Carnegie Mellon University building completed, opens 2019

On 14 October 2018 at 08:00

Rwanda Development Board (RDB) through the Single Project Implementation Unit has unveiled to the media Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) campus in Masoro-Kigali innovation City, which is slated to be open early next year, relocating from the current Kigali Telecom House. The first phase has been built at a cost of about US$ 10 million.

Kigali Innovation City is a US$1.9 billion flagship project that seeks to make Rwanda a knowledge-based economy in line with the 7-year Government Programme from 2017 to 2024.

The CMU-Rwanda construction activities took three years under a US$ 10 million project implemented by Rwanda Development Board. It was financed by the African Development Bank which offered a US$ 8 million support and the rest by Government of Rwanda.

Currently, the varsity offers two Masters Degree programs; in Electrical Computer Engineering and Information Technology where students can specialize in Software Engineering, Cyber Security, IT Entrepreneurship, Energy Systems, Telecommunications, Business, anong others.

For the students to be admitted in the university, they are required to have excellently passed in his/her bachelor degree studies in IT-related fields like Computer Science and Electrical Engineering in addition to good mathematics, programming and English. Students with mechanical engineering degree can be admitted after sitting an exam prepared by the University.

The new building has modern lecture and tutorial rooms equipped with technology that enables tele-education where lectures can be accessed from any part of the world.
The building has servers which will store the University digital information and for other interested institutions.

The campus has an auditorium with capacity of 500 seats with plans underway to add an entertainment hub for students in the second phase.

CMU Masters degree programme students in USA pay US$48,000 for tuition fees while students at Kigali Campus pay US$16,000. Rwandans students are required to pay US$8,000 which is sponsored by the Rwandan Government.

The Director of Carnegie Mellon University-Africa, Prof. Vijayakumar Bhagavatula commends the partnership between the University and Government of Rwanda. He said Rwanda invited the varsity to operate in the country and has accepted to receive other students from all over Africa.

Prof. Vijayakumar Bhagavatula, who has now lectured at CMU for 40 years, says that the Masters degree offered at Carnegie Mellon University-Africa are at par in standards with those of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania in the USA.

“These are CMU degrees and not CMU-Africa degrees because students here are given the same courses and they have to be approved by CMU at Pittsburgh. We are just a campus here; we are not online because we have a faculty here on the ground. We are fully here,” he emphasizes.

“We came here on the invitation of the Rwandan Government and started the CMU-Rwanda but now we are CMU-Africa. Though we have more Rwandan students, the university is for the entire African continent. We have students from 15 African states,” he explains.

On the seven years CMU has been operating in Rwanda and the seven months he has personally been in Rwanda, Prof. Vijayakumar Bhagavatula says that; “all indications are that there is a great relationship between CMU and Government of Rwanda. We are very impressed by the support we have received. The students are all doing very well and those graduating are getting good jobs and it is all very positive.”

The Public Assets Division Manager at Rwanda Development Board, Felix Siboniyo showed journalists around the new building.

“This new CMU building will accommodate about 500 students when it opens in January 2019,” Siboniyo revealed.

Siboniyo also said that 70% of construction tools used in the process were made in Rwanda including materials from the East African Granite Industries (EAGI), a Rwandan industry based in Nyagatare District.

Carnegie Mellon University building In Pictures

The Director of Carnegie Mellon University-Africa, Prof. Vijayakumar Bhagavatula