Says House report was not factual
HUYE – The Rector of the National University of Rwanda, Prof. Silas Lwakabamba, in a spirited defence of the university, has said that the institution has registered tremendous success contrary to ‘unsubstantiated’ claims that it is going down the drain.
Addressing university students and staff on Thursday, Lwakabamba highlighted what he termed as ‘facts’ which have not been well articulated in various reports about the university.
Earlier this week Members of Parliament criticized NUR, accusing its rector of ‘total mismanagement of the university.’
The criticism followed a report by a parliamentary probe committee that was commissioned to look into the state of country’s institutions of higher learning.
The committee, led by MP Adolphe Bazatoha, who was deputised by MP Emmanuel Mudidi, in its 65 page report, made 20 recommendations to Government aimed at improving the quality of tertiary education which was found wanting in all the 26 institutions visited.
On NUR, the parliamentary report indicated that the university has 54 computers and three science laboratories that can accommodate 15 students each. The report also indicated that the university has just 15,000 books, most of which are in French.
Prof. Lwakabamba disputed the figures indicated in the report, saying the university has 37 science laboratories, over 800 computers, over 140,000 books, 8,000 e-books and 35,000 journals.
“These are facts,” Lwakabamba said, adding, “It is unfortunate that these facts are not known outside so the negative elements took over and convinced people who can speak of only negative things...created things, these are the facts.”
Lwakabamba said that NUR is the only ranked university in the country under the Webmetrics ranking system, elaborating that it is ranked 4th in the region and 35th in Africa.
He said the number of publications from the university had increased from about 30 to 212 and the number of PhD holders has hit the 131 mark with over 100 pursuing doctorate programmes abroad and the number of postgraduate programmes offered by the university stands at 19 currently.
He, however, admitted that the challenge of insufficient infrastructure, equipment and high turnover of academic staff still persists. On dormitories, he said the university can only accommodate 19 percent of its students.
Lwakabamba said that the current ratio of 1 computer per 16 students is expected to improve as the number of computers is expected to double in the near future.
“We have our own challenges but we are on the move,” the rector observed.