Rwanda and Tampere University forge partnership to enhance vocational education

By Karirima Aimable Ngarambe
On 15 September 2023 at 10:51

The Government of Rwanda and Tampere University of Applied Sciences have solidified a partnership through cooperation agreements signed on 14th September 2023, in the capital city of Finland, Helsinki.

This collaborative effort is geared towards elevating the skills of Rwandan educators and students, ultimately fostering quality education within the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centres (IPRCs).

The agreement, inked by Claudette Irere, the State Minister in the Ministry of Education, and Ari Sivula, the Vice Chairperson of Tampere University of Applied Sciences, emerged from a Business Forum organized by Rwanda’s embassy in the Nordic countries, in collaboration with the Association of Rwandans living in Finland, Rwanda Development Board (RDB), and two Finnish companies namely; Finnpartnership and Hills Connect.

Finnpartnership is known for its support of projects in the fields of education and health, while Hills Connect is a company established by Rwandans who graduated and got employed in Finland.

Their shared mission is to attract Finnish investors to Rwanda and establish robust connections between Rwanda and Finnish universities. This concerted effort has already borne fruit with the participation of investors like Block Solutions Ltd and Aion Sigma.

Tampere University offers a diverse array of educational disciplines encompassing technology, health, social sciences, and trade. The recently signed agreement holds the promise of opening doors for Rwandan students to pursue studies in both Finland and Rwanda, with degrees recognized in both nations. Tampere University will also collaborate with vocational schools in Rwanda to enhance the quality of education.

Further bolstering the educational landscape in Rwanda, the State Minister in the Ministry of Education is expected to sign agreements with a company known as Finest Bay Area, founded by Finnish magnate Peter Besterbacka Vesterbacka, renowned as the ’Mighty Eagle.’

These agreements are poised to pave the way for the establishment of the Education, Entrepreneurship, Entertainment (3E Campus) in Rwanda, aligning with the country’s ambitious vision. This venture into Africa by the company represents an addition to existing presence of other companies from Norway and Indonesia.

State Minister Claudette Irere emphasized that this initiative aligns seamlessly with Rwanda’s vision of job creation and leveraging technology to drive innovation. She expressed her belief that this company will create numerous opportunities for Rwandans, equipping them with international competencies.

The meeting convened entrepreneurs and key figures from the fields of education, health, and information and communication technology (ICT).

Notably, the Catholic University of Rwanda, represented by Bishop Philippe Rukamba, has also signed agreements with Finest Future, an initiative spearheaded by tycoon Peter Vesterbacka, aimed at teaching the Finnish language.

Interested Rwandans will receive virtual language instruction for one hour daily over an eight-month period. Upon successful completion, graduates will receive an automatic scholarship to pursue two-year vocational courses in Finland, entirely free of charge. Following these vocational courses, individuals will enjoy the privilege of continuing their education up to PhD studies, also at no cost.

The meeting, known as ’Slush,’ typically gathering over 2000 participants, is customarily hosted in Finland. The signed agreements also contemplate the possibility of hosting this impactful event in Rwanda, marking yet another significant milestone in the blossoming partnership between Rwanda and Finland in the realm of education and innovation.

State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Claudette Irere after signing the agreements.
The CEO of SPENN, Jens Glaso has encouraged Rwandans living in Nordic countries to register using their identity cards or passports, to start benefitting from SPENN services.
Rwanda's AMbassador to Nordic countries, Dr. Diane Gashumba.
I&M Bank (Rwanda) Plc, in partnership with SPENN, a provider of crucial financial services for individuals to effectively manage their deposits, spending, savings, transfers, lending, and more, has launched a platform enabling money transfers among Rwandans residing in the Nordic countries through the SPENN app.
The State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Claudette Irere also attended the meeting aimed at bringing investment opportunities in Rwanda to limelight.
The CEO of SPENN, Jens Glaso delivering a talk.