By HAGABIMANA Eugene on 15 Feb 2021
Lyambabaje, the new Vice Chancellor hailed achievements by his predecessors and assured to add a building stone towards the University advancement. The statement was made during a handover ceremony with Dr Papias Musafiri Malimba who has been the interim Vice Chancellor since the end of Prof Philip Cotton’s Five years tenure.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Lyambabaje pledged synergy among the university community to ensure that the University of Rwanda becomes a pillar institution for Rwanda to achieve vision 2050 based on country’s National Strategy for Transformation. The new Vice Chancellor also expressed his intent to integrate alumni to contribute to the University development through teaching, delivering public talks and supervision for masters and PhDs.
The handover was officiated by the Minister of Education Dr Uwamariya (C), here flanked by the Vice Chancellor Prof Lyambabaje (R) and Dr Malimba, the DCV for Administration and Strategic Planning
“We have to move from brain drain to brain circulation from private-public institutions to UR and to academia” Prof Lyambabaje said.
Among other key priorities, the new Vice Chancellor called on the University of Rwanda staff to revisit the support to students while boosting consultancy which will not only generate funds but also reduce the dependency to foreign expertise. Other interventions include the collaboration with national and international institutions, promotion of inter-university sports at national, regional and global scenes for encouraging the spirit of competition and networking.
In his presentation, Dr Papias Malimba elaborated on the University background, mandate, structure, governance, current status and its strategic plan. He noted that despite COVID 19 which disrupted the academic calendar, the university tried to adapt very quickly by uploading 98% of teaching materials on its eLearning platform.
Dr Malimba, who is the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Administration and Strategic Planning informed that UR has started carrying out a comprehensive review of its programmes while availing conducive environment in terms of resources and incentives to carry out research.
The handover exercise was officiated by the Education Minister Dr Valentine Uwamariya who lauded the University milestone since its inception 7 years ago. According to her, the acquisition of African Centres of Excellence has massive contribution to research output at the national level. She also commended UR initiative for registering 46 new research grants and capacity building projects by 2020 totaling Frw 6 bn.
“I believe looking at the available expertise in its senior leadership ; the University of Rwanda will live up to expectations,” she noted.
Prof Lyambabaje was appointed by the Government of Rwanda on the 2nd February, 2021 and endorsed by the Rwanda Senate of 10th February 2021. The new Vice Chancellor joins a university comprised of six colleges and nine campuses which are located across the country. The University currently boasts around 27 thousand students and around 1900 academic and support staff.
Story by Darius MURANGWA