Eight universities from Poland have entered partnership or expressed their interest to work with Rwandan universities in areas of scholarship and exchange or research and expertise.
During an education forum bringing together universities from both countries in Kigali-December 5, four universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with University of Rwanda, Institute of Applied Sciences Ruhengeri, and Rwanda Polytechnic.
“The government of Rwanda puts human capital on top of priority for the social and economic transformation of our people. Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Technology and Innovation and Training remain on top of our priorities,” Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, Minister of Education said prior to the MoU signing session.
“Rwanda-Poland Education Forum is a good opportunity to realize the implementation of MoU signed by our two countries. Our cooperation will promote exchanges of high education scholars, teachers, experts and students by encouraging direct cooperation and student mobility,” Uwamariya said.
Polish Universities that established cooperation with local universities include Warsaw University of Life Sciences, which is the largest agricultural university in Poland, established in 1816 in Warsaw.
It employs 2,600 staff including 1,200 academicians. The University is since 2005 a member of the Euroleague for Life Sciences which was established in 2001.
Euroleague is a network of leading universities cooperating in the fields of natural resource management, agricultural and forestry sciences, life sciences, veterinary sciences, food sciences, and environmental sciences.
The University includes 12 faculties with 25,000 students. It offers Horticulture, Agriculture, Biology or Environmental Sciences, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, among others.
According to the World Health Organization, the university’s medical graduates get international recognition of their degrees through its World Directory of Medical Schools.
Also, Silesian University of Technology has indicated keen interest. It is ranked 1446 in Best Global Universities.
Other universities include University of Szczecin with 33,267 students. It has various faculties including humanities, law, natural sciences, economics, among others.
Other Polish Universities that indicated keen interest for collaboration are University of Zielona, Lodz University, and Cracow University of Economics.
“We can admit hundreds of students every year, but it is a project we can work on together with local institutions. We are ready. However, getting the admission from the university has criteria depending on the program a student is seeking,” Elzbieta Kubinska, Director of the Institute of Finance at Cracow University of Economics said.
“We shall listen to every student. A student can study half of their studies in Rwanda and another part in Poland. This is in line with producing skilled graduates. We are ready to work with the University of Rwanda, or any other university, depending on the needs,” she added.
Who is eligible?
Besides academic references, letters of recommendation, academic certificates and transcripts of secondary education, or from tertiary institutions and proof of English-language proficiency, students who benefit from these scholarships are supposed to be the best academic performers.
“In previous years, some students failed to get admissions because they were not eligible. This time, students will be required to be eligible; have required marks before any further process. With this, the process will be smooth,” Dr. Uwamariya said.
“You heard where we are putting the efforts; science and technology, we want bright students who could be facilitated to study there. They have quality education, and at lower prices. We shall continue to negotiate this,” she added.
Currently, the Rwandan community in Poland has grown to over 1200 people, most of which are students.
Annually, a significant number of young Rwandans seek to pursue their studies abroad, in countries including Canada, USA, China, among others.