The University of Rwanda has started receiving budgetary allocation for sports amid concerns Rwanda’s largest university and its colleges have lost the glory they enjoyed for years when they were major source of players for different sports in the country.
In 2013 government merged all public universities and institutes located in different regions of Rwanda into a single entity; the University of Rwanda. This led to transfer of thousands of students from once campus to another as some faculties were also moved. By the end of the reorganization project, seven undergraduate and postgraduate colleges emerged.
Government argued the changes were meant to streamline higher education for better results. But as The Chronicles reports, sports at some colleges has been on steady decline.
At what was previously the National University of Rwanda – and currently the College of Arts and Social Sciences located in Huye district, southern province, there is not much available apart from large residence halls and lecture rooms.
The soccer field is the same old facility. Volleyball and basketball, the sports the institution excelled at are played on poor courts will little guidance. The tennis court is no different. Sporting facilities for players living with disability are non-existent.
There is no team on the campus that has an identifiable jersey. The team coaches for various sports whom we spoke to said they had been volunteering as there was no funding nor hiring or interest in sports from the university administration.
The College of Science and Technology – previously the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) remains a major source of volleyball and basketball talent. But other sports are struggling or entirely non existent.
None of the colleges has recently taken top position in any field in the various national championships and competitions.
But hope may have returned.
Beginning this academic year (2019), which opened in September last year, the University of Rwanda has an annual allocation of Rwf100m to pay for sports across all colleges, according to the institution’s administration that is based in Kigali.
Each college is supposed to submit funding requests to the central administration. However, it is not automatic for a college to receive funding – meaning if no demand is made then no money will be allocated.