15 September 2017

Rwanda: University of Rwanda Faulted Over Latest Reforms

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

The Higher Education Council has faulted the University of Rwanda for its latest round of restructuring and relocation of campuses and colleges without engaging and consulting the government.

According to a letter seen by The New Times from the Higher Education Council (HEC), UR has been asked to submit the proposed changes to the Council "for review and decision".

The letter, signed by the HEC executive director, Emmanuel Muvunyi, came days after the University announced a consolidation and relocation plan of colleges in a move it says seeks to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

In the letter addressed to the Vice Chancellor, Muvunyi noted that they had not been made aware of the impending adjustments and had only learnt about the changes from the media.

Some of the changes planned by UR include relocation of some schools from one campus to another, consolidation of some campuses and closure of others, particularly those offering nursing courses.

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

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

HEC says that any such move by a higher institution ought to be done in consultation with the Council as the law requires.

It also said the proposed changes to the institution's programmes had not been submitted for review and authorisation.

The University of Rwanda in August announced that all programmes in social sciences will be offered in three years as well as most science courses with the exception of architecture, engineering and medicine.

When contacted about the issue yesterday, Prof. Philip Cotton, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Rwanda, declined to comment, saying they were yet to receive the letter addressed to them.

In a recent interview with our sister Kinyarwanda newspaper, Izuba Rirashe, the UR Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Institutional Advancement, Amb. Dr Charles Murigande, said the changes were still only a proposal.

He cited an ongoing process to revise the law governing the institution, four years after the varsity was created as a merger of seven previously independent public tertiary institutions.

"The changes will come into effect once the law has been adjusted accordingly," he was reported as saying.

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