Theogene Niyonzima, graduated from University of Rwanda, College of Science and Technology class of 2014 and immediately embarked on his transitional journey to seek employment.
It became a challenge for him however, to get his academic transcripts as it took him a long time which resulted into missing out on a number of job-opportunities.
“It took me close to two months because of the administrative structure of the college. I have to go through the library at Huye campus, the registries at Nyarugenge campus and finance department at Gikondo campus, which to me and the rest of the students is burdensome,” he shared.
He added that relocating the campus impacted the administrative changes which bring about long-distance tours when accessing documents.
Every year University of Rwanda (UR) churns out thousands of graduates, only for them to go through the same hurdles.
Online use, a viable option
A number of graduates who talked to The Sunday Times, suggested an on-line platform be used as a mechanism to sort out the issue.
Ange Ineza, a University of Rwanda graduate, said that they encounter problems when searching for jobs because the testimonials they get on a provisional basis are often not valued by prospective employers.
The procedure is to receive their transcripts, a month after graduation, once all the University dues are cleared.
“We have paid everything we owe the campus, including the graduation fees. Why should we wait up to nine months?” complained a graduate who requested anonymity, adding that he lost about five job opportunities as a result.
Robert Nizeyimana, another graduate from University of Rwanda says he missed an opportunity to pursue his post graduate degree abroad. He suggested that the university works closely with Rwanda Online, operators of Irembo platform, to ease the process by applying online.
“When UR helps us to access the documents and clear online, it will be easy, cheap and fast,” said Nizeyimana.
According to him, graduates are spending money and missing out on job opportunities, which should not be the case.
Florence Kaneza, the University of Rwanda Registrar acknowledged the problem and that they were working on how academic transcripts could be accessed online from the start of next academic year.
“We are working on it but it’s still a suggestion on the table that will take some time. We are planning to digitalise academic documents as we noticed how difficult it is for the graduates to access them,” she said.