University of Rwanda (UR) was created in 2013 after the merger of several government-run institutions of higher learning. The National University of Rwanda (NUR) was the largest institution in the merger.
Today UR is composed of six colleges which until recently were scattered around the country. The dismantling of NUR meant that some faculties were moved away from Butare town, to be more precise, Huye District.
For the purpose of clarity, let us stick with Butare. NUR was Butare’s lifeline; the thousands of students were its heartbeat and bank account. Being a student town, when they moved away, the town died, literally.
Businesses closed or relocated, those who had invested in accommodation counted their losses in silence. Moving the students was one of the biggest mistakes as the government soon discovered. Soon it made amends by sending back the faculties and students and gave Butare its life back.
But the blame should be shifted on UR’s laps, with all the brainpower under its roof, it should have seen that coming.
Butare town aside, let’s go back to UR. Why does it take ages for students to get their transcripts in this technological era? As home to the elite College of Science and Technology, it should be the last government institution to remain stuck in the analog era.
The country has charted a clear path towards being a technological hub and has attracted prestigious campuses such as Carnegie Mellon Africa, Kepler, African Leadership University, University of Global Health Equity, Africa, Mount Kenya University, and others could be on the way.
That alone should be enough to spur UR to pull out all the stops and give top-notch services and not be overtaken by newcomers yet it has been king of the turf for close to six decades.