Refer to the rebuttal by the University of Rwanda (UR) published by The New Times on April 8, in response to an opinion by Lonzen Rugira.
I am satisfied with the response by the University of Rwanda. I understand the challenges they are facing and appreciate what they are doing to solve it. One exceptional case should not be based on to judge the institution as disorganized or inefficient or has not inculcated a change culture in its employees. I (and most people I believe) am satisfied by their professional and timely response towards this one incident.
The University of Rwanda management should maintain the momentum and they should have all our support as they continue to implement their strategic initiatives, which I believe will change the higher education landscape in this country, to ensure the labour market is furnished with top-notch graduates.
The majority of Rwandans, both within the country and in the Diaspora, appreciate the short-term initiatives the university has undertaken to restructure the system before embarking on driving value within the system for future accomplishments.
There will still be more incidents of different manners in the coming future and such are expected from any young institution like this.
But as we continue moving towards the set goals, we are sure you will address them as they come. There is no way an organisation can start implementing a strategy at perfection level...there will always be deficiencies that will occur along the way but, like I said above, such experiences, like indicated the article by Lonzen Rugira, should always be taken positively by the university to fix any structural deficiencies as they come up.
I am part of the UR as an academic staff and I am proud to say that the institution is on the right track to achieve its vision; for example, it is currently undergoing a capacity building programme, I am here to testify that just like many others, I am a beneficiary. So let us appreciate that at least the institution is doing something.
As for the response, we can only agree that there are deficiencies in almost every institution and it is a good thing that management has expressed commitment to solve them.
It is not the things an institution does properly or even very well that end up becoming its poster image, even if they are the overwhelming proportion of what they do.
In today’s highly interconnected environment, it is how you deal with your errors and failures that brand you.
As a public institution, UR needs to be sensitive to how it deals with those who take the initiative to get in touch with it, no matter the unsolicited nature of such expressions of interest. In my own experience, even a negative response to such inquiries will be satisfactory to most people, as long as it is timely, explained and courteous.
Conversely, failure to respond in a timely and courteous manner will come off as arrogance of an ivory-tower institution.