EnRHEd and GREATER: the University of Parma in Kigali to launch cooperation projects in Rwanda


International workshop as part of two Capacity Building initiatives in which the University is leader.

The Parma University has participated in the last days in the International Workshop Outcomes held in Kigali, with these Erasmus+ Capacity Building Projects in higher education in Rwanda, organized by the Rwanda University as part of the Erasmus Plus EnRHEd (Enhancement of Rwandan Higher Education in strategic fields for sustainable growth) and GREATER (Growing Rwanda Energy Awareness Through highER education).

For the University, leader and promoter of the two Capacity Building projects through the University Center for International Cooperation – CUCI, Roberto Valentino, coordinator of EnRHEd, Paolo Ciampolini, coordinator of GREATER, Davide Barbanti, Marco D'Oria and Silvia Rossetti, sector referents in both projects, Valeria Todaro, Francesco Maria Froldi, Luciana Stortoni and Mirko Mongilli, student enrolled in the Master's Degree in Electronic Engineering.

The Rector Paolo Andrei intervened with a video message in the event: "The University of Parma - he said - is very proud to be the leader of these and other exchange projects with Rwanda. In this way, as a European institution, we contribute to the implementation of higher education development policies in the world. And this is not a secondary task for a public and ancient university like the University of Parma. Our University, in fact, recognizes the importance of aligning its action with the European Union policy, aimed at increasing the quality and efficiency of education and training systems not only in the European Union but also in other countries of the world".

The workshop was attended by representatives of partner universities: the Université de Liège (Belgium) and three German universities of applied sciences, Rheinische Fachhochschule, Hochschule Niederrhein and Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg.  Also present were the Rectors and numerous professors of the Rwandan institutions involved in the projects: the State University of Rwanda (which organized the event), the Institute of Applied Sciences Ines-Ruhengeri, the Polytechnic School of Rwanda and the University of Technology and Art of Byumba. Some members of international diplomacy delegates in Rwanda took part in the event: among others the European Ambassador to Rwanda, Belen Calvo Uyarra, the scientific attaché of the Italian Embassy, Fabio Santoni, the Italian Honorary Consul, Giovanni Davite. Also present was the Director General of the government agency Rwanda Water Resources Board, Emmanuel Rukundo.

It was a special opportunity to share among the different actors the experience of the EnRHEd project, which is nearing completion, and the future prospects of the GREATER project, which started a few months ago. It was also an opportunity to strengthen cooperation between the various partners, European and Rwanda, with particular attention to enhancement activities in the fields of teacher training, teaching and research. During the workshop, the main aspects of Capacity Building projects that can contribute to the development of higher education in Rwanda in strategic sectors for sustainable development, such as food science and technology, protection and defense of the territory, access to clean and renewable energy, were considered. Both Erasmus+ EnRHEd and GREATER projects have as their objectives the revision of current curriculum, the creation of new programs, the training of teaching staff, the promotion of internationalization based on the exchange of students and teachers between Rwanda and Europe.