National University of Rwanda (NUR) is Rwandaâ€™s state university. It opened on 3rd November 1963 as the first Rwandan institution of higher learning, with a mission to provide higher education, conduct research, and offer services to the community. It is located in the Southern Province, 150 km south of the capital city of Kigali.
From 49 students in 1963 NUR had grown to around 3,000 students in 1993, with 3 campuses in Butare, Kigali and Ruhengeri. In 1994 NUR was not spared by the genocide against Tutsis. However, despite the loss of people and resources during the genocide, it reopened in March 1995 and enrolled 3,261 students in 8 Faculties and 2 Schools but its 3 campuses were merged into one in Butare due to resource constraints.
Currently, NUR is a large University offering 39 Bachelors degree programs, 24 Masters degree programs as well as MPhil and PhD programs by research. It is the largest University in Rwanda, with more than 11,000 students representing 1/4 of total student population in public higher learning institutions in Rwanda and nearly 1/7 of the total higher education students in Rwanda.
Since NUR opened, 21,539 students have graduated out of which 91% (i.e. 19,577) graduated after the reopening in 1995. To date, 593 Masterâ€™s programs students and 2 PhD candidates have graduated from NUR since 2005, the year during which the first masterâ€™s programs started.
NUR IMPORTANT DATES
November 3, 1963: Official opening of NUR
May 12, 1964: Law establishing the NUR
1966: The National Institute of Education was created thanks to the UNDP and UNESCO: The Institute aimed at training and improving elementary secondary school teachersâ€™ skills. It also aimed at implementing multidisciplinary pedagogical research.
1967: Creation of the University Extension as a unit with the mission to reflect NUR by its services to the people
1972: Creation of a research centre on pharmacopoeia and traditional medicine (CUPHARMETRA) in the Faculty of medicine. This became an autonomous body since 1980.
May 1973: NUR, in conjunction with the Ghent Faculty of Applied Sciences put up a progressive training program for civil engineers specialized in building and set up a fore-project program in electro mechanic engineering.
October 1973: The University of Instelling Antwerpen contributed in the opening of the Faculty of Law.
1974: A centre for study and experimentation of energy in Rwanda was created within the Faculty of Sciences. It became autonomous since 1977.
June 13, 1979: The Faculty of Agronomy, which was a department in the Faculty of Science, was created.
October 1, 1981: NUR and the NIE (National Institute of Education) were merged. Since then, the National University of Rwanda had two campuses: one at Ruhengeri and another at Butare. A few years later, the Faculty of Law shifted to Mburabuturo (Kigali).
November 1988: Celebration of the 25th anniversary of NUR. Official opening of the Institute of Public Administration (ISAP), born of NUR and Konrad Adanauer Foundation (FKA) cooperation
April-July 1994: The University community lost a good number of its staff and students who were killed during the war and genocide against Tutsis. They were victims of their ideology or ethnic identity. The University suffered a great loss: laboratory equipment, the computer equipment and academic infrastructure were destroyed or taken away. NUR was closed because of the prevailing war in the country, those who were not killed had to hide themselves, and others fled in exile.
January 1995: The campus of Ruhengeri and the Kigali Faculty of Law shifted and became part of the campus of Butare.
April 1995: Reopening of NUR. The main change was that all the faculties and schools were regrouped in Butare Campus for security reasons first and then for administrative reasons. The beginnings are not easy but the government decided the smooth running of NUR at all costs. The Campus that was supposed to cater for 1,600 students now lodged more than 4,500. NUR took off smoothly but surely despite the wounds to dress, the buildings to repair and English became a new language of teaching.
April 2, 1996: Creation of the School of Information Sciences and Techniques (ESTI)
1997: A preliminary year of language learning (French and English) is established for all UNR beginners.
1998: Creation of a doctorate level at the Faculty of Medicine
June 15, 1998: Creation of the Research Commission
End of 1998: The merging of the Faculty of Sciences and that of Applied Sciences to form the Faculty of Sciences and Technology.
1999: Creation of the Centre for Conflict Management (CCM)
November 27, 1999: The University League for Aids Control (LUCS) was created
December 1999: Creation of the University Centre for Arts. Its mission is to dynamise arts and culture, in order to bring its contribution to the strategies of reconciliation, peace and national unity. Moreover, promotes the international extension of Rwandan culture.
April 2000: The School of Public Health was created
August 2000: The School of Information Sciences and Techniques (ESTI) became the School of Journalism and Communication (SJC). The programme changed to answer more efficiently to the needs of the country.
November 3, 2002: The NUR Alumni Association was created
October 10, 2005: The official re-launching of post-graduate studies in the Faculty of Medicine
November 18, 2005: â€śRadio Salusâ€ť, the NUR Radio was officially launched
2007 Creation of the Directorate of Planning and Development
2008 Consultancy Bureau established
February 2008- Merger of the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences and the School of Journalism and Communication into the Faculty of Arts, Media and Social Sciences
February 2008- EPLM changes name to the School of Foundation Languages
February 2008- Center for Environment, Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development established
June 2008- NUR confers first honorary degree; Doctor of Laws to Madame Sadako Ogata, the former UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Rusizi Campus opened
April 2009- Student Constitution and Code of Conduct ratified
Directorate of Extension and Community Service established
January 2011- NUR confers Honorary Doctorate Degrees to Kamalesh
Sharma, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth and Amb. Juma Mwapachu, the former Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC).
February 2011- Opening of Kigali Campus and shift of Department of Journalism and Communication to Kigali
May 2011-KOICA School of ICT building officially opened by His Excellency President Paul Kagame
January 2012- Construction completed on Hostels 2020 on the main campus
The NUR Company, NUR Digital Technologies later renamed Rwanda Gateway Ltd established
May 2012- First Annual NUR Community Service Week held