Newly appointed Acting Vice Chancellor of UR sheds light on his priorities

On 18 July 2022 at 10:16

On 16th July 2022, the University of Rwanda (UR) got new leadership. Dr. Didas Kayihura Muganga was appointed the Acting Vice Chancellor while Dr. Raymond Ndikumana was named the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Strategic Planning and Administration.

Dr. Kayihura replaced Prof. Nosa Egiebor who has been serving as the Acting Vice Chancellor for 72 days following the resignation of Prof. Alexandre Lyambabaje to begin his retirement life.

Meanwhile; Dr. Ndikumana replaced Dr. Musafiri Papias Malimba who had held the position for four years.

The new reforms are aimed at strengthening the university’s management to continue offering quality education and provide solutions to problems facing the society through research development among others.

The newly appointed leaders, Dr. Muganga and Dr. Raymond Ndikumana are familiar with the functioning of UR.

Dr. Muganga once served as the Acting Principal of University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) between 2016 and 2017. He was the Dean of the Faculty of Law at The National University of Rwanda (UNR), from 2007 to 2009.

Dr. Ndikumana has been also working at the University of Rwanda. He once served as a coordinator of Swedish project which provides funding to UR among others.

Speaking to IGIHE, Dr. Muganga has outlined priorities during his leadership.

His projections fall under broad plans including workforce integration, promoting technology and the reputation of UR on the global scene.

“Today, the university’s workforce seem to be disjointed and don’t work together. It is as if everyone is working independently. Members of the management need to work as a team and have common understanding to facilitate projects’ implementation. This issue needs a lot of attention,” he said.

“Secondly, we need to see how to widen planning to address existing challenges in the society,” added Dr. Muganga.

He explained that it requires the collaboration with all partners to achieve envisaged goals.

“The university cannot address these problems on its own. There is need for collaboration with different partners and citizens to remove these barriers,” Dr. Muganga added.

The University of Rwanda was created in 2014 out of the merger of public higher learning institutes. It had six colleges prior to the merger.

Eight years after its creation, the university is ranked 3024th among 31,000 universities globally as per list released by Webometrics, an international platform ranking higher education institutions based on web-accessible data.

It also ranks UR at 55th place out of 2049 universities.

The university had emerged the 10,028th among nearly 25,000 universities globally before the merger.

In 2018, UR was the 83rd out of 1687 in Africa and 3146th out of 28.074 universities globally.

Dr. Muganga has said that there is optimism to build on achieved progress to take the university to greater heights.

He highlighted that engaging with his colleagues to have a new direction will be a priority right after assuming duties.

Dr. Muganga has revealed that international universities in Rwanda like the African Leadership University (ALU) and Carnegie Mellon are not perceived as competitors but rather as partners.

“We don’t have any issues with them even if the number might increase to ten. Their lecturers will help us and work on different projects,” he said.

Dr. Muganga also stressed the need to implement several projects and research for the university to remain positioned among leading ones.

Regarding technology; Dr. Muganga has said that he will first assess the situation regarding the university’s efforts to advance technology before deciding on the next course of action.

UR was seen as the hub for sports with leading teams in different games. As years went by, sporting activities seemed to have received little attention where its teams became less popular.

However, efforts have been in place for the past two years where the university’s teams are active in different competitions.

Dr. Muganga said that the university had different teams in Volleyball, Football, Basketball, Karate and traditional dance troops by the time he was part of its management.

He disclosed that there are efforts underway to promote sporting activities.

Dr. Muganga observed that merging operations of all colleges of UR will help to enhance communication, concert researchers’ efforts, which should be also applied to sporting activities.

Dr. Muganga has been serving as the Rector of the Institute of Legal Practice and Development in Rwanda.

He holds a PhD degree from Utrecht University in 2015. Dr. Muganga also has Master’s Degree in International Business Law from the same university in 2006 and Bachelor’s Degree from the former National University of Rwanda.

Dr. Muganga has been serving as the Rector of the Institute of Legal Practice and Development in Rwanda.