NYAGATARE - 383 students yesterday graduated in various disciplines at the maiden graduation ceremony of Umutara Polytechnic (UP).
The graduates were from the four main faculties of Veterinary Medicine, Agriculture, Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and the School of Business and Applied Economics.
Among the seven graduates awarded First Class degrees, five were women.
The State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Dr. Mathias Harebamungu, who presided over the function, said the university had grown into a recognised institution of higher learning.
He congratulated the new graduates, lecturers and parents for the hard work and sacrifice, saying the graduation ceremony meant that what they did was not in vain.
The Minister thanked female graduates for the excellent performance.
“I want to congratulate you for the outstanding performance, but I would also wish to remind you that this is no time to take a break. It is just the beginning of the journey with new challenges,” he advised.
“You are at an intersection between the world of schooling and the life of creating your own world,, either as employees or self employed individuals. I greatly encourage you to devise means of creating your own jobs and become competitive not only in Rwanda but in the whole world”.
Harebamungu reaffirmed the government’s commitment to building a strong human resource base for the social economic development of the country.
“This will be attained by ensuring equitable access to quality education and promoting science and technology, among others,” he said.
The acting Rector, Dr. Eugene Ndabaga, thanked the university’s founder members for their patriotism and culture of nationalism in spearheading and initiating the establishment of the university.
“Today’s ceremony signals that the work done by founder members of the university, through their incomparable collectiveness and kind efforts contributed, and their work has been manifested in today’s sparkling ceremony,” he said.
The Rector however cited challenges the university face, including lack of funding for research.
Rehema Uwamahoro, who graduated with a First Class Honours degree, thanked the government for accrediting the university which enabled them to acquire their degrees.
Umutara Polytechnic was established in 2006.