, but I think we have to look at the reasons why we want these changes to take place. These are the realities of life," he said.

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