Thirteen thousand five hundred students have applied for 10,000 slots available at the University of Rwanda (UR) for the next academic year intake.
Applications for UR’s maiden intake since seven institutions of higher learning were merged to form the varsity that espouses the common vision of the country, closed on Wednesday.
“The available places are 10,000, but we are likely to take a little bit more, like 11,000 assuming that some of the admitted students later have other options or impediments to enroll for our programmes,” Prof. Nelson Ijumba, the UR deputy vice-chancellor of academic affairs and research, told The New Times this week.
The official said selection will start next week, looking at the students’ three choices of a college, a campus and a programme within the University of Rwanda.
He said the first consideration will be based on performance.
Students who applied for science courses are required to have passed with two principal passes, with a minimum 24 marks. Social science applicants should have scored at least two principal passes and a minimum of 18 marks.
The students should also have passed English and General Paper subjects, respectively.
Prof. Ijumba said by the end of the month, College Principals should be finalising students placement to the university’s six colleges and 10 campuses.
The list of admitted students is expected to be out early June, to be published on UR website, www.ur.ac.rw.
With the available places, it means at least 2500 applicants would not get places after the selection.
Education minister Vincent Biruta said those who miss out on places at the University of Rwanda can still apply to join private universities.
Dr Biruta suggested that normally one does not apply for one university, rather, they seek admission from different universities, and when admission is done it’s up to them to make a final decision.
Previously, admission to public university was a mandate of the Rwanda Education Board and in principle, all the admitted students would qualify for a study loan.
This has evolved with time.
University students, effective next academic year, will get an education loan straight from a bank.
The Ministry of Education, meanwhile, revised bursaries for government-sponsored students in public universities and other tertiary institutions since the ongoing academic year.
There is no longer grants component, and thus all funds paid out by government for students’ tertiary education will be fully recoverable under the government paper dubbed Securing a Sustainable Future for Tertiary Education.
A hundred per cent of total tuition and living allowances that the government pays for poor students will be a “loan fully repayable” by the beneficiary and will be channeled through a bank.
Only the Presidential Scholarships programme remained but for only outstanding students pursuing courses in priority areas – that make significant impact on the economic development of the country.
The changes were meant to encourage parents to play more role in the education of their children as the State engages more in school infrastructure development.
Speaking to The New Times last week, Minister Biruta reiterated that they have concluded a deal whereby the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) will be in charge of student loan disbursement.
He said they are only waiting for the Cabinet to approve the proposal. The ministry advises parents to start saving early for their children’s education.
Besides the deal with BRD, Dr Biruta said the ministry is working on other strategies that will resolve challenges in the scholarship loan scheme.