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Rwanda hosts first graduate degree programme in Africa offered by a top US research institution

On the past 24 August, the Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU) officially launched its new campus in Rwanda (CMU-R). The CMU is the first United States (US) research institution to offer graduate degrees in Africa with an in-country presence and resident faculty. CMU-R offers a Master of Science degree in Information Technology, focusing on key areas both in ICT (e.g., mobile applications, information security and networking) and in business (e.g., finance, operations and entrepreneurship). CMU-R also provides Professional Development courses on ICT-related topics for individuals not enrolled in the CMU-R graduate programme. These courses are aimed especially for mid-career professionals and for recent graduates in the ICT area.

In 2007, the United Nations named Rwanda as East Africa’s leading ICT nation. Rwanda has thus been investing in ICT to consolidate and further its position as a technology/ICT hub in East Africa. It is in this context that the Government of Rwanda has developed this partnership with the CMU and, in turn, the university aims to “graduate students ready for the business world to support the economic development of the region.”

In order to attract students to the new CMU-R, the Government of Rwanda is offering scholarships covering 50% of the tuition fees, which amount to USD 38 900 in the academic year 2012/13, to students from all East African countries. In addition, student loans to cover the remaining 50% of the tuition fees are available for Rwandan citizens. The university’s objective is to have around 40 students in 2012, and to grow to around 150 students by 2017. A new CMU-R permanent facility will open in 2015; it will cost around USD 13 million and will be funded by the African Development Bank.


The Government of Rwanda