Hundreds of jobs have been left vacant as the University of Rwanda continues to restructure in a bid to improve efficiency and delivery of courses and services.
Officials from the university said relocation and rationalisation of programmes in the past academic year has necessitated a readjustment of administrative roles especially with some colleges and departments being moved.
The exercise, which excludes lecturers and researchers, has seen over 20 staff members laid off and over 150 jobs left vacant across the university’s six colleges. However, the changes are affecting learning.
“These changes affect us as the lack of availability of lecturers is becoming an issue,” said Jean Claude Twagirimana, a student in Huye Campus.
According to Charles Murigande, the deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Institutional Advancement in University of Rwanda, the positions were made vacant as the requirements have been raised as a way of increasing efficiency in the way the university conducts its business.
“We have raised the level of competency needed for these jobs in order to get the right candidates,” Dr Murigande told Rwanda Today. He added that the university will advertise the first batch of vacant positions that need to be filled urgently, while the rest will be filled in the next financial year.
The University of Rwanda said the laying off exercise followed a presidential order determining how civil servants are placed and the competencies required for each position.
According to Dr Murigande, the presidential order determining how civil servants are moved from each job grade restricts automatic promotions in to ensure fairness and competitiveness.
Besides the changes in administrative staffing, UR officials say the institution has also developed a new structure for administrative staffing to ensure that the colleges that have been relocated are given the needed support.
According to a recent Auditor General’s report, the reorganisation of colleges and programmes to different campuses, has resulted in sluggishness of infrastructure and facilities, while other campuses are affected by the lack of teaching facilities mainly in the College of Arts and Social Sciences, College of Education and the College of Science and Technology.
However, as the government has taken back the role of financing the university’s budget for up to 80 per cent, which currently amounts to Rwf80 billion, the institution is no longer facing financial shortfalls.
We are no longer facing financial issues because the government is providing funding and we are also involved in several income generating activities to supplement our budget,” said Dr Murigande.