The UR-Sweden Program contributes to the development of Rwanda and Poverty Eradication through research support to the University of Rwanda. It is the largest and most comprehensive externally funded Institutional Program at the University of Rwanda
Sweden’s research cooperation with Rwanda was among the very first of our programs in the country, and it is seemingly the most long-term one. Already in 2000 a minor technical assistance was provided to the country’s then leading university, the National University of Rwanda (NUR), based in Butare (now Huye). This was followed by funding salaries for UN Volunteer teachers at NUR and a planning grant to prepare a full research cooperation starting in 2003. Right from the beginning the objective of the cooperation was to strengthen research capacity with emphasis on research, human resource development, strengthening research management, and improving the research environment. The support also complemented the budget support Sweden provided at that time for the education sector in a sector-wide approach which focused on primary and secondary education. The first phase (2003-2006) included three Swedish university partners and eight sub-programs.
The second phase (2007-2013) continued with the same partners within the same sub-programs. During the current and third phase (2013-2018) the Program has followed the former NUR into the new University of Rwanda established in 2013 after the merger of public higher learning institutions. The overall objective is to increase production and use of scientific knowledge of international quality that contributes to Rwanda’s development, and is implemented in partnership with 13 Swedish university partners and therefore also contributes to building long lasting relationships between Sweden and Rwanda.
Although the higher education sector in Rwanda has grown significantly in terms of number of students, programs, and institutions during recent years, there is still a lack of qualified staff that can conduct research, engage with policy makers, and offer students in Rwanda high quality postgraduate education. Sweden's research collaboration with Rwanda addresses exactly this and we see the Program, which is the largest in the higher education sector, as a pillar in Rwanda's efforts to make the transition to a knowledge-based economy.
To increase production and use of scientific knowledge of international quality that contributes to Rwanda’s development
- To contribute to the establishment of an environment more conducive to research and postgraduate training at the University of Rwanda,
- To increase the number of PhD and Masters holders in Rwanda, through the Programme,
- To increase the quantity and quality of research conducted at the University of Rwanda, through the Programme,
- To increase the use of research and competences produced within the Programme, in political decision and policymaking in Rwanda,
- To increase the use of research and competences produced within the Programme, by the Rwandan society at large.