Unilak’s fate in balance

KIGALI - Granting accreditation to Université Laïque Adventiste de Kigali (Unilak), a Kigali- based private campus is undecided as 2008 academic year draws nearer.
Unilak Rector, Dr Jean Ngamije
Unilak Rector, Dr Jean Ngamije

KIGALI - Granting accreditation to Université Laïque Adventiste de Kigali (Unilak), a Kigali- based private campus is undecided as 2008 academic year draws nearer.

The official opening date is January 7.


Granting accreditation to Université Laïque Adventiste de Kigali (Unilak), a Kigali- based private campus is undecided as 2008 academic year draws nearer. The official opening date is January 7.

The Minister of State in charge of Primary and Secondary Education Joseph Murekeraho has revealed that the university would be given another year in which to meet academic requirements but this will first have to be endorsed by the cabinet.

“The university will be given another year to allow it sort out its  certification problem. But the cabinet has to first study our report before the decision is made,” Murekeraho said in an interview at his Kacyiru office on Friday.

Murekeraho said Unilak has been operating without accreditation for over the last ten years because the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) was not in existence.

The NCHE operates under the Education ministry and is mandated to ensure quality and oversee the planning of all tertiary institutions in the country.

Unilak Rector, Dr Jean Ngamije Thursday, said the university was at a crossroads because the line ministry was dragging its feet over the matter.

“Students are worried because they don’t know what the ministry has in store for them. . The issue has been dragging for too long,” Ngamije said by phone.

The Rector has in the past said the university had already started enrolling new students for the coming academic year.

Murekeraho said after settling the Unilak issue, the NCHE would also investigate other universities to ascertain whether they meet International education standards.

The NCHE is developing education institutional capacity indicators to ensure that all universities deliver quality education before granted permission to award degrees.
“If they do not meet minimum academic standards, they will be closed down,” he warned.

All degrees, diplomas or certificates awarded by tertiary institutions that are not accredited are considered to be null and void.

A fortnight ago, Education minister, Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya warned that all private universities not meeting standards required by the Ministry of Education will not be allowed to enrol new students in the next 2008 academic year.

Mujawamariya said that before end of this year, she would publish a list of unaccredited universities which will not be allowed to recruit for the next academic year. She added, the list would help students know where to enrol for university studies from an informed point of view.

The council’s licensing panel started probing seven unaccredited universities in August this year in order to determine whether they were capable of providing quality education.
Apart from Unilak, other universities under probe include the, Umatara Polytechnic, Kigali Institute of Management (KIM) and the Institute Polytechnique de Byumba.
Others are, the Institute of Agriculture Technology and Education, Université Catholique de Kabgayi and Institut Supérieur de Ruhengeri. A source within NCHE said investigations on some universities were still going on.

One of the requirements for a university to be accredited is to have sufficient operating financial resources to guarantee against any closure after students have paid fees.

The other requirements are recruiting permanent lecturers including those from foreign countries. Institutions are also required to have adequate infrastructure and land.
The ministry insists that the requirements are necessary and must be met to ensure that universities offer quality education.
Ends

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