Three years ago, public universities merged to form the University of Rwanda (UR). With this merger, a single entity was born to address the key challenges that affected the quality of higher education, and to subsequently contribute to national development.
The world over, universities are key in setting the national development agenda through research and innovation.
UR has registered good progress in a short time since its establishment. The current enrollment of the university is 31,000 students and about 2500 staff both academic and non-academic.
With the adjustments over the last two years, it is clear that the university is set to take off. It is time for the university to strive to make it the cream of the top universities in Africa and the east African region in particular.
The University did not feature among the best in latest global ranking of universities, but with the current improvements, if the university implements a robust research based approach, soon it will make it to the list of the best universities in Africa.
Lecturers should be pushed to do more research and publish. Producing a lot of research, generating a lot of publications, and attracting a lot of research funding will make this goal achievable.
It is encouraging that the leadership of the university has resolved to make it a research led university, but the quality of research programmes need a lot of improvement especially at undergraduate level.
We still have cases of plagiarism not only in UR but generally in all the universities including the private ones.
Fighting plagiarism should be high on the agenda of the university administration to build a culture of excellence and hard work. The university has the potential to be the preferred university education destination within Africa.