The School of Finance and Banking (SFB), an institution of higher learning established with an intention of becoming ‘Africa’s Harvard School of Business’ has blamed poor infrastructure for the failure to live to its promises.
This was exclusively revealed Tuesday during a series of meetings between the school administration, student’s representatives and a special parliamentary commission that visited the school.
The parliamentarians are on a countrywide tour in all the high institutions to assess the quality of graduates and relevance of studies offered by the institutions to the needs of the country.
During his presentation, the recently appointed acting Rector, who is also the Vice Rector for Academics Dr. Malimbe Papias Musafili, said the institution seriously lacks infrastructural facilities.
“We have inadequate buildings, lecture and seminar rooms. We cannot even accommodate the students we currently have; these buildings were made to accommodate not more than 200 MBA students, they are the same we are using for the 3000 students we have,” said Musafili.
Insufficient buildings have also constrained the school from having facilities like a library and computer lab, according to the administration.
“We didn’t fail to get more books or computers that are highly needed to facilitate learning, but we have no space for them,” said Musafili.
He however told the parliamentarians that some projects that are in progress, including two building complexes, one funded by government to a tune of Rwf 2bn and the other by the school whose cost was not specified.
Despite lack of infrastructure and qualified lecturers, the school is also affected by the quality of graduates as the institution has only eight PhD holders and 42 with Master’s degree out of 69 members of staff.
However students accused the outgoing management for having neglected their complaints which has had a strong impact on their overall performance.
“There is a number of grievances we presented to the previous Rector and he always turned a deaf ear, but at least the acting Rector picks interest in students’ voices which gives us hope that things will get better,” said the Guild President Mucyo Mulinzi.
The head of parliamentary commission, Adolf Bazatoha, could not comment saying that the findings of the commission will only be tabled before the House.
In a related development, Musafili said that SFB is considering reviewing its partnership with Maastricht School of Management (MSM), its partner in delivering the MBA programme due to some inconsistencies in the existing partnership.
“We are going to review the agreement in the near future to harmonize our cooperation, but this does not mean that we are going to terminate our partnership with MSM,” said Musafili in a subsequent telephone interview yesterday.
During his presentation to the Parliamentarians, Musafili accused MSM of continuously changing the agreement which SFB regarded as unfair.
The New Times has reliably learnt that at first, the agreement allowed SFB and MSM to each get 50 percent of the income generated from the programme, since they contribute an equal number of lecturers.
However, MSM is said to have reneged on this by claiming 75 percent of the income.
Describing the situation, Musafili said that SFB is benefiting nothing other than the name ‘Maastricht.’
According to officials, if the revised agreement does not work, SFB will consider undertaking the programme on its own.
MSM, a Netherland International Management Institution, has been in partnership with SFB since 2004 and as of today, 127 students have graduated.