Rwanda: Education Ministry Shuts Down INATEK University

The University of Kibungo (UNIK) formerly known as the Institute of agriculture, technology and education of Kibungo (INATEK), has been permanently shut down over administrative challenges that have compromised the quality of education offered at the school.

The decision to close down the university located Eastern Province was made by the Ministry of Education, following a "comprehensive external audit" of the university by the Higher Education Council (HEC) and subsequent meetings between both parties.

"Due to the institute's failure to comply with joint resolutions, the Ministry of Education regrets to inform the management of INATEK that all academic operations are to cease effective July, 1, 2020," reads part of a letter signed by the Minister of Education, Valentine Uwamariya.

The minister gave up to two weeks to submit a report to the education ministry on how a number of steps have been implemented and these include meeting all academic and financial obligations to students to enable the seek alternative admission to other higher learning institutions.

The university was also asked to facilitate a meeting between HEC and students through which they are to be informed about the decision and the possible alternatives to be pursued.

It was also asked to settle contractual obligations in regard to the situation and others related to students and staff.

Established in 2013, the University of Kibungo is one of the universities that experienced the greatest debt last year, among which salary arrears to staff including lecturers spanning eight months.

Additionally, the University leadership said they owe money to citizens in Eastern Province as well as several government institutions to the tune of Rwf2.5 billion.

Prof. Egide Karuranga, the vice-chancellor of the University said that these debts arose due to the big number of shareholders taking money out of the university instead of reinvesting it.

However, lecturers accused the university's administrators of incompetence adding that every person who heads the institution introduces their leadership style and when it fails, it affects the university.

In 2004, the university admitted 4,500 students but had less than one thousand students at the end of the last year.

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