Govt-sponsored students call for review of bursary allocation

Friday May 20 2022

University of Rwanda, Huye Campus. Students and lecturers say the new assessment of examinations is costly and cumbersome. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA


The government-sponsored university students have appealed for upward adjustment of bursaries in order to cope with the skyrocketing cost of living.

Students who spoke to Rwanda Today expressed concern over the rising cost of living including basic items like cooking gas.

Joshua Twahirwa, a Journalism and Communication student, argued that the current rise in prices of consumer goods has made life difficult and urged the government to consider increasing the bursary from Rwf40,000 to at least Rwf50,000 for them to afford basic items.

“Not only have food prices increased, the house rent is now beyond our reach because landlords increased the rent and we are scared of how we are going to survive with this little amount of bursary,” Mr Twahirwa told Rwanda Today.

He added that failing to feed well affects his health and ability to focus on his studies.

“We usually eat once a day for the sake of keeping what would be our meal and gas on the next day. It’s not that we like it because it even leads to our failure, once the living allowance bursary is increased, it all could be better," said Twahirwa Carine Uwineza studies Pharmacy at level three at the University of Rwanda, Huye campus and appealed to the government to increase the living allowance because the cost of living is rising.


Dr Rose Mukankomeje, an official at the High Education Council (HEC)was non committal when Rwanda Today reached to her for comments. Rwanda Development Bank (BRD),
which manages the scholarship scheme on behalf of the government did not comment by press time.

However, in a recent tweet, BRD acknowledged the student’s concerns but did not indicate when exactly it would be resolved. Each student receives at least Rwf50,000 to cater for expenses such as rent, food, cooking gas, internet and airtime.

The average rent in Butare is Rwf25,000 a month for a single-room and Rwf35,000 for a two-roomed house for the houses near the campus. However houses in distant places like Kigarama, a single room goes Rwf20,000 and the landlord increased the cost since the price soared.

Each student at least needs the money for printing notes, mostly those from levels two and three because they haven't received laptops yet scholarship contracts include them.