Left to right: UCT's Prof Evance Kalula (middle) with Dr Emmanuel Ugirashebuya (left), and LLM graduate Gedeon Rukondo.
Eighteen Rwandans were awarded their Master's in Law degrees this year. As not everyone could be at the graduation ceremony, a celebration event was held in Kigali last month. Deputy dean Professor Evance Kalula was greeted with much applause by the more than fifty alumni and guests when he noted that Rwanda - as the biggest group of foreign nationals in the faculty this year - had contributed to the research excellence that was one of the markers in the latest Times ranking that placed the University of Cape Town at 107th in the top 200 universities worldwide.
The guest of honour at the event was the Director of the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Professor Geoff Rugege. "The NCHE's core business is developing benchmarks and standards for rating and accrediting universities in Rwanda," said Rugege. "UCT is the best-run university in Africa and is at the cutting edge of research. For example, they have done a great deal in discovering drugs to treat HIV/AIDS, but you don't hear a lot about that in the US and the UK. We have to sing our own song. People think we [Africa] aren't there, but UCT certainly is."
The Rwandan Student Representative for 2009/10, Godfrey Kamukunde, proposed a vote of thanks to the government of Rwanda for investing in the students. "Many African governments have not made higher education a priority, so we really thank you. Thank you too to UCT for a warm welcome, a fantastic orientation, and for English classes for those for whom English is not their first language.
"Our humble prayer is that the existing relationship between our governments and UCT will continue to the benefit of Rwanda," he said.
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