The Government of Rwanda will allocate Rwf36 billion to the University of Rwanda in the fiscal year 2018. The new budget marks an increase of 44% over the previous budget and it will help the University implement its mission.
Following a meeting with members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, Technology, Culture and Youth in the Lower House on 16th February, Dr. Eugene Mutimura, the Minister of Education, told the media that “the budget for the country’s largest University will further be increased in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, when it will almost double current budget”.
That revelation came after the UR delegation appeared in front of Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to discuss the budget of the University of Rwanda. During the meeting, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, Dr. Charles Muringande, said that “the challenges faced by the UR come from its inadequate budget”.
These challenges started when the Government, which is the biggest contributor to the University’s budget,, cut in half its budget – from Rwf 26 billion in 2013 to Rwf 13 billion in 2015;“The UR was then expected to look for resources elsewhere”, he added.
The University bridged the gap thanks to its Rwf 8 billion in savings. However, by the second year its resources had dried up.
Mr Eric Musengimana, the Head of Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation at College of Business and Economics (CBE) and College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS), said that “increase in the budget does not mean reduction or rising of tuition fees for both STEM and NON-STEM students; it simply means that the institution is going to extend its services to students to improve their welfare and provide them with quality and adequate services”.
He added that the new increase is just a supplementary budget to enable the institution to perform better, provide quality services to the students, pay the lecturers on time, and keep up the infrastructure.
Jerome Pires,a government- sponsored 2nd year Journalism studentat the UR, said that “the increase in the budget will help the University buy the missing requirements in different colleges like chairs, build laboratories which are scarce at our college.
He added that because of that it has led to the increase of the living fees of government funded students from Rwf 25 to Rwf 35. And that this will help to improve our standards of living.
Contacted by phone,A a self-sponsored student at the College of Science and Technology who did not want to identify himself said: “I am very happy to hear that the University Budget went up almost a quarter of the current budget”. He added that hehoped this would also help reduce tuition fees, which were increased in 2017, mostly for all STEM students.
He went on to say that that while the increase would not affect the self-sponsored student, it would likely affect the government-sponsored student..
Dr. Margaret Jjuuko, Senior Lecturer at the School of Journalism and Communication, said that the increase in the UR budget will “help solve many issues, such as salary delays for staff and payments of other services to the University, as well as improve teaching resources through maintenance and new purchases”.
She added that the University will also be able to pay the outstanding allowances to lecturers accruing from extra workloads.