KIGALI - A total of 11,000 students are reported to be studying in the five unaccredited institutions, Sunday Times has learnt. Among the institutions blacklisted not yet given the nod by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), include Kigali Institute of Management (KIM) with 900 students, Catholic University of Kigali(UCK), with 1,400 students, Institute Supérieure de Byumba (ISB), 550 students, University of Agriculture and Technology in Education of Kibungo (UNATEK), 3200, and UNILAK which has 5,000 students.
An estimated 1,300 have already graduated from three of these universities: UCK, with 172 graduates, 750 from UNILAK, and 350 from UNATEK.
1272 graduates’ fate in balance. A graduate of UNILAK, who spoke to Sunday Times but preferred anonymity, disclosed the painful ordeal he underwent when he applied for a job in Rwanda Revenue Authority(RRA) only to be disregarded at the final stage after they found out that he finished from an unaccredited institution.
“I had been selected for the job after passing all interviews, that’s when they analyzed my credentials and found that I finished from an unaccredited institution, there and then I was disqualified, I don’t know whether the authorities intend to approve our papers or not” wondered the disgruntled graduate.
He further said that there are many graduates who have undergone the same fate of having transcripts from unaccredited institutions.
According to inside sources, a team of officials from the National Council for Higher Education recently conducted an assessment visit to UNILAK, to find out whether it has raised the standards to the required level.
In a statement issued in December 2007, Dr Jeane d’Arc Mujawamariya, the then Minister of education, said that universities that don’t measure up to the agreed standards will not be allowed to enrol students for the 2008 academic year.
The reason why this decree was not effected is not known, because ever since the year begun, these institutions have been recruiting students, whose fate is still on balance.
The Permanent Secretary General in the Ministry of Education Justin Nsengiyunva, disclosed on a phone interview that the ministry was monitoring these universities that by the end of this year a resolution would have been reached.
However, according to a number of students who keep storming The New Times for redress into their fate, both those who graduated from these institutions and current students, the ministry is dragging its feet on the issue.
Efforts to get the minister’s comment were unsuccessful as her personal assistant said she was in a meeting. Parents of students who graduated from these institutions are complaining that they have spent a lot of money in educating their sons and daughters, and are not ready to see them languishing on the streets without jobs just because the system has not approved their credentials.