Setting free University of Rwanda best decision

One of new UR buildings. Net.

The Government has again proposed changes regarding University of Rwanda (UR) five years since the major changes that saw the merger of seven institutions of higher learning to create six colleges.

After the merger, teething problems began to arise; financial woes set in and even paying lecturers was a headache until the Government stepped in and saved the situation.

For years there has been talk of creating a conducive environment to allow the university to generate its own income. But had it seriously embarked on that course under the current setup, it would have hit a lot of obstacles since every decision needed the approval, whether from the Head of State, the Prime Minister or Parliament.

Under the new proposal, the College Principal will no longer be appointed by Presidential Order but by the University Council, a body that is still in the pipeline.

But the most important aspect is that UR will have more financial autonomy and will be able to make decisions where it sees fit without seeking approval elsewhere.

If UR really needs to make money, either through research or investing in the money market, it has to do away with bureaucracy; it has to put itself in a making-money framework and put on a business suit.

There is no doubt that once UR is un-tethered from its minders, it will take it time to find its bearings. But with more freedom to try and fail and try again, in the end it will find the right mix to make it prosper and fulfill its dream of being a regional centre of excellence.

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