After 10 years operating in a state of uncertainty, Universite Laique Adventiste de Kigali (UNILAK) can now award degrees after being cleared by the Ministry of education.
Since 2003, up to 473 students have completed their studies at UNILAK but have not graduated because of the controversy surrounding the vetting of the university.
The Minister of Education, Dr Daphrose Gahakwa told the New Times yesterday in an interview over the phone that the institution has been allowed to award degrees.
“The institution has now been allowed to award degrees. The disagreement is now over because they have been given an operating licence which they asked for,” Gahakwa said.
She was reacting to questions that a rose from a cabinet meeting that took place Friday and resolved that the ministry should immediately look into the matters concerning UNILAK and the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE).
The Government earlier this year gave UNILAK up to the end of 2008 to have fulfilled all the necessary requirements set by NCHE so that they could be given an operating license.
About 609 other students from UNILAK University completed their courses this December and were facing similar uncertainty about whether they would be awarded degrees.
Last September, the then Education Minister, Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, released a list of nine universities approved by her ministry, sparking off panic in other universities that were left out, including UNILAK
However, the controversy started way back in 2003 when a team of experts said the Kigali-based Adventist University had no capacity to award degrees.
The same team, which also included experts from the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), also recommended that the medical school which was run by the university be closed.