The University is to develop a series of collaborations with higher education institutions in Rwanda, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by country’s Education Minister and the Vice-Chancellor.
Honourable Minister, Vincent Biruta visited the University, and was joined by the Rwandan High Commissioner to the UK, Ernest Rwamucyo; Rector of the National University, Professor Silas Lwakabamba; and Mike Hughes, the Government’s Science and Technology Advisor.
The visit followed a trip to Rwanda by Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation, Professor Michael Hoey. Professor Hoey visited a number of higher education institutions, including the National University, the Kigali institute of Science and Technology (KIST), the Kigali Health Institute (KHI) and the Kigali School of Finance and Banking (SFB).
Professor Hoey said: “I was originally invited to visit Rwanda by Dr Alfred Ndahiro, an alumnus and former University of Liverpool lecturer, who is now an advisor to the President of Rwanda. The aim was to investigate potential connections the University might make with higher education institutions in the country.
“We identified a number of potential areas of collaboration and a second visit led to the development of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Education and the University. This will enable us to develop potential research connections with Rwandan higher education institutions along the lines of our successful Malawi partnership.”
Rwanda is currently undergoing a major shift from teaching in French to the adoption of English as the main language in all higher education institutions. It is anticipated that the University will assist in this effort with the development of staff and student exchange programmes.
It is hoped that joint research partnerships may be developed, particularly with KIST and the Kigali Institute of Education. The National University of Rwanda also runs a Masters programme in Genocide Studies which complements the University’s own Masters in Understanding Conflict. It is thought both courses could benefit from cross-institutional input.
Professor Hoey added: “Rwanda was rocked by genocide in 1994 but has emerged as a leading light in African affairs and hopes to become an area of international economic development. The Government is investing heavily in its higher education infrastructure, with institutions like KIST establishing high profile partnerships with global leaders like Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as University of Liverpool.”