The much anticipated January launch of the University of Kibogora has been put on hold, according to the Executive Director of the Higher Education Council, Prof. Geoffrey Rugege.
Rugege told The New Times in an exclusive interview yesterday that the university cannot open its doors without acquiring a provisional licence.
The varsity, which will be situated in Nyamasheke District in the Western Province, will be established through the combined efforts of local residents, Liberal Methodist Church and district authorities.
The Mayor of Nyamasheke, Jean Baptiste Habyarimana, said that the university had sought permission from the Ministery of Education which gave them the go ahead while they pursue the operating licence.
“Everything is in place and the university should kick-off in January,” said Habyarimana, explaining that important aspects like infrastructure, teaching materials and teaching staff were already in place.
The university, which will use buildings belonging to Kibogora Hospital and the Methodist Church, is expected to offer programmes in medicine while Kibogora will be used as a teaching hospital.
According to Rugege, for a private institution to acquire a provisional operating licence, it takes about six months from the time of application due to the rigorous exercise of establishing if it meets all necessary requirements.
“What happens is that they write to the Minister of Education who refers their letter of intent to the Higher Education Council whose board of directors evaluates the proposal. This is done to ensure that the institution has the right staff, enough finances and the right curriculum,” he explained.
“We are not being counterproductive. But there is a level of caution that we have to take while authorising operations of higher institutions of learning in order to ensure quality of education,” Rugege emphasised.
The university has been running radio advertisements calling for students to apply.
Kibogora University targets students from Rusizi, Karongi, Nyamagabe and Nyamasheke districts.