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    A GLAMOROUS GRADUATION CEREMONY AT ULK/GISENYI CAMPUS

    Yesterday, on 21st December 2018, Kigali Independent University ULK/Gisenyi Campus held the thirteenth graduation ceremony for Undergraduate programme, and on the same occasion the third graduation ceremony for postgraduate programme.
    People from all walks of life joined to witness the event. As a matter of fact, 32 graduates from master’s programme were crowned with their Degrees Honours in MBA (1), MFIN (15), MDS (6) and MPL (10). As far as the undergraduate programme is concerned, two hundred ninety-eight graduates were awarded their degrees honours in Computer Science (27), Accounting (139) and Finance (132).

     

    The ceremony kicked off with the official opening remarks by the Chancellor of Kigali Independent University ULK, where he enthusiastically welcomed all the people in the congregation and thanked them for having joined ULK family on that special occasion.

    In his welcome remarks, Dr SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, Vice Chancellor of ULK recognized various guests in the congregation. In a particular way, he thanked those from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    “I wish to benefit from this opportunity to thank our guests from our neighboring country the DRC for having joined us as we gather to celebrate the thirteenth graduation ceremony here at ULK/Gisenyi Campus. Your joining us is a sign of trust as well as sincere love you have not only for ULK, but also for our country at large,” he said.

    The Vice Chancellor went on to give a general overview on ULK, focusing mainly on what makes this institution of higher learning special.

    He said, “Kigali Independent University ULK is a private institution of higher learning that has made commendable strides. Indeed, it has built its name. Just to give you an example among many others, our students always top the ladder whenever they engage into debates nationally, regionally and beyond. And the secret behind ULK’s success is nothing else but good management, quality programmes, quality teaching staff, quality resources and quality students.”

    Speaking on the occasion, the Founder and President of ULK thanked the graduands for their great achievements. It followed that he briefed them on how they can cope up with ups and downs of life upon the completion of their studies.

    I wish to give you, beloved graduands, a package of pieces of advice which will sustain you throughout the rest of your life. Being crowned with degree honours is not a guarantee of a bright future. To ascertain you succeed in life outside there, you must be characterized by ethical values and hard work. As you leave this university, do not sit and fold your arms waiting for someone to employ you. Be self-starters and job-creators instead. It is no wonder that the knowledge and skills you gained from this university will sustain you in your pursuit of a better life

    - Prof. Dr RWIGAMBA BALINDA, Founder and President of ULK

    The function climaxed with a speech by the graduates’ representative, Mr. BIFUKO Andrew. In his speech, he pledged that he and his fellow graduates will always strive for excellence and  make use of knowledge, skills and ethical values they acquired from ULK.

    As a matter of fact, the degree we have been crowned with today will serve the platform we use to launch ourselves into our futures. We promise to maximize the utility of the knowledge, skills and ethical values we acquired from KIGALI Independent University ULK and look beyond what we have studied, try new things and notice the opportunities and make a difference by getting involved in our community.

    - Mr. BIFUKO Andrew, ULK Graduate

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    ULK KIGALI CROWNS GRADUATES

    On 12th December 2018, the graduating class of 2018 was in high spirits when they were declared holders of Advanced Diplomas and degrees in their various fields of specialization. It was a coincidence of three graduations namely the second graduation ceremony of ULK Polytechnic Institute, the 15th Graduation Ceremony of Kigali Independent University ULK, and the 5th Graduation Ceremony for Masters Program.
    As far as statistics are concerned, 90 graduates were awarded Advanced Diplomas in various technical fields, 947 were awarded bachelor’s Degrees in various fields of specialization while 181 were awarded Master’s Degrees in various disciplines.
    The Graduation Ceremony was officially opened by the Chancellor of ULK, Prof. Dr KALISA Mbanda , who thanked the management of ULK for the efforts they continue to make to ensure that ULK remains on top of the ladder among private universities operating in Rwanda. He also reminded the graduands that they should be good ambassadors of their institution by doing what is right and do it right while on the market place.

    The Guest of Honour at this event was Dr. MUVUNYI Emmanuel, the Executive Director of Higher Education Council (HEC) who thanked the Founder and President of ULK, Prof. Dr RWIGAMBA Balinda for having kept the momentum in promoting quality education within the land of a thousand hills.

