HUYE - The National University of Rwanda (NUR), yesterday, graduated 1,291 students at a ceremony presided over by the University Chancellor and Minister of Education, Dr Charles Murigande.
Graduating students, received various academic honours that included; 1,005 undergraduate degrees, seven post graduate certificates, nine post graduate diplomas and 39 Master’s degrees.
Four First class degrees were registered in the fields of Civil Engineering, Electrical and Power Engineering, and Biology.
Murigande commended university authorities for increasing student enrolment from 4,157 in the academic year 1996-1997 to the current 10,657 students.
He said that the NUR has produced high quality graduates who currently occupy key positions at all levels of government, in the private sector as well as the civil society and are all contributing to the development of the country.
“Today, we are here to acknowledge and celebrate the tremendous efforts that have brought these new graduands to where they are today. They are hardworking, motivated and are poised to become the driving force behind Rwanda’s continued economic development,” Murigande said.
Reiterating President Paul Kagame’s message late last year during his visit to the university, Murigande said that the experience of learning does not end in the few years spent at university, but is rather a continuous process.
“There is no short cut or alternative path to social-economic and cultural development, life long education is key to individual and national prosperity,” he said.
“The hard work you showcased during your studies should only be the beginning of life-long learning, technical knowledge should be backed by practical skills. You must all strive to continue education be it through further studies here or abroad, or through employment.”
He urged them to learn from their mistakes, but most importantly, learn from the people who will surrounding them in the different environments they will be going to.
The minister said that the four excelling students; Emery Torbert Mpano (Civil Engineering), Jacques Munyandamutsa and Jerome Nsengiyaremye (Electrical and Power Engineering) and Bruce Lububi Kyalangalilwa (Biology) will be eligible for scholarships offered by President Kagame, should they opt to pursue their education to Master’s and Doctoral levels.
Dr Theogene Rutagwenda, the Chairman of the University Board urged students not to rest on their laurels but seek more education opportunities to further their knowledge.
“Graduation is a major highlight in the academic life of an individual, it is also a culmination of many years of dedication to the search for knowledge and skills that prepare you for the long journey of your adult life, that is why you must be reminded that graduation is not an end in its self but a spring board to the future, be it in employment or academics,” he said.
The University Rector, Prof. Silas Lwakabamba, decried the small number of female students at the university, he said that schools need to do more to send girls to University.
Female students make just one third of the student population at the University and only a quarter of senior members of the academic staff are female.
“These figures are not good enough, women are more than half the population in Rwanda and they should at least be half of the population of this university,” Lwakabamba said.
Thirty-seven members of the academic staff who completed PhD studies abroad were for the very first time, also recognized for their academic achievements.