The Ministry of Education has asked the High Education Council (HEC) to initiate ranking universities next year, first of its kind in the country’s history.
Dr. Eugene Mutimura, Minister of Education proposed this during a 1 –day consultative meeting of universities leaders last week.
“Why don’t we have university rankings next year and determine the performance of institutions. Students are supposed to be trained in accordance to local and global labor standards,” Dr. Mutimura told HEC.
During the meeting, Mutimura said, “The rankings would clearly indicate education performance mostly in teaching skills that are relevant on the labor market.”
Among university rankings criteria proposed by Dr. Mutimura includes; academic reputation, employability of students after university, number of local and international faculties, international research network among others.
He explained that to be ranked, a university is supposed to have been licensed or accredited by the higher education council or related organization.
The university should be offering at least undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
They should have a traditional, face-to-face, non-distance education format.
According to Professor Egide Karuhanga Gahima vice chancellor of University of Kibungo(UNIK), “university rankings will be important in measuring performance, but we need to have clear criteria for the rankings.”
HEC officials say, about 26 recognized Rwandan higher-education institutions meet university ranking standards.
Meanwhile, some international rankings have been ranking local universities every year.
According to International web rankings (Webometrics), a ranking system for the world’s universities based on a composite indicator, University of Rwanda is country’s best university followed by Independent University of Kigali – ULK and University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) on second and third position respectively.
University of Kigali and University of Lay Adventist of Rwanda come on fourth and fifth position respectively.
Three universities coming in the bottom are Nile Source Polytechnic of Applied Arts from Huye district, Mount Kenya University in Kigali and African Leadership University in Kigali.
Webometrics website, Ranked Universities basing on academic reputation, employability of students per university, number of local and international faculties, international research network, among others.
The proposed university ranking comes amid quality challenges at local universities. Quality is undermined by lack of professional lecturers.
At university of Rwanda for example, less than 30% of lecturers are PhD holders. Of these, only 25% are Rwandan nationals.
Research among university lecturers is also still wanting.