In a contested debate competition, the Kigali Independent University Debate Club occupied the first run-up position after outshining in the recently concluded East African Debate Competition which was held virtually on 7th September 2020. This milestone comes after the ULK Debate Club emerged the champion of Rwanda back in March, 2020 after beating all participating universities in Rwanda.
This year’s competition rotated around policy justice as the central theme. The competition was slated to be physically hosted by Uganda but owing to the relentless surge in COVID-19 cases, the organizers opted for the virtual debate format.
Despite the novelty of the format, ULK debaters braved the waves to put up a well coordinated debate which left the organizers look in awe.
Three debaters namely, Christ Jordan, Chris Oliver and Divine Abayo were the ones fighting rhetorically on the ULK side. Divine Abayo is also the chairperson of the ULK Debate Club after being unanimously elected by fellow debaters in an election held back in 2018.
Asked what enabled the team to reach that privilege, Divine Abayo said that team-spirit and pieces of advice from the ULK management and fellow debaters were behind the registered success.
“We work as a team. Be it those on the frontline or other members of the debate club, we all work together for common goals. When we’re competing, unity remains our key weapon for success. Besides, the logistic and moral support from our Alma Mater boosts our courage and determination for success”, she said with beams of smile on her lips.
As the whole world is currently battling COVID-19 effects with reliance being mainly on technology, Kigali Independent University ULK chose to follow suit and upgraded its technology to stand tall in the world of Information Communication Technology. As a matter of illustration, the university currently has a smart classroom which is used to remotely teach students. Indeed, this smart classroom played a pivotal role in helping the debaters stun their EAC fellows as the internet remained at its highest speed from start to finish.
The culture of debating to suggest the best way things should be done has become part and parcel of ULK students. As a matter of fact, the ULK Debate Club has so far won a number of trophies at national level with more fame at regional level. It should be noted that the Debate Club operates under the ULK Center of Languages (CELA) which trains students on debating formats and strategies.
As the ULK flag keeps flying higher on a global scale, let us thank the debaters who, in one way or another, contribute to these great strides.
As a university that believes that academic excellence is inevitable, Kigali Independent University ULK does all it takes to meet this aspiration. It is against this background that on 9th March 2020, a seminar to train all final year students was organized.
Speaking to students, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, the Vice-Chancellor of Kigali Independent University ULK, told them that the move to train final year students on research skills came after realizing that every lecturer was trying to stick to their own research guidelines, something that was not perceived as a pretty sight.
“What we’ve realized is that every lecturer was coming with their own research guidelines and we found it good to stop such a practice by introducing the harmonized research guidelines to be followed by every lecturer and student”, he told the students.
Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, the Vice-Chancellor of Kigali Independent University ULK Speaking to students
The seminar was conducted by high profile academicians such as Dr. GASHEMA Bruce, Dr. RWABUTOGO Zogeye Marcel, Prof. George Okello to mention but a few.
As Dr. RWABUTOGO said, a student cannot successfully complete his/her research work if the supervisor is not fully dedicated to helping. He, therefore, reiterated that both the student and supervisor should meet at least twice a month to make corrections and decide the way forward together.
Dr. RWABUTOGO Zogeye Marcel Speaking to students
“These guidelines urge supervisors and students to meet at least twice a month for more improvement of the research work. With such a regular schedule, the student ends up understanding clearly the whole process of writing a dissertation; thus the quality of the work”, he told the trainees.
As for Prof. Okello, his research tips mainly centered on methodology. As he said, the methodology is the backbone of any research work as it embodies the techniques used to collect data which makes it possible to come up with the findings of the work.
“Methodology is the backbone of research. In this section, techniques such as desk review, interview, questionnaire, observation, and others are used to effectively feed the section with information. You, therefore, need to be conversant with the way methodology is written so as to produce quality dissertations”, he advised them.
The trainees proved to have acquired new and interesting things which will help them complete their dissertations without any hassle when the due time comes.
On 21st February 2020, ULK/Gisenyi Campus Community gathered to witness the swearing-in ceremony of AGEULK New Committee. On the same occasion, there was a handover ceremony, whereby the outgoing committee passed the lead to the new one.
Traditional dancers were celebrating the event
As a matter of fact, the event was graced by folk songs and traditional dances, not forgetting the presence of Guild Presidents from other institutions of higher learning; UTB/Rubavu, INES/Ruhengeri, IPRC/Musanze, IPRC/Tumba, UNGOM just to mention but a few.
Different ministers of AGE-ULK swearing
Have now taken the lead: MAZIMPAKA Prince (Guild President), MUTABAZI Heritier (Vice President), CYIZA Yvonne (General Secretary), MUNYANA Aline (Treasurer), to mention but a few.
Mr. MAZIMPAKA Prince, the new Guild President swearing
In his address, the new Guild President, who took over Mr. MAZIMPAKA Prince, expressed his gratitude to the students for having invested their trust in him by voting for him. He subsequently, gave a brief account of what he and the team under his leadership have pledged to achieve throughout their mandate. Most importantly, he pledged that they stand more than ready to do their utmost to satisfy the students they will be representing.
“First and foremost, I wish to thank you all, I mean the students who voted for me. My team and I have set a good action plan and we stand more than ready to achieve it. My team and I are going to do all it could cost to satisfy you with our hard and honest work.” This will be achieved.
Director of finance and administration, KARARA Alex addressing to participants.
