Regional integration is generally meant to bridge gaps of scarce resources, establish physical, economic, or any other connectivity, and sharing of capacity, knowledge, data, and best practices among member countries.
Rwanda is a member of different regional cooperations, including the Commonwealth. It joined in 2009, becoming the second member state to be admitted into this organisation without any direct colonial ties to Britain, after Mozambique. 54 member states make up the Commonwealth.
The network's main focus is promoting trade, education, and good governance among member countries. Among the many opportunities such as economic, political, and cultural that come with being part of the Commonwealth network, there are educational as well, that young Rwandans may be happy to leverage.
The country is also set to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM, in June. As the build-up to the next month's event gains momentum, here are a few suggestions on educational opportunities to consider.
The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)
Established in 1913, it has over 500 member institutions in the countries across the Commonwealth. It has a mission to promote and support excellence and seeks to address issues in international higher education through a range of projects, networks, and events such as CHOGM, Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers, UN gatherings, and the international sector, etc, for the benefit of individuals throughout the network.
ACU also provides scholarships, academic research, and leadership on issues in the sector, and promotes inter-university cooperation. Only around 40 countries from the Commonwealth are currently represented in the association, including the University of Rwanda.
Faith in Commonwealth
Faith, founded by Commonwealth and Khalili foundation, is a global citizenship education programme for young Commonwealth citizens of all faiths and none.
It aims to shape young people's mind sets and help them nurture improved relationships across communities, cultures, and religions through global citizenship education. It does so through a global citizenship education toolkit (GCED Toolkit) delivered in partnership with Commonwealth universities and through Youth Training of Trainers workshops targeting young community leaders.
The curriculum explores contemporary ideas about identity, culture, and society. Students study it as an unaccredited elective subject. It complements their degree programs and enriches their studies.
British and Commonwealth citizens with either the right to abode, allowed to live/work in the United Kingdom or leave to remain, permission to stay in the UK for a certain period, do not need a visa to study in the UK.
In addition to those, Commonwealth has designed its own TVET Self-Assessment Toolkit to assist member countries to strengthen their TVET systems as a response to devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic such as the sharp rise in youth unemployment.
Commonwealth also invests in early learning through the Commonwealth Early Childhood Care and Education Toolkit, designed to support countries with existing and emerging challenges. It is supposed to ensure equal access to quality early education, ensuring that the poorest, most remote, and marginalised are not left out.