Managers at the University of Rwanda were convened for a two day retreat in the quest to make self-evaluation and reflecting on the state of the University. The retreat marked the discussions on changes that the University has been through and staff responsibility with a view to serve young generation with proper quality education.
In his opening remarks, Prof Philip Cotton the University Vice Chancellor presented the huge potential and milestone achieved since the inception of the University. He noted that despite critics pointing at the University, the influence of the University is far reaching thanks among others to the production of research digest of about 1200 papers which is great and worth celebration. Cotton also called on the participants in the retreat to demonstrate utmost commitment as servants of the largest University with biggest responsibility.
“As we develop the reputation for the right things, we also to need to build a culture of cohesion to be able serve our nation” Cotton said.
Opening remarks by Prof. Cotton; UR Vice Chancellor
Among the invited guests to the retreat was Rev. Dr. Antoine Rutayisire, a renowned figure for his inspiration and motivational speeches. In his remarks, he stated that the University is no longer a favor as it was the case back in the day. According to him, education is rather a good that is deservingly offered to the children. He also called on the researchers and academia in general to give the attention to the beneficiaries while conducting their research.
“The real question is-is our research transforming the community? Like how do you empower the farmer on best practices to ensure more production on a small piece of land?” Rutayisire challenged.
Rev. Dr Tutayisire delivering his inspirational remarks
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. George Njoroge, the Principal of the College of Education said that as much as teaching and learning happen, there is also a need to leverage knowledge on community based research, which according to him is catalyst to the transformative change in society.
During the retreat, students shared their views and promised to eradicate the culture of blame but rather be part of solutions to the problems faced by the University. Students were also involved in one of the panel sessions that discussed the concept of quality education which was reckoned as the driving force to produce the graduate wanted by the University.
Students and staff on panel discussion
At the closing of the retreat Amb. Dr Charles Murigande called on managers in attendance to engage discussion and dialogue and exercise properly their leadership by influencing others without any coercive means or pressure. He also exhorted participants to develop a culture of discipline by changing their mindset with regard to time management.
“You need to engage discussion and give staff and students an opportunity to discuss about the University we want by identifying everyone’s role to achieve it” He said.
Amb. Dr Murigande's address during the retreat
In the course of the retreat, participants were organized into breakout sessions to discuss quality in learning, teaching and assessment, student’s welfare, University governance, research and innovation while reinforcing on accountability, ownership and commitment among others.
The retreat featured group discussions
A secton of participants during the retreat