The Workforce Development Authority (WDA) and Rushmore University of Technology (RUT Ltd), a Mauritian learning institution inked a collaborative agreement for the establishment of a demand-driven Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centre in Rwanda.
The proposed training centre will be used to train Rwandans in the fields drawn from national priority economic sectors.
The agreement entered with Rushmore University of Technology’s TVET arm, Rushmore Polytechnic, is expected to facilitate training of Rwandans in the fields deemed critical to the country’s development.
RUT is a branch campus of Rushmore Busines School, established in Mauritius in 2002, and is currently one of the largest private education providers in the country.
The official signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was held on Wednesday at the WDA head offices in Kigali in the presence of key officials from WDA, Rushmore University and Rwanda Development Board.
The university’s operation in Kigali is part of its strategy to grow its footprint in Africa. The varsity’s descision was informed by a study conducted on the continent which showed that Rwanda was the prime choice because of the strong commitment of the government to invest in TVET, the openness of the economy with initiatives to attract investors, among other reasons.
According to the MoU, at the beginning, the university will offer TVET courses in a number of areas such as; engineering and environment, tourism and hospitality, Spa and wellness, banking and finance and information and communication technology.
Over the next two years, they will introduce new courses in areas such as fashion design, creative media production and creative design production.
It aims to attract about 600 to 800 students in the first year of operation, expanding to around 4000 students over the next three years.
Rushmore has already identified premises in Remera, Kigali and will start operations at the beginning of next year.
Dr Priya Ramluggun-Essoo, the head of business development at the university, said they will put emphasis on providing quality education that will improve the Rwandan workforce.
“What we are bringing to Rwanda is quality British education and quality vocational training which is accredited in the UK. When you are training people you are not just training them for the sake of it but you are training them to be employable, to start their own business and to be able to stand on their two feet and help grow the economy. And this is what we are here to do,” she said, adding that they will bring work-based learning where people will have a lot of hands-on experience.
Jerome Gasana, the Director General of WDA, said that this investment is in line with national growth plans, especially vision 2020 which seeks to make Rwanda a middle income economyby 2020.
He added that it is also an indication that nations and private companies are recognising what Rwanda is doing in the education sector and the sphere of investment.
Gasana expressed confidence that the university will provide the quality education needed to address unemployment.
“We have agreed with them to bring qualified instructors and trainers,” he said.
Lucie Kabatetsi, the education development specialist at Rwanda Development Board, said that RDB is not just about bringing in investors, but ensuring quality of investment too .
“We are not just looking for investment. We are looking for quality something that impact Rwandans. In terms of education we need to be very serious to see that whatever we bring in has quality,” she said, as she pledged RDB’s support towards the implementation of the new partnership.