    He also lauded ULK for having proved to make commendable progress during the assessment carried out by HEC a few days ago. He tipped the university management that by avoiding complacency more realizations are within reach.


    Speaking on this occasion, Prof. Dr RWIGAMBA Balinda, the Founder and President of ULK, thanked His Excellency Paul KAGAME, the President of the Republic of Rwanda for his excellent vision that prioritizes education among other national priorities. He also thanked the Ministry of Education for persistently adopting the policies that enhance quality education. He went further to tell the graduands that if they need to succeed in their endeavors, they should be endowed with faith in God, avoidance of fear, ethical values, to mention but a few.


    During this ceremony, the Vice Chancellor of ULK, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel highlighted some of the achievements made by the institution.
    “We partner with other institutions in a bid to enhance the quality of education. For instance, we have a strong partnership with Commonwealth Universities Association in line with Enhanced Blended Learning. So far, lecturers have been trained and students will be able to learn no matter where they are located around the globe”, he told the congregation.
    The Principal of ULK Polytechnic Institute, Dr. KARAMBIZI Sylvestre, underscored the huge demand for people endowed with technical skills on the marketplace. He told the congregation that so far 51% of graduands have already secured their jobs before ending their studies.
    It should be noted that ULK was also praised for having a considerable number of international students. This verily indicates the level of confidence they have vis-à-vis the institution.


    Ganza Mick, who spoke on behalf of fellow graduates, thanked the management of ULK for having been by their side every step of their learning and everywhere they went for internships.

    We salute the way this institution kept an eye on us during our studies, internships, and everywhere we had to go for sharpening our minds. We commend ULK for the way they visited all internees wherever they were conducting their internships as this boosted our morale. Indeed, the Incubation Center that operates within the campus has so far inspired many of us to the extent that we now feel confident to get out of this campus and start creating businesses

    - Ganza Mick, Graduate in Computer Science, ULK


    A group photo marked the end of the function.

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    ULK Debaters win Debate Mate Rwanda 2018

    Debate Mate is a unique, international educational charity dedicated to improving social mobility using cost-effective peer-to-peer debate mentoring based in the United Kingdom. It uses the brightest university students to run after-school debate clubs in areas of high child poverty across the world; Over the last nine years, they have successfully taught over 25,000 young people to debate in the UK, USA, Jamaica, Nepal, Dubai, Doha, Mexico, Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, China, Japan, Korea and Israel.It provides young people with the skills they need to become exceptional young leaders – confidence, interpersonal communication skills and higher order thinking.

    This summer from 30thJuly 2018 to 03rd august 2018 the Debate Mate Program was back in Kigali. It consisted of three days of training from Monday 30thJuly to Wednesday 02nd august and it was followed by a final competition on Thursday 03rd August at the University of Rwanda ,College of Medicine and Health Sciences (former KHI), Nyarugenge Campus.

    The program was delivered by top Debate Mate Coaches from top international universities, including Yale University, the London School of Economics, University College London, the University of Liverpool and many more. The program aimed at developing the following skills: confident communication, spoken English, leadership, critical thinking, team work, as well as improving academic ability.

    This program was attended by different Rwandan universities including Kigali Independent University ULK. The latter was represented by three debaters namely; SHYAKA Jesse Rayson, NISHIMWE Ariane Douce and Uwera Ruth. Furthermore the teams of the first two students managed to get to the finals and won the competition; immediately becoming the Debate Mate Rwanda 2018 Champions thus an honor to ULK.

    After the competition, ULK’s Students taking pictures with the trophy they won for and enjoying the victory after many enthusiasic and hot rounds of debates.

     

     

     

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    ULK/GISENYI CAMPUS STUDENTS BRIEFED ON THE ROLE OF YOUTH IN FIGHTING GENOCIDE IDEOLOGY

     

    On 1st November  2018, ULK/Gisenyi Campus students had a great privilege to be briefed on the role of the Rwandan youth in the fight against genocide ideology, by Mr. Claver GATABAZI, in Charge of Education and Genocide Prevention Programmes in CNLG.

