KIGALI - THE National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has started vetting seven unaccredited universities to determine whether they have capacity to provide quality education.
The NCHE Executive Director, Prof. Pamela Abbott said on Wednesday that the exercise by the Licensing Panel was due to kick off yesterday (Thursday).
The universities being vetted include the Universite Laique Advantiste de Kigali (Unilak), Umatara Polytechnic, Kigali Institute of Management (KIM) and Institute Polytechnigue de Byumba.
Others are Institute d’Agriculture Technology and Education, University d’Catholique de Kabgayi and Institute Superieur de Ruhengeri.
“What we can assure Rwandans is that the requirements for one to be accredited are too stiff. We want the quality here to be standard,” Abbott said.
Operating under the Education ministry, the NCHE is mandated to ensure quality and oversee the planning of all tertiary institutions in the country.
The council warns that universities found wanting will not be licensed.
One of the requirements for a university to be accredited is to have enough operating financial budget to guarantee against any closure after students have paid fees.
In the past, new universities pleaded with NCHE to be flexible on implementing conditions that institutions are required to fulfil before they can get accredited.
Abbott said the NCHE is developing education institutional capacity indicators to ensure that all universities deliver quality education before they apply for permission to award degrees.
“The universities’ examinations should be marked internally but we shall invite external examiner to crosscheck,” Abbott said.
All degrees, diplomas or certificates awarded by tertiary institutions that are not accredited are considered null and void.
According to section 15 of University and other Tertiary institutions Act, the institution’s provisional operating agreement shall be valid for at least three years with effect from the date of signature of the agreement.
All unaccredited universities had been given three years, which expire early next year. One of the requirements is recruiting permanent lecturers.
Foreign lecturers are required to have working permits, while institutions should have enough infrastructure and land.
NCHE insists that the requirements are necessary and must be met to ensure that operating universities offer quality education.
Education Minister, Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, has vowed to fight on against incompetent universities despite public perception that the government is harassing education investors.Ends