At least 40 delegates from 14 Commonwealth countries will, tomorrow, convene at the University of Rwanda headquarters in Gikondo to take part in this year’s Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) summer school.
The event, sponsored by Bank of Kigali and GIZ, is also expected to attract more than 65 students from higher institutions of learning with an intention of deliberating on development solutions for common global challenges.
“We will be joined by people from different backgrounds such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as those from the fields such as law. Bringing them together is expected to promote discussions on the role of universities in implementing the global Sustainable Development Goals,” said Terri Jacques, the senior scholarships and fellowships officer at ACU.
Jacques added that this year’s summer school would also focus on allowing foreign students an opportunity to visit different areas around Rwanda.
“The summer school has been running in five different countries. Even this time round, students will be involved in site visits around the country which is another chance for them to network,” she said.
First initiated in 2011, the forum is the first of its kind in Rwanda. Last year, it was hosted in Canada and next year it will be held in the UK.
University of Rwanda is the only academic institution that subscribes to the ACU.
Prof. Philip Cotton, the vice-chancellor, reiterated that collective ideas from the participants will be resourceful in alleviating problems within communities.
“We expect to learn a lot from the students of different backgrounds. In addition, there will be many great motivation speakers and senior academics who will provide more insight into these challenges,” Prof. Cotton told Saturday Times.
Delegates expected at the weeklong event include Prof. Fahim Quadir, from York University, Canada; Dr Marie-Christine Gasingirwa, director-general for Science, Technology and Research at the Ministry of Education, Rwanda; Prof. Mammo Muchie, from Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa; Prof. Urmilla Bob, from University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa; and Dr Denis Rugege, expert on climate change and green growth, Rwanda.
Others are Dr Alex Coutinho - community health, Executive Director of Partners in Health, Sehene Jean Chrysostome - Conservation & environmental management in Rwanda, Belise Kariza - Biodiversity & Tourism, Chief Tourism Officer at Rwanda Development Board and Rwanda’s gender minister Dr Diane Gashumba.