University of Rwanda (UR) students studying at the Rusizi campus were, in November 2023, relocated to Huye District as Rwanda Polytechnic (RP) prepares to take over the campus. The move aimed to enhance access to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the country and provide Bachelor of Technology degrees, The New Times learnt. UR established the Rusizi campus in 2007. ALSO READ: NUR branch commences in Rusizi district The campus, with a five-storey building, is currently awaiting handover for TVET enrolment after relocating the students. Rwanda Polytechnic was established by the Government of Rwanda in 2017 to implement Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) skills development across the country. Sylvie Mucyo, Vice-Chancellor of Rwanda Polytechnic, told The New Times, on January 4, that the Rusizi campus will now be used to receive students to study newly introduced Bachelor of Technology (BTech) and Master of Technology (MTech) in TVET. ALSO READ: Rwanda Polytechnic expands academic offerings with five cutting-edge BTech programmes Until March 2023, Rwanda Polytechnic offered an Advanced Diploma Certificate (A1) equivalent to three years at the tertiary level. Graduates of BTech are expected to have strong technological and innovative ability to conceive, experiment, manipulate, prototype and deliver industrial concepts, products and services capable of catering to the evolving needs of society. “The Rusizi campus will be receiving BTech students as we have started to offer Bachelor of Technology degrees. The need for technical higher education is very high in the area and the government needs to increase better access. Having an opportunity for a new campus will enable us to increase our capacity of receiving students that wish to continue to higher education,” Mucyo said. ALSO READ: Education minister defends relocation of UR colleges She said the campus is dedicated to TVET enrolment as Rwanda Polytechnic is growing in terms of student numbers, infrastructure, and programmes to enhance access, training quality, and meet market demands. Rwanda’s vision is to have 60 per cent of secondary school leavers trained in TVET by 2024, some of whom will pursue a Bachelor of Technology (BTech). Rusizi campus, with the capacity to host around 700 students, will be used for training by expanding existing academic programs and introducing new ones, Mucyo stated. ALSO READ: UR says college relocations, consolidations to cut costs It will be a campus under the Integrated Polytechnic Regional College (IPRC) Kitabi. “The campus will also be used to offer short courses based on demand. We will start when we open the new academic year 2023/2024 this January. Currently, students are on holiday,” she said. In addition to the BTech to be introduced at the campus, she added: “We will be extending some of our current programmes. More details will be given soon. However, new programmes will be developed, especially in alignment with the capacity needs of the region.” Reviving businesses around campus After the relocation of UR students, businesses in the accommodation and food sectors around the Rusizi campus were left in limbo. Louis Ndagijimana Munyemanzi, Vice Mayor in charge of Economic Development in Rusizi District, told The New Times that there is hope that such businesses will be revived once the campus is used again. “The campus means a lot to Rusizi District’s economy given that it will produce a competent workforce. It will also create jobs for residents, and trigger an increase in investment and businesses such as accommodation, food supply, entertainment and others which students need,” he said. He added that the students also volunteer in different awareness campaigns that the district and other institutions conduct to benefit the community. Situated in South-Western Rwanda, Rusizi District boasts Lake Kivu and captivating scenery along the border with DR Congo’s Bukavu town, undergoing a transformative phase in both business and tourism. It also borders Burundi.