14 varsities screened for quality

As questions continue to be asked about the credibility of the many mushrooming institutions of higher learning, the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) says that only those that achieve the set standards will be awarded licences to operate.

As questions continue to be asked about the credibility of the many mushrooming institutions of higher learning, the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) says that only those that achieve the set standards will be awarded licences to operate.

NCHE initialized an accreditation exercise, early this year aimed at determining whether institutions of higher learning in the country have the capacity to provide quality education.

According to the NCHE Executive Director, Professor Geoffrey Rugege, 28 institutions currently offering higher education courses are all under probe to ensure that they meet all standards set by law.

“We are mandated by the law to audit institutions to boost quality. We are auditing all institutions and we shall have finished the exercise by June next year,” Prof. Rugege said.

He revealed that 14 institutions have already been checked. The purpose is to ensure that students receive training that will be recognized across the globe.

Institutions already screened include, School of Finance and Banking (SFB), Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Université d’Agriculture de Technologie et d’Education de Kibungo (UNATEK), and Polytechnique  de Byumba (PB).

Formerly operating under the education ministry, the NCHE is mandated to ensure quality and oversee the planning of all institutions of higher learning in the country.

Rugege said that those who fall short will be given a probationary 6-month period during which they are expected to bring suggested areas into compliance with accreditation standards.

“We don’t want to insist on closing these institutions, instead we want to strengthen them because they are essential to feed our labour market that is wanting,” Rugege noted.

Some of the requirements NHCE is looking out for to license institutions include programmes’ curriculum comparable to similar institutions in the region, have qualified lectures with at least Masters Degree for institutions that offer degrees, a concrete leadership as stipulated by the law, enough operating financial budget to guarantee against any closure as well as proper infrastructure to facilitate learning.

Upon completion of the screening process the NCHE will draft a report to cabinet for scrutiny before the fate of the institutions’ under probe is decided.

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