Editorial: Enforcing global benchmarks is the way forward for UR

The University of Rwanda (UR) has reviewed its course duration and some operations to enhance efficiency at the country’s biggest university. Some courses will be offered in three years instead of four starting next academic year.

The University of Rwanda (UR) has reviewed its course duration and some operations to enhance efficiency at the country’s biggest university. Some courses will be offered in three years instead of four starting next academic year.

Ever since UR was established by law after the merger of public institutions four years ago, the university has undertaken several reforms aimed at improving standards.  However, it is still a long way to go before the university becomes a renowned global university.

It is therefore critical that the university continues carrying out reforms like the latest decision, which was reached after an evaluation to improve operations at the university.

University education is globally competitive, and only universities that can innovate and compete within the global context will survive. What the University of Rwanda is doing is a step in the right direction. It is work in progress that should be supported by the concerned stakeholders.

The university has lately improved in regional and global ranking, an indicator that there is some good progress. However, the improved rating is also a testing moment for the 4-year-old university. While the university’s rating has improved, it still has several issues to fix to before it can become a world class university and preferred destination for university education.

Labour market expectations are high, and indeed experts have warned that local universities have to work hard on improving the quality of graduates to send out to the labor market.

The UR doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel to achieve this. The university administration must aggressively instill the culture of research among students and lecturers. Many of the students don’t do research. Doing research is one of the core objectives of any university and consequently ensures that the university produces graduates that will become innovators. Research is an attitude and discipline that both students and lecturers should embrace at all costs.

 

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