University of Rwanda Alumni Association officially launched
The University of Rwanda Alumni Association under the theme “Celebrating University of Rwanda Alumni” was launched on the 18th March 2017 in a colorful event that was held at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village that was graced by the Hon. Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dr.Vincent Biruta, Members of Parliament, Senators and other dignitaries most of whom went through the University of Rwanda as students. The event brought together graduates of the University to participate in the development initiatives of their Alma mater and elect a steering committee that will follow up their future programmes and projects.
Dr. Biruta addressing the gathering.
The University of Rwanda through its visionary leaders took the initiative of bringing together its alumni so that among themselves they can be more organized and work together through an Alumni Association that will spearhead the activities of the alumni such as membership registration, alumni networking , socializing activities and fundraising drives among other activities.
The Hon. Minister Dr. Vincent Biruta who also happens to be a UR alumni expressed his appreciation and thanked the university management and fellow alumni for organizing and attending such a historical event saying it’s an important step forward for UR in its path towards achieving academic excellence, he congratulated UR for the milestones it has achieved in a short period of time since its founding.
The Minister cited an example of the former NUR that served the privileged few Rwandans. In more than 30 years of its existence, it graduated less than 2000 students contrary to the current UR that has produced more than 24,880 graduates in the last 3 years of its existence. UR has contributed to knowledge, research, community service and aims at being an equitable and influential university.
The Minister pledged as a member of the alumni his continued support to UR and called upon fellow alma mater to support the institution that contributed to them being who they are today, “we need to support the young generation and our children who are at the respective Colleges by giving them conferences, lectures, and seminars as well as motivation and guidance on their career path,” he said.
Prof. Phil giving his comments.
In his welcoming remarks the Vice Chancellor of the University of Rwanda Prof. Phil Cotton thanked the chief guest for honoring the invitation and welcomed the Alma Mater back home, he briefed the audience on the objectives the Government when it decided to merge 7 former higher learning institutions and bring together under one University of Rwanda that was established in 2013, UR is spread geographically all over Rwanda on 14 campuses and has a student population of more than 32,000.
The university has recently been ranked 96thamong the top universities in Africa in a report by Thompson and Reuters an internationally accredited firm. The quality of the research papers has tremendously improved. Adding that “our most treasured made in Rwanda output are our graduates who are serving the country in different capacities”, he said that one of the challenges universities face today is failing to capture skills and talents of student and put them to better use.
The VC encouraged the alumni to have good values, the right attitude and character, and have a role in supporting the younger students still at College through career guidance and advise the university on improving the Curricula whenever the labor market forces require changes on Programmes offered, “our task is to inspire and believe in the young people” said the VC.
Other speakers included the DVC for academic affairs and research Prof. Nelson Ijumba who reminded the audience that UR mandate upon inception was to be a research led university. He requested the alumni to always give a feedback regarding the curricula and give a supporting hand in mentoring students fit for employ-ability.
The DVC in charge of Institutional Advancement Dr. Charles Murigande whose attributions has alumni relations, urged the former students to keep a positive brand image of UR and be good ambassadors of their former university.
Dr. Charles Murigande giving his input.
Group photo of the Alumni Leadership Committee with the University Management.
The event had an interactive session between the alumni and the alma mater, where several recommendations were made to the university leadership who promised to take them on board after further deliberations.
A steering alumni committee of 12 persons was elected into office on the following posts: President, Vice President, Secretary General, and Assistant Secretary General, Treasurer, Deputy Treasurer, Resource mobilization, and the advisory position.
Story by: Eric Mugisha
UR - Corporate Communication Office