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As schools reopen, the fate of students from closed universities remains in limbo

Christian University of Rwanda is among the three institutions of higher learning that were permanently closed over failure to fulfil accreditation requirements. Photo: File

Some students from recently closed universities have raised concerns, saying that they are unable to be enrolled in other universities due to lack of transcripts.

This, the students say, affects their academic progress, especially now that higher learning institutions have resumed physical learning.

 

According to the Ministry of Education, the universities were permanently shut down over quality issues.

 

They include Indangaburezi College of Education (ICE), Christian University of Rwanda (CHUR) and the University of Kibungo (UNIK).

 

Ally Radjab Musema, a Business Management student at former Christian University of Rwanda, said that there are faculties that have not received their transcripts.

“Up to now we are all waiting,” said Musema, adding “I talked to the Head of Department on Tuesday but he was still reluctant to share any progress.”

“Of course if we don’t get these transcripts in time, it will affect us considering that most of our friends in other universities are returning to school,” Musema who had completed his second year said.

According to him, some teachers have deliberately refused to compile students’ results because they were not paid by these schools.

“Some of our teachers do it purposely because they didn’t get their salaries,” he added.

Musema’s comment was further confirmed by Dr Théoneste Ndikubwimana, Head of Department in charge of quality education and standards at Higher Education Council (HEC).

“I know a case of 3 to 2 teachers who are deliberately refusing to complete these transcripts due to salary arrears, but we have talked to the school (CHUR) to settle this internally”, said Ndikubwimana during an interview with The New Times.

Furthermore, he pointed out that closing an institution disrupts the whole administration, which he said could be the reason for such instances.

However, he also highlighted that most of these challenges are individual cases.

“I can assure you that the majority of the students have already gotten their transcripts, much as there is still a problem,” Ndikubwimana reiterated.

Some of the students, he said, delayed picking their transcripts.

“Another thing is that some students have also not paid school fees. So technically these are individual cases which can be settled individually.” He added.

Ndikubwimana observed that in some schools such as Indangaburezi, all students had already been cleared with their transcripts.

“Institutions therefore should settle all these concerns internally because we will hold them accountable”, he said.

According to Faida Odille, former student at UNAK University, the majority of the students received their transcripts.

“Most of us received them. It’s possible that some have not and this is a challenge” said Odille who told this paper that she was waiting for admission into a different institution.

Challenges in switching faculties

Some of the students who were able to receive their transcripts are being forced to change faculties, said Viateur Murenzi, former student at Indangaburezi College of Education (ICE).

When the Ministry of Education shut down ICE, Murenzi was in the third year of Early Childhood Education.

At the time, he was already done with the dissertation and all the modules.

“I was close to graduation”, he said. But when he applied to the University of Kigali, “I was forced to switch to level two of a different faculty (Early Childhood Development)”.

According to Murenzi, all his colleagues are facing the same challenge and this means they will have to study for one more year.

“On top of pursuing what we are not interested in, we will have to study for another full year,” he asserted.

eashimwe@newtimesrwanda.com

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