     

    Upon the presenter’s arrival in the campus’s conference hall, there was a great number of students who had been eagerly waiting to hear from him. To get the ball rolling, the senior most of the campus, Lawyer ISHEMA Pierre, Academic Director, introduced the guest to the audience, revealed the theme of his presentation and eventually bade everyone in attendance to be all ears on grounds of the relevancy of the theme of the presentation.

    “Today, our campus is honoured to host a commissioner from CNLG who has come to brief you, as intellectual youth,  on the role you have to play in fighting against genocide ideology. You will all agree with me that the topic of today’s conference is of paramount importance since you need to know how you should partake in that fight to build Rwanda free of genocide and the like”, he was quoted saying.

    In his introductory word, the presenter highlighted that the fight against genocide ideology is not exclusively the apanage of CNLG or just the government of Rwanda. Every Rwandan citizen, particularly the youth,  must join the fight instead.

    It followed that the presenter told the audience that for the youth to effectively get involved in the fight against genocide ideology, there are a number of requirements;  patriotism, heroism, knowing the history of one’s country, just to mention but a few.

    “In principle, there is a set of values that should characterize you so as to ascertain you are effectively involved in the fight against genocide ideology. Such values include among others patriotic and heroic spirit, awareness of the history of your country, altruism, and many more values”, he told the gathering.

    The presenter went on to emphasize why the youth ought to know the history of Rwanda if they really want to engage in the fight against  genocide ideology.

    “As a matter of fact, you should take time to read or inquire about the history of Rwanda so that you can get to know past drastic events that marked your country over the years. Considering the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi, history will unequivocally show you how that genocide draws its root in the past, where the Tutsi were marginalized, discriminated and nullified.  History will hence show you that the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in 1994 was not an abrupt event, but rather a well planned event (…)”, he said.

    Everything considered, he called upon the gathering to fight the people who deny the genocide perpetrated  against the Tutsi by all means, use of social medias among others. Still there, he bade the gathering to take time to educate local people and resist anyone who dares disseminate separative ideology among people.

    The conference climaxed with a question-answer session during which various questions related to the theme of the presentation were asked and answered satisfactorily.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    GATABAZI urges ULK staff and students to fight genocide ideology

     

    On 25 October 2018, GATABAZI Claver, the Officer in Charge of Education and Genocide Prevention Programs in CNLG, addressed ULK staff and students on the role of the youth in fighting the genocide ideology.

    The event was graced by, among other participants, the Vice Chancellor of Kigali Independent University ULK, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel and MBONIGABA Théoneste, the Head of Students’ Affairs and Customer Care.

     

    In his welcome note, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, thanked the messenger from CNLG for having dedicated his dear time to addressing ULK community and then he requested the gathering to lend him ears.

    “I’d like to thank GATABAZI for having come to talk to us on such a topic of great importance. I therefore wish to request you to lend him your ears since the topic he is going to talk about is of great significance, and as you know with the genocide ideology, the future can’t be promising”, he told the participants.

    In his message to the eager participants, GATABAZI gave the historical background of divisionism and hatred among Rwandans. As he said, divisionism and hatred go back to the arrival of colonial masters who settled in the country and sought ways to uninterruptedly lead Rwandans; hence they found divisionism and hatred the catalysts towards that aspiration.

    “The unity of Rwandans suffered a lot upon the arrival of white colonialists. When they arrived, Rwandans were enjoying the spirit of brotherhood among themselves but this bond of brotherhood got broken as a result of the colonialists who introduced teachings that Rwandans weren’t originally the same and thus they shouldn’t stick themselves together for a shared future”, he said.

    This mindset would ignite ire among Hutu population who would start hunting down Tutsis from 1959 by forcing many of them to leave their homes and exile to the neighboring countries. The hatred leapfrogged until 1994 when the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi claimed more than one million lives”, he added.

    GATABAZI also told the participants ten (10) stages of genocide, namely; classification, symbolization, discrimination, dehumanization, organization, polarization, preparation, persecution, extermination and denial. As he said, these stages can be found in all genocides which have so far been recognized by the United Nations.

