This year, various campuses of the University of Rwanda will admit an estimated 10,000 new entrants.
The number is likely to affect the social and academic well being of many students due to one factor; accommodation.
The academic town of Butare, in the Southern Province, had for many years owed it existence to the presence of the National University of Rwanda and several Catholic Church-run institutions.
Its economic well being was firmly hinged on the student community who were its lifeline. In Butare, the students were movers and shakers; they were the town’s oxygen.
But that was then. As many colleges started to open in all corners of the country, Butare lost its flair to other cities, especially Kigali. But one area Kigali can learn from Butare is that the student community is vital in the building industry.
They consume living space faster than new structures are erected and the economic down spill benefits many.
But with the merging of many colleges to create the University of Rwanda, the issue of accommodation for students may soon go haywire if not addressed soon.
The newly restructured institution had in the past been struggling to meet the various challenges that came its way, especially insufficient infrastructure that was about to burst at the seams because of the high student population pressure.
Now the issue has taken bigger proportions that could cause the already insufficient housing sector to become over stretched if the real estate community does not wake up and grab the opportunity.