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Speech of Assoc Professor Tumusiime David on behalf of the UR academic and research staff at the 8th Graduation

23 Nov 2022

The University of Rwanda held a colourful 8th graduation ceremony that took place at Nyagatare stadium in Eastern province on Friday, 18th Novwmber 2022, where 5702 graduates tapped into the labour market.The event took place at the Stadium of Nyagatare District.

On this occasion, Associate Professor Tumusiime David , the representative of the UR academic and research staff made a speech. It reads as follows :

-  "Guest of honour ; Hon PM,
-  Minister of Education (in case present)
-  Chancellor
-  VC,
-  Governor of Eastern Province of Rwanda
-  DVCs
-  Members of UR Board of governors
-  Principals and all other UR leaders in your respective capacities,
-  Representative of the Alumini
-  Distinguished invited guests,
-  Our grandaunts and parents
-  Colleagues ; academic and research staff of the university of Rwanda
-  All protocol observed, ladies and gentlemen

Good afternoon ;

Guest of Honour,

Let me start by congratulating our graduates today, for this important achievement in their lives ; congratulations !!

We thank parents, guardians, and very importantly the Government of Rwanda for the support and scholarship/bursary granted to the graduates of today. We also thank the University of Rwanda leadership and its entire staff both academic and administrative for their dedication and commitment to work and making the UR a conducive environment favourable to learning.

Hon Prime Minister,

On behalf of the academic and research staff of UR, and on my behalf, I thank you for being with us today. This shows an important and continuous support you always give us, as UR community.

Through you Hon Prime Minister, I want to extend our sincere appreciation for the good leadership of our government and the support of all kinds given to the University of Rwanda and specifically to the academic and research staff, through the management and leadership of the University.

With this support, the academic and research staff, are able to accomplish their responsibilities and tasks ; that include teaching and mentorship of students (results we celebrate today), research (evidence for decision making and practice, grants and funds generated,..), community engagement, promotion of visibility of the University and the country in general ; collaboration with regional and international institutions, in research and academia, to mention but a few.

And I want to thank the A&R staff for commitment and strength put in, towards the achievements mentioned above.

However, Hon PM,

The A&R staff, have requests, to some of challenges they have.

-  The need for special statute for UR academic and Research staff : without it, some of specific considerations such sabbatical leave that enhances time for international collaborations, sharing and gaining of skills from various collaborators, among others, cannot be achieved. We have much hope the proposed special statute will be one of the means to continue improving the international practice and standards in academia, welfare of the academic and research staff, among others.

-  Again about the statute ; the A&R staff are considered to be in the same general statute with other employees ; which is good but do not have the same employment and responsibility benefits ; for example ; A&R staff are not given the fringe benefits given to the same employees of similar level of employment and leadership positions.

-  Staffing and capacity building : the recruitment of academic staff and mentorship is highly wished and recommended. It has been a time with no recruitment of junior staff to work closely with the seniors (Professors) for institutional sustainability, etc.

-  Infrastructure : increased number of students registered with limited infrastructures, e.g. classrooms with limited capacity to accommodate all students, sound systems, laboratories, data projectors, etc (please add ; the academic issues)

-  Renovation and extension of our campuses : some buildings require renovation and extension. For example, campuses like Huye are very old, both teaching rooms and staff offices.

-  Working environment : academic and research staff don’t have offices.

Hon PM, these are few among others and I may not elaborate them all, and with these few, allow me to stop from here.

Thanking you once again for the valuable time given to us here today.

I thank you all !"

Published by
NTIRANDEKURA Schadrac
Public Relations and Community Engagement Officer
University of Rwanda-College of Education

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