    Besides, GATABAZI assigned the participants especially the youth to stand tall and ready to fight the revisionism and denial of the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi as there are some fugitives who are yet to be brought to book and they are currently doing all in their power to confuse the world that no genocide took place in Rwanda, while others try to trivialize the genocide.

    Towards the end of the function, the floor was opened to the attendees so as to ask questions or echo their comments. Many questions were asked in this session and answers were satisfactorily given.

    It should be noted that CNLG is the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide.

     

     

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    Former ULK student and EAC Youth Ambassador to Rwanda, tips ULK Debaters

    On 15th October 2018, Peace NDEKEZI, former ULK student in the Department of International Relations, addressed ULK Debaters to tip them on how to speak in public and think critically.

    Her visit followed an invitation from the Debate Club committee members who requested her to come and brief the members of the Club as a former EAC Youth Ambassador to Rwanda, a position she held after her exceptional debate skills showcased during the EAC Debate Championship hosted by Kenya in 2015.

    Before handing the microphone to the guest of honor, Mr. Jean Baptiste MANIRAKIZA, the Head of the Center of Languages at Kigali Independent University ULK, thanked NDEKEZI for her time reserved for addressing the debaters. He also requested the debaters to be all eyes and all ears so as to learn from the speaker’s experience as far as the world of debate and public speaking is concerned.

    “We’re very much honored to be with Peace NDEKEZI, one of the students who have so far made our institution and country proud. As a former EAC Youth Ambassador, we believe she will inspire us on how to debate effectively. I therefore request all of you to listen intelligently and learn a lot from her”, he said.

    Echoing how the idea to invite NDEKLEZI stemmed out their minds, SHYAKA Jesse Rayson, one of the brains behind the celebrity’s invitation, said that they met Peace NDEKEZI in one event that was taking place in Kigali and they requested her to come and share her experience with the debaters with the intention being to inspire them.

    In her message, Peace NDEKEZI narrated how her success was not a result of random. It is something she prepared and sweated for. As she said, she could barely form a meaningful sentence in English when she embarked on her academic project at ULK. However, her spirit of knowing what she wanted, pushed her to read a lot, listen to different radio and TV programs in English as well as interacting with many people in English. With this initiative, her level of proficiency in English leapfrogged to the extent that the university entrusted confidence in her to represent it in various debate competitions until she was crowned East African Youth Ambassador to Rwanda after emerging one of the best debaters in the competition which was taking place in Kenya in 2015.

    “Not all was a bed of roses when I started my university studies. I couldn’t easily form a sentence in English. Then, I determined myself to be reading English books, listen to broadcasts in English and interact with people in English. This initiative helped me considerably until I was declared EAC Youth Ambassador to Rwanda,” she proudly said.

    NDEKEZI urged the debaters to be focused and never allow anyone to discourage them as some will laugh at them whenever they commit grammatical mistakes but this should not deter them from keeping the momentum as the future belongs to those who never give up.

    “Speak and accept to be laughed at. There are some people who always laugh at others because of communication problems. Let them laugh and continue practicing your language skills until you reach the level of perfection where you will be amazing whoever listens to you”, she advised them.

    Questions were asked at the end of the function and everyone marveled at the way NDEKEZI speaks and answers questions.

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    ULK/GISENYI CAMPUS OFFICIALLY INTEGRATES  THE NEW STUDENTS

    Year in year out, universities and institutions of higher learning operating in Rwanda take time to integrate new students before they can verse into different courses scheduled for their respective programmes. It is in this perspective that today 5th October 2018, Kigali Independent University ULK/Gisenyi Campus officially integrated its fresher students known as “Intore nshya”. Prior to this official integration were activities which lasted five consecutive days (i.e. from Monday 1st October 20 up to early today Friday 5th October 2018). The activities were in line with a special week dubbed “induction week.” Throughout this induction week, the new students were briefed on various topics aiming at acquainting them with their rights and obligations as students. Topics addressing the government’s policies and programmes were not left aside. It is in this framework that different government officials, especially from the district level, made it to the campus in the course of the induction week to meet and brief the new students. Additionally, the new students were led to perform certain physical and mental activities related to building unity, developing endurance, patriotism, problem-solving ability and the like.

