FEATURED: Alumni meet as University of Rwanda marks five years

Members of the Alumni of the University of Rwanda have vowed to work together and make a meaningful contribution towards the university’s development to ensure it achieves its vision and excellence.

The pledge was made during the UR Career Fair and Alumni Get Together Evening which was organised as part of the events to mark the university’s five-year anniversary.

The University of Rwanda was created in 2013 through a merger of seven public higher learning institutions.

The event was organized to connect all University of Rwanda’s alma mater and engage them in the development of the University, with the objective of supporting the university in different ways.

It was also aimed at creating cohesion between players in public and private sector in order to give an insight into the world of the university’s undergraduate students and to enrich their opportunities.

An alumni or alumnus of the University of Rwanda are graduates who studied or worked at the University of Rwanda or any of all the former government higher learning institutions before they were reintegrated into the University of Rwanda.

Dr. Charles Murigande, the UR’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Institutional Advancement, believes, if mobilized, the alumni can play a huge role in contributing to achieving UR’s vision of becoming a centre of excellence.

This said that the aim is to excel in teaching and learning, research and community engagement and produce graduates that are highly enterprising and dedicated to building a more just and sustainable society as well as conduct research that answer the country’s development challenges.

“These institutions have produced more than 100,000 graduates who have played and still play an important role in the development of our beautiful country. We have prominent and influential graduates in all sectors of development of the country and beyond; be it in the political, economic social sphere,” he said.

Dr Faustin Nteziryayo, the newly-appointed president of the University of Rwanda Alumni Association, said the alumni can have a big impact in advocating for the university, lobbying for more resources and mentorship of the graduates towards excellence.

“We are proud to be the products of this university now tasked to contribute to the university’s development in all aspects of its life,” he said, adding that this is an uphill task but one that is not insummountable.

Fund launched

One of the tools recently endorsed by the university’s board was the ‘University of Rwanda Solidarity and Development Fund’ (URSDR) which will serve as a fundraising tool for the alumni and other well-wishers to contribute towards the university’s development.

The fund, which was officially inaugurated at the dinner, will initially focus on students’ welfare and offer scholarships and other support to disadvantaged students.

Murigande said, “We have, for instance, heartbreaking cases of students from poor families who are given students loans by government but fail to turn up because they are unable to pay the registration fees or when they come they are unable to pay hostel accommodations.

You can imagine the pain such a person that lives that kind of lifestyle. We shall use the contribution in cases like these and we, the alumni of the university, are invited to consider giving our contribution to this fund.”

“We shall also start constituting an endowment fund for the University of Rwanda which, if well invested in, can provide to the university with financial sustainability. This is the challenge that we hope and believe that UR solidarity and Development fund shall help us in the long-term basis,” He added.

During the launch of the fund, the alumni who attended the evening contributed a total of Rwf 14 million.

Alumni and friends of the University of Rwanda can keep contributing to the fund through its account Number 0000946502912-78 (Rwandan francs) opened at Bank of Kigali.

As long as the fund’s resources grow, the University will also use them in addressing other issues such as improving its students’ hostels by building the new ones, improving sport facilities, building teaching and research facilities.