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  /  Initiative to build capacity in research and postgraduate training

Initiative to build capacity in research and postgraduate training

Silas Lwakabamba, National University of Rwanda, Rwanda

Abstract: African leaders recognise that development of the continent depends on higher education and research. To that effect, the Africa Union (AU) and New Economic Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) have recommended that 1% of GDP by each African state should be spent on Research and Experimental Development (R&D) in order to support peace, stability, better governance and economic growth. However, higher education provision in Africa is mainly for undergraduate students. Postgraduate provision, research and knowledge transfer remain largely under. In the case of Rwanda, Higher Education Policy is very clear that development of the higher education institutions forms the foundation for applying scientific and technology for development. Already in 2010 Rwanda higher education institutions have nearly 1,200 teaching staff with Masters degrees needing PhD training urgently. Training aboard is very costly and just a few can be trained over a long period and contributes to brain drain. Also the enrolment expansion at undergraduate level is imminent requiring massive increases in lecturers with PhD and Masters level qualifications. The National University of Rwanda plans to set-up large scale PhD programs in 6 disciplines and 3 multidisciplinary themes. The aim is to train in an intensified, diversified and streamlined fashion, future lecturers and researchers who would contribute to filling the skills gaps in Rwanda HE Sector and R&D Institutions. By 2023, it is envisaged that 4,300 Masters, 1,500 PhD and 300 Post Doctoral students will be enrolled at NUR. It is planned that PhD student supervision will be done jointly between NUR staff and the most experienced staff from the external universities. PhD and Post-doctoral students, local and external supervisors will write joint publications over 60% focusing on solving Rwanda development problems. It is recommended that the government should invest in PhD training and Research from public expenditure and Rwanda Private sector.

Keywords: Research and Postgraduate Training in Rwanda, National University of Rwanda Future Research Capacity Building, Research Capacity Building Initiative in Rwanda