In a refreshing development, University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology (COSTECH) this week unveiled what it calls a “Creating Job Creators” programme, which entails a raft of new courses that are informed by the realities in the industry.
The move, the college says, seeks to empower their students with skills that are necessary to succeed in the world of entrepreneurship, adding that that would help put an end to a disturbing trend of churning out graduates who are more of jobseekers than job creators.
The initiative followed COSTECH management’s conclusion that conventional education programmes hardly empower learners with entrepreneurial capacity, a critical aspect of self-employment.
Indeed, the college’s management has already given the green light to the implementation of the new programme, starting with second year students, and the changes will see adjustments in some courses, while several new courses and topics have been integrated in the curricular.
Some of the key areas COSTEC wants to lay emphasis on include innovation, entrepreneurship, confidence-building, development of business concepts, and internships.
Crucially, these new courses will help change the mindset of learners: from studying with the objective of getting a white-collar job with an already established organization out there to envisioning setting up their own enterprises after graduation.
The management of the college seems to have realized that not all their graduates have adequately responded to the demands of the labour market upon graduation and are now actively undertaking efforts to reverse the trend.
Commendably, they have also moved to build stronger linkages with the industry with view to ensuring that their students and fresh graduates get the necessary exposure and experience as they transit from school to the world of work.
They are also approaching banks to convince them to extend financial support to graduates’ startups.
This is a bold move by the tertiary institution.
That a university has not only taken concrete steps to review and adjust its curricular to adapt it to the realities on the labour market, but has gone ahead and effected the changes, is a huge boost to the campaign to overhaul the country’s education system, across the board, to make it responsive to the realities on the ground.
It is a major boost to the already existing efforts to make the country’s graduates and workforce in general more competitive, both at the national and international levels.
Other institutions of learning, both private and public, should take their cue from COSTECH.