    Upon entering the main hall of the campus, the new students were warmly welcomed by upper classes students as well as the staff. It was indeed a ceremony rich in colours. As a matter of fact,  the new students performed sketches, among other activities, in a view to thrill the audience and demonstrate their mastery of knowledge and skills that had been imparted to them along the induction week.

    Speaking on the occasion, the senior most of the campus Mr. ISHEMA Pierre, Academic Director and Coordinator of Master’s Programme of ULK/Gisenyi Campus, enthusiastically thanked the new students for having decided to join university studies and taken ULK as the university where their dream must come true.

    “On this special day of yours, I wish to thank you on behalf of ULK community and on my own behalf for the great decision you took to embark on university studies here at ULK. Indeed, it is a decision you cannot regret. You will all agree with me that education is the most important investment. It is therefore no wonder that benefits or gains are awaiting you,” he said.

    Still in his address, Mr. ISHEMA Pierre also thanked the new students for having devoted themselves to the induction week’s activities, in these words:

    “All this week long your trainers introduced you to various activities. Some of those activities called for your endurance. Thank you very much indeed for your successful completion. Now that you have made it, you are worthy of our thanks and congratulations. Feel now at home because you are no longer fresher, you are now Intore mu zindi.”

    In his address, the Guest of honour, Mr. MUGISHA Francois, Chairman of Intore in Rubavu District, specifically shed light on what must characterize a real Intore.

    “It goes without saying that you are now Intore integrated among the other Intore. Plus, the Gild President has just signed, on behalf of all the Intore under his lead, performance contracts. You must take your new position of Intore seriously and ascertain you comply with what is expected from you. As from now onward, you should be the light and role model to people you live with outside there by being heroes, patriots, peace-makers, problem solvers, just to mention among others,” he was quoted saying.

    It is on the Guest of honour’s note that the ceremony climaxed.

     

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    ULK UNVEILS THE NEW ACADEMIC YEAR 2018-2019

    In a glamorous event that had attracted people from all backgrounds of life, Kigali Independent University ULK along with ULK Polytechnic Institute officially launched the new academic year 2018-2019 on 1st October, 2018.

    In his opening remarks, Prof. Kalisa Mbanda, the Chancellor of ULK, expressed his gratitude to the management of ULK for launching the new academic year and make it coincide with the Introduction Week through which new students are morally trained so as to study while upholding ethical values.

    “I’d like to wholeheartedly thank the management of ULK for a smooth preparation of the Induction Week through which new students will be civically trained on values and taboos. It is a week that will undoubtedly be beneficial to whoever will take part in its activities”, he said

    Dr. Karambizi Sylvestre, the Principal of ULK Polytechnic assured the students that they will live to rejoice for the best choice they made when they joined ULK. He also said that ULK Polytechnic is equipped enough to offer the knowledge and skills a student needs to better fit on the market place.

    “ULK Polytechnic is fully equipped and has the best lecturers who sharpen students’ minds in technical fields. To this, I’m pleased to let you know that you will never regret the best choice you made when you joined us”, he assured them.

    The Vice Chancellor of ULK, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel urged the students to always strive for taking the lead in doing things instead of watching others do things.

    “There are three categories of people; those who make things happen, those who see things happening and those who wonder how things happen. Always strive to belong to the first category and make things happen to change the world around you”, he told the students.

    The Founder and President of ULK, Prof. Dr. RWIGAMBA Balinda, told the students that they should use the top class resources available at the campus to truly meet their aspirations. He gave them six tips that make a student academically excellent. He said those six tips should go hand in hand with ethical values to better become effective.

    “You should couple ethical values with six elements for you to batter become quality students. The six elements are regular class participation, personal regular study, group work, the mastery of English skills, the mastery of ICT skills; reading books either in the physical or digital library.”

    Still on this event, six debaters who won the first and third places in the recently concluded Debate Championship here in Rwanda were shown to the public and appreciated. The three debaters will soon fly to Tanzania to represent Rwanda as a whole in the Pan-African Debate Championship.

    The event climaxed in a word of prayer said by the Founder and president of ULK.