The Rwanda National Leadership Retreat, also known as “Umwiherero”, decided last month to assess the quality of teaching in higher education institutions and to review the current accreditation and licensing requirements for the new ones.
Senior government officials participating in the four-day retreat starting on February 17 raised concerns about the quality of higher education and called for better quality assessment at all higher education institutions.
The 17th annual retreat brought together over 400 officials and experts from all fields to discuss issues of national importance, including higher education.
Officials have expressed concern that, despite efforts to improve the quality of education from the first cycle of primary to higher education, little has been achieved.
Prime Minister Dr Édouard Ngirente expressed fears that the poor quality of education would impact the country’s leadership capacity.
“We are concerned that we will not have people appointed as mayors (district administrators) in the future,” he said.
Participants at the retreat challenged the education ministry to do something about the quality of higher education, even if it required shutting down universities that are not functioning properly.
Dr Rose Mukankomeje, executive director of the Higher Education Council, said efforts would be made in implementing the resolutions.
“The evaluation of existing higher education institutions is already included in the council’s action plan every year. However, additional efforts will be added to ensure the effective implementation of the [resolutions of the] National Leadership Retreat, ”she said.
“The quality of education is dynamic. However, we cannot say that the quality is currently of a high level. That is why we will continue to work hard to ensure a good quality education for our students, ”Mukankomeje said. News from academia.
She said the council was reviewing laws and policies governing higher education, including accreditation procedures and teaching standards.
“It is true that there were gaps in the accreditation requirements of higher education institutions. With revised laws, policies and guidelines, this will help ensure that newly accredited institutions are able to deliver quality education, ”she said.
According to Dr Theoneste Ndikubwimana, head of academic quality, accreditation and standards at the Council for Higher Education, more than 20 universities and higher education institutions would be subject to assessment and action would be taken once the ‘exercise completed.
Stakeholders said the assessment exercise should be as comprehensive as possible.
“To improve the quality of teaching in higher education institutions, emphasis must be placed on financial resources, human resources, the level of researchers and academic staff, and then the relevance of this combination”, declared Ildephonse Nkiliye, deputy director of the Center for Research and Professionalization of the Catholic Institute of Kabgayi.
Nkiliye added that in order for the Higher Education Council to be able to evaluate the implementation of established laws and policies and other established guidelines, it should be staffed with qualified staff for regular and effective evaluation. .
“The human resources of the board are not sufficient, both in quality and quantity, and they end up outsourcing to experts who carry out the evaluation in a short period of time and may end up missing certain elements”, he said. he declared. News from academia.
He also questioned the rationale for the number of private universities founded by faith-based organizations with similar programs and without regard for synergy.
“Why do we have more than four Catholic universities, more Anglican universities? There is a need for fusion and synergy, ”he said.