University of Rwanda open to first post-merger admissions

The University of Rwanda (UR) has outlined the criteria that will be used to admit students for the next academic year.
Prof. Ijumba has outlined criteria for applying for admission to UR. File.
Prof. Ijumba has outlined criteria for applying for admission to UR. File.

The University of Rwanda (UR) has outlined the criteria that will be used to admit students for the next academic year.

Students must have obtained two principal passes in both Sciences and Arts and Humanities, a pass in English and General Paper to qualify for admission at UR, according to Prof. Nelson Ijumba, the deputy vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research.

Unlike previous admissions handled by Rwanda Education Board, this year, the university will handle all the admissions following the merger of public universities.

In an interview with The New Times yesterday, Prof. Ijumba said students who studied Science combinations at A-Level must have obtained two principal passes, totaling 24 marks minimum, to qualify for admission to science faculties, while those who want Arts and Humanities, Education and Business faculties, must have obtained two principal passes totaling at least 18 marks. 

In addition to these major criteria, every applicant will be required to have obtained a pass in General Paper, and a certificate in English proficiency.

“Those who will not qualify for this will have a conditional admission; after being admitted to university, they will have to register for these courses and to sit another exam to qualify,” said Prof. Ijumba.

The university has room for about 10,000 new students each year, mostly domestic students but international and regional students will also be admitted, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. James McWha, said on Tuesday on the sidelines of the varsity’s first Board meeting.

Applications open tomorrow

Applying for admission will largely be done online. A student will log on to the university web site,, once the admissions open on March 1.

They will find information about University programmes and how they are distributed in Colleges and their campuses.

Then they will find a form to fill according to their choice.

The applicant will receive a short message (SMS) confirming that their application was received, and then pay admission fee at the I&M bank (former Commercial Bank of Rwanda–BCR).

To take to the bank will be a registration number that will also be sent via the same SMS.

The admission fee is Rwf5,000.

While applying for admission, a student will have three choices: one would choose a College, a campus or academic programme.

Private candidates can also apply, and so are people who graduated years earlier. The number of private candidates to be taken is yet to be established.

For them, they will be considered through alternative qualification entry requirements that will also be available on UR web site.

According to the calendar, admission will be open on March 1, while the allocation to Colleges is expected by June.

By July, UR will send the acceptance letters by e-mail.

“This will help students to start looking for tuition, which, I guess, will be still a flat fee across all the UR colleges. The ministry (of Education) is in charge, and it will be ready soon,” said Prof. Ijumba.

The Ministry of Education had last year enforced the cost sharing programme that seeks parents’ involvement in paying for tertiary education of their children.

It was decided that a flat fee of Rwf600,000 should be paid by any student in public university.

The government, however, considered options for the less privileged, and gave half or full scholarship loan to a number of students, following Ubudehe categories.

“There won’t be any change in this, apart from that we are working out a plan with financial institutions that will handle the loan disbursement exercise. Hopefully we shall be through by June,” said Education minister Vincent Biruta.