The shortage of competent academic staff in local universities is making it difficult for them to form partnerships with international universities that would help them access funding from the European Union.
According to the EU delegation to Rwanda, it is only this year that the ErasmusPlus programme,received five applications from Rwanda in the academic institutions co-operation, of which only one was selected.
The project involving four local varsities and three EU academies received €900, 000 (Rwf 953 million) funding from the programme.
Valentino Roberto, the project co-ordinator told Rwanda Today that the money will be allocated towards creating and operationalising undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the area of food science technology as well as environmental protection, safety and management.
Another chunk will be invested in curriculum revision as well as setting up an e-learning and teaching digital platform on top of students and academic mobility between the seven partnering academies.
They include the University of Rwanda, IPRC Musanze, INES Ruhengeri, the University of Technology and Arts of Byumba (UTAB), with European varsities namely the University of Parma in Italy, University of Applied Science Cologne in Germany and University of Liege in Belgium.
According to the EU delegation that has been carrying out a campaign at different universities last month, untapped academic opportunities will rank among areas they seek to forge partnerships with governments on the continent.
EU ambassador to Rwanda Nicola Bellomo said co-operation in education would feature prominently in the upcoming European Union and the African Union ministerial conference to be held in Kigali mid this year in the run up of the meeting of the heads of state and governments to be held in November in Europe.
“We are really investing a lot in these human dimensions because human capital development means the education systems need to adapt to the need for new skills, technologies and identify the most appropriate tools. Therefore, co-operation between universities is the key element,” he said.