By Jean de la Croix Tabaro
Friday 27 July, Rwanda will host the biggest academic gathering the country has ever had.
At Amahoro stadium, parents and relatives will join 8442 finalist students from University of Rwanda (UR) for the biggest graduation ceremony in country history.
“We want to demonstrate the spirit of one university; the oneness is important for us, the togetherness,” Professor Nelson Ijumba, Deputy Vice chancellor for academic and research at UR told KT Press.
Of the total number, 3039 are female students representing 36% compared to 5403 male graduates (64%). The number of female graduates has declined by 3% compared to last year.
Graduating students are largely undergraduates, but they include 342 Master Students and two PhD graduates from faculty of Medicine.
Every student is allowed to bring two people inside the 25,000 sitting capacity stadium to attend the colorful event where they will see graduates and lecturers parade in gowns of all colors.
Three years old as one institution, UR brings together six colleges and 14 campuses established across the country, from Rusizi district in the far West to Nyagatare district-eastern Rwanda and from Huye-south, the mother campus to Musanze in North and then Kigali city.
Two previous graduation ceremonies took place at college level where the latest included 7000 graduates.
“One event is cost effective compared to six events on similar theme.”
Of the female graduates are included twins, a one Nana and Alice from faculty of Economics and Medicine respectively.
“We don’t take it for granted; many of us started but did not finish. We really thank God who enabled us through our studies,” said Nana.
Ijumba believes, three years down the road the university has improved tremendously.
According to Webmotrics.info, a university ranking organization, UR was ranked 8000th among 20,000 world universities in 2014. Currently, it is on 5000th position.
Visibility and research content on university website are important factors in this ranking.
Meanwhile, starting next year, UR will reduce the period of education; Humanities and social sciences will undertake 3 year program in under graduate. The program starts with school of journalism and communication in 2017. Medicine will be 5 years instead of 6 years.
For professional courses like engineering, said Ijumba, the four years will be maintained for the time being.
New curriculum is harmonized in East African community.