Allow me to express my request to concerned authorities to find ways of increasing access to graduate education. Here I am talking about education at Masters Level and above. You probably all know that we have always said that the Rwandan people are a major resource that our country has.
We are not privileged to have those minerals that bring in lots of foreign exchange but we have Rwandans who have the potential to take our country at the desired level. I would like to commend the efforts of the government to develop her human resources through institutions like HIDA and so on.
There is no doubt that such initiatives will contribute a lot towards making our nation a knowledge base economy. If we need to be there on time, I would recommend that we find ways of increasing access to graduate education in various fields.
This is one action, out of many you could think about. I am saying this because if you look at the present situation, the only people who have access to graduate education are; People working in Institutions of higher learning and get scholarships from their Institutions.
Some few, who work in higher level positions in government or government Institutions, are sponsored. Very few too, get scholarships through SFAR or private scholarships through Fulbright (USA), Nuffic (Netherlands), Chevening (UK), etc. Very few who can self sponsor their studies.
Now, when you look at the number resulting from the only sources above, then I doubt if we will reach our desired destination as soon as possible. I have had the opportunity to talk to a number of graduates about the issue.
What I have realized is that most of them want a higher level of education but the only problem is ‘where will I get the money?’
Take one example of the Maastricht School of Management MBA with SFB, who among the Rwandese have the capacity to pay for themselves $8,000?
Because of limited space, let me make a suggestion as I conclude. We do not have a choice. If we really need Rwandans to be a major force behind making our economy knowledge based one, let us take a step further.
Let’s have more Rwandans with education level above Bachelors’ Degree. I would request our dear government to extend education loans to students who are willing to pursue graduate education.
Then these Rwandans will surely repay the loans after their years after study. The government can partner with socially responsible banks to extend such education loans.