The troubled former Kigali Institute of Management (KIM) students have failed to join other universities after their former lecturers refused to release their marks citing unpaid salary arrears.
On 2nd November 2020, the KIM University permanently closed doors for alleged financial problems that have accumulated over the years.
“Students are stranded, the processes of issuing academic transcripts are so slow. Some lecturers have refused to release marks for students before the management pays their salary arrears,” Emmy Mugabo, former KIM guild president said.
“ Other universities have reopened but my colleagues from KIM are worried whether they won’t be admitted.”
Mugabo added that the issue of failing to pay lecturers should not affect students; academic transcripts should be released and accessed by students.
After the official announcement of closure, KIM leadership asked all students to pick their transcripts no later than 20th November 2020. But students say most of them have not yet assessed them, albeit one week remaining.
“We thought the academic transcripts issue would be cleared now, but a few students have got them. If the process is not fast, many students will miss out on admissions for this academic year,” Charlotte Mbabazi , a student said.
After KIM University closing doors permanently, Rose Mukankomeje, Executive Director of Higher Education Council (HEC), said that former KIM management should provide a list of all students and their respective levels so that they can be helped in transfer to other universities.
“But, for students to be transferred to other universities, academic transcripts should be provided to all former students. We are waiting for that list from KIM and we are prepared to help them,” Mukankomeje said.
A ‘Competitor’ Buys KIM
After permanently closing doors, KIM was open for auction. The University of Kigali announced plans to acquire the infrastructure of the former.
Gustave Tombola, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kigali told the media that two parties had already signed a sales agreement.
The troubled KIM has over the years developed infrastructure including buildings and other facilities at its campus located along the Kigali-Rwamagana road, opposite Nyandungu eco-park. However, financial challenges reportedly started in 2016 when students started reducing gradually.
“Even if the University of Kigali acquires structures, the fact is that the new management will also need academic transcripts from students to prove their academic performance. Every university has its course structures and transcripts are essential,” Mugabo said.
KIM had about 1800 students, in different academic years, some of whom will need to graduate, others to continue with their courses from other universities.
“There is even a possibility of students failing to get courses at the new owners (University of Kigali). Academic transcripts are key and should be released on time as Universities gradually reopen,” Mugabo said.
The KIM University closure followed three other private Universities being closed permanently by higher education council Rwanda (HEC), five months ago with students complaining about the refusal of lecturers to release their academic transcripts due to salary arrears.
The Christian University of Rwanda and Indangaburezi College of education were in July closed for alleged administrative challenges that compromised the quality of education.
This was after the University of Kibungo (UNIK) formerly Institute of Agriculture, Technology, and Education of Kibungo (INATEK) was also closed on June 30, 2020, for the same alleged mistakes (administrative challenges).