The government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement with two American institutions of higher learning, the William Penn University and Des Moines University.
The agreement aims at enhancing the quality of education standards in Higher Education Institutions in Rwanda.
This follows a recent visit to the US, by a delegation led by the Minister of Education, Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, to review existing partnerships with American universities, and to explore the possibility of new ones.
In the agreement, the William Penn University will expand the existing Presidential Scholarship scheme to take an additional five students in January 2012, with full tuition waivers. The university will enrol ten students per year in the next two years.
Currently, there are four students at the university.
The agreement with Des Moines University ensures development of academic cooperation activities of mutual benefit through exchange programs of professors, professional staff and students.
It will also involve joint research and extension programs as well as other academic activities in fields of mutual interest.
Speaking after the signing, Habumuremyi said that the agreement would be instrumental in helping Rwandan students acquire quality education.
“We were supposed to pay US$21,000 worth of tuition for each student; the Penn William University has put a waiver on this. Rwandan students will be charged only US$7,000 annually, to cover upkeep expenses,” he said.
The Minister added that the Des Moines University will be instrumental in helping local universities in the areas of health sciences through various exchange programs.
Des Moines is a graduate health sciences university offering degree programs in osteopathic medicine, anatomy, biomedical sciences, podiatric medicine, physician assistant studies, physical therapy, post-professional physical therapy, public health and health care administration.
It is the second oldest Osteopathic medical school and the fifteenth largest medical school in the United States.
The Minister said that in the agreement, focal points in Rwanda will be identified and these will work with the two university representatives to oversee how programs identified under the MoUs will be implemented.