Why do we have many universities whose impact is insignificant?-Kagame wonders

By Alain Jules Hirwa
On 17 February 2020 at 11:49

President Paul Kagame has registered his dissatisfaction over the big number universities in Rwanda that are not creating a tangible impact. The president who was at the launch of the 17th National Leadership Retreat that is taking place at the RDF Combat Training Centre in Gabiro, Gatsibo District, said that criteria for opening up a university must be followed to the dot.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Eduardo Ngirente also added a stinging comment thus; ”Something needs to be done otherwise in 15 years to come you may fail to find someone to appoint a mayor.”

Today, Rwanda has two public and 29 private universities. The president reflected on this in a panel discussion he shared with the Minister of Local Government Prof Shyaka Anastase, the Minister of ICT and Innovation Paula Ingabire, the Minister of Trade and Industry Soraya Hakuziyaremye, and Dr. Donald Kaberuka.

During the panel discussion, Dr. Kaberuka spoke of the vitality of education. He added that in developed countries, a small number of students attend university, citing Germany.

President Kagame based on that and spoke of the big number of universities present in Rwanda.

“I don’t know the number of universities we have in Rwanda. [Prof Nshuti] Manasseh owns one.”

“For a program to be approved as a university, there are criteria it must fulfill. Basing on our direction, these cannot be considered as real universities. Why do we let this happen yet we know well that the programs do not deserve being classified for universities?”

President Kagame said that he has talked to the current and former prime ministers, asking them about the big number of universities, up to a point when he asked them for a list of the universities during a cabinet meeting.

“They brought this list of universities, but they did not fulfill 10% of the criteria for being classified as a university. They showed that they are pressured by a lot of students, that this University of Kibungo is owned by priests. They based on that, instead of basing on education.”

He said that he always asks the prime minister to deliver a list of universities that need to be closed since they do not fulfill the requirements to be run as universities. He added that some of these universities play a part in slowing down the development of the country.

Donald Kaberuka said that education is so necessary that they need to verify the quality of what people learn from various institutions using scientific means.

Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente said that it is such a big issue since in 15 years to come you might try to find someone to be a mayor and fail to find one.

He said that they need to put enough effort into promoting technical schools, in reducing the number of simple universities and remain with only those that are very competitive.

In 2017, the ministry of education suspended 10 universities and university programs that were found lacking in delivering quality. Some were reopened after meeting the requirements.

President Paul Kagame has registered his dissatisfaction over the big number universities in Rwanda that are not creating a tangible impact.
Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente said that it is such a big issue since in 15 years to come you might try to find someone to be a mayor and fail to find one.

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