Building up an innovation culture at a university is a challenging task. Most university staff has been trained to train students within the formal academic education system, and have paid little attention to offering training opportunities for potential learners outside the campus environment. In Rwandan universities, as in many other universities around the globe, the possibility of offering commissioned training to the private sector, to public agencies or to civil society organizations has been utilized only to a very limited extent. University staff trained to do research does so within their specific fields, only a few pursuing the opportunities to do multidisciplinary research or in collaboration with other agencies or organizations within society. Even fewer are pursuing the university tasks of doing services to society that goes beyond regular education and research.
Many Rwandan policy documents, including the National Policy for Science Technology and Innovation refer to the lack of cooperation between academia and various stakeholders. The universities are demanded to provide better services of the university. Weak cooperation with industry is seen as an obstacle for innovation and economic growth. Even the lack of cooperation with public agencies such as schools and institutions within the health sector is seen as hampering the potential of providing quality social services. Research is also seen as an important tool for the modernization of Rwandan agriculture and the creation of off-farm jobs. The outcry for building an innovation culture in Rwanda is pretty unison in the various policy documents. With this high demand, there are huge expectations on the newly formed University of Rwanda to perform better than the preceding institutional arrangements for academic activities.
To increase scientific knowledge of international quality, generated through a sustainable national research system that is used to contribute to Rwanda's development.