A total of 719 students on Friday graduated from Musanze-based Ruhengeri Institute of Applied Sciences (INES), with degrees in various disciplines.
Some 47 per cent of the graduates were female.
Graduates were awarded degrees from the Faculties of Applied Fundamental Sciences, Economics, Social Sciences and Management, Languages, Applied Linguistics and Law.
Twenty-two among the graduates were awarded Masters’ of Science in Taxation.
Speaking at the event, the Bishop of Ruhengeri Diocese, who is also the Chancellor of INES-Ruhengeri, Dr Vincent Harolimana, underscored that the university was set up in a bid to offer the labour market a critical mass of professionals in various disciplines to contribute to national progress.
“Focusing on applied sciences was in line with commitment to build capacity of students and training professionals who are competent at the labour market and also able to create jobs for themselves and employ others,” he said.
This year’s graduation was held under theme ‘shifting from paper to product.’
According to Harolimana, the theme was inspired by the strong will by the university to impart an education that responds to the needs of the labour market.
He pointed out that in the last seven years; INES has managed to establish a business incubation centre which helps students to grow their business ideas into various profitable businesses.
“In an effort to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country, INES is currently focusing on imparting entrepreneurial education that promotes jobs creation,” said the bishop
The Vice Mayor for Social Affairs in Musanze District, Marie Claire Uwamariya, hailed the university for its contribution towards the district’s development through disseminating various research in the surrounding communities.
She called on graduates to strive for innovation and create their own jobs instead of all looking to government and other institutions for employment opportunities, which are always limited.
“Many of you already have smart business ideas. You should only look to government for incentives and other support to grow your businesses. Creating your own jobs is the way to go and in doing so, you will be contributing towards national development,” She told the graduates
Emmanuel Nduwimana, who spoke on behalf of the graduates, assured that that they had acquired skills and knowledge to both create jobs and compete favourably on the job market.
“I am assuring you that we will optimise the knowledge and skills that we have gotten from INES in the last four years; creating our own jobs is among our priorities and some of us have already started companies,” he noted.
Best performers were awarded laptops, smart phones and scholarships for further studies.
Over 6000 students have so far graduated from INES Ruhengeri since its establishment in 2003.