Students who join the University of Rwanda(UR) under government scholarship sign a performance contract with the Higher Education Council(HEC) according to which failing exams would lead to the loss of scholarship.
According to UR, 25 students from the Finance and Business Management department appealed this decision, asking UR and HEC to reverse it following failure in exams last year.
Their appeal was made in February before the interruption of COVID-19 which imposed a lockdown on the country at large.
As schools reopen, the decision was maintained.
“The Students wrote a letter of appeal to the university after they failed exams. We also wrote an advocacy letter to HEC, a request that can be considered or rejected. But, our stand, is that students have to pass their exams for the government to continue giving them a scholarship,” Samuel Mushabe, the UR Registrar said.
“You cannot tell us to breach the law; this loan agreement is made with a clear commitment by students to pass their exams for the Development Bank of Rwanda(BRD) to continue giving them a scholarship,” Dr. Rose Mukankomeje, Executive Director of HEC said during Ubyumvute Programme at KT Radio-Wednesday Nov. 25th.
“In case a student fails, the scholarship is halted until the following year if they pass and reapply.”
Every year, the University of Rwanda makes a list of students who passed exams, excluding the names of students that failed. The list is shared with HEC management that directs final recommendations to BRD which was mandated to pay government scholarship since 2015.
UR indicates that the 25 students are not the only ones who failed. They only had the courage to try and push for change in their favor.
“Students who are complaining are those who failed. They will not see the scholarship paid, not until they successfully pass this year, then reapply for a scholarship next year,” Mukankomeje said.
“Scholarship comes from taxes and thus, students should not take it for granted.”