Speaking on the occasion, the Director of finance and administration, KARARA Alex, who was the guest of honor, on behalf of ULK senior management, thanked the outgoing committee for having successfully accomplished their mission. Besides, he thanked them for having been collaborative with the university’s officials throughout their mandate. He continues thanking the ongoing committee for their acceptance of the leadership and vows vowed to fulfill their duties and responsibilities. “God himself will ask you the accountability of each and every task assigned and pledged before your fellow students whom you are going to serve. Therefore you need to play your role and we, management committee play ours”. He said.
Certificates of merit were given to the outgoing committee
“God almighty himself is the real founder of Kigali Independent University”
This statement was uttered by the president and founder of Kigali Independent University, Prof. Dr. RWIGAMBA Balinda addressing to the students of ULK/Gisenyi campus this Wednesday 19th February 2020. This is in line with the habit of the President and Founder to meet students from ULK/ Gisenyi campus on a quarterly basis.
Lawyer ISHEMA Pierre, coordinator of Academic affairs introducing the guest
To get the ball rolling, Lawyer ISHEMA Pierre, coordinator of Academic Affairs, introduced the guest to the audience and bade everyone in attendance to be all ears on grounds of the relevancy of the advice from the President and Founder.
Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, the Vice-Chancellor of ULK delivering an introductory note.
As long as some students in this academic year of 2019-2020 had not met the President and Founder, an introductory note had been made by the Vice-Chancellor of ULK, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, who also opened the event by a word of prayer and invited the President and Founder to deliver his message.
The presidents and founder of ULK, addressing the audience
In his speech, the president and founder of Kigali Independent University, Prof. Dr. RWIGAMBA Balinda thanked each and every stakeholder especially students for their right choice they had made.
“You had made the right choice dear students, since ULK is the second University in Rwanda as it is arranged according to web ranking and we are striving for excellence so that we keep the first rank in not only Rwanda but also Africa”. Said the president and founder of ULK.
He continued his remarks by providing a number of secrets play an unquestionable role in the effective learning of students. They include but not limited to, regular class interactive participation, group work, personal regular studies, the mastery of the four English skills, the master of computer skills, the endowment of ethical values, to mention but a few.
“It is our duties and responsibilities to provide you with the best lecturers and avail the best facilities to help you learn effectively. Therefore, you should make a good use of all this by maximizing the record of your class attendance, mastering English skills, ICT skills and upholding ethical values….” the President and Founder told the students.
The president and founder climaxed his remarks by praying for all ULK/Gisenyi community.
Prepared by ULK CELA office /Gisenyi Campus
On 17th February 2020, the Founder and President of ULK, Prof. Dr. RWIGAMBA Balinda, addressed the entire community of ULK on quality whereby he reminded them that quality service delivery is a must.
The message by this high profile university official came after some students decried poor services rendered to them especially when it comes to withdrawing some academic documents. As the Founder and President said, the institution is built on ethical values and it cannot tolerate whoever renders bad services to service seekers.
“Our values can’t allow us to tolerate whoever gives poor services. In a seminar convened recently, we reminded our staff members that tolerance is zero to those serving the institution poorly and we have started walking the talk”, he told the participants.
“To effectively render you good services, we have registered our staff members with each of them handed a badge number for you to easily tell who underserved you and report them promptly for appropriate measures to be taken”, he added.
The Founder and President went further to tell the students that they are the ones to give the management of the university a tipoff of where bad service is being rendered so that the employee behind the poor service may be corrected accordingly.
“We need your involvement in this serious issue. Singlehandedly we can’t tell where bad services are being given. If you find someone rendering bad services, give us a call or text us. All you need is simply mentioning the number on the employee’s badge and we will deal with him accordingly”, he told the students who welcomed the move with thunderous clapping.
He also reminded the students that Kigali Independent University ULK always tops the ladder in the ranking of private higher learning institutions in Rwanda and that with such a positive reputation the institution cannot tolerate those tarnishing its good image.
“This institution of ours always ranks the best private university in Rwanda. Therefore, we can’t allow people to tarnish this good image through poor service delivery. We will always show poor service deliverers the exit so as to pave the way for those who can serve the institution satisfactorily”, he stressed.
Towards the end of his message, he reminded the students that the secret for academic success lies in how regularly they attend class, the regular personal and group study they conduct, the mastery of ICT and English skills, the endowment of ethical values, to mention but a few.
It should be noted that the message was given to both day and evening students.
As Rwanda gets ready to celebrate the National Heroes Day, the Chancellery for National Orders and Decorations of Honour (CHENO) delegated MURAMUTSA Etienne and UGIZENEZA Janvière to address the entire ULK community on Heroism.
The National Heroes day is annually celebrated on 1st February and this year’s theme as disclosed by the delegation is, “Ubutwari mu Banyarwanda: Agaciro Kacu”, loosely translated as Heroism among Rwandans: Our Dignity.
The lecture was introduced by a word of Prayer which was led by Mr. MANIRAKIZA Jean Baptiste who also doubled as the event moderator.
Shortly after the word of prayer, Dr. KARAMBIZI Sylvestre, the Principal of ULK Polytechnic, introduced everyone in the room and then he welcomed the speakers to deliver their message.
In his remarks, MURAMUTSA Etienne said that Rwandan heroes are honoured to serve as role-models for every Rwandan who is still alive.
“The fallen heroes and those still alive serve as an example for all Rwandans. They are our role-models and whoever wishes to become a hero should follow in their footsteps by living ethical values such as patriotism, unity, honesty and hard work”, said MURAMUTSA.
He went further to expound that National heroes are divided into three categories, namely Imanzi, Imena and Ingenzi. As he said, Imanzi is a word that literally means something spotless. To this, the category is home to two heroes notably, Maj. Gen. Fred Gisa RWIGEMA and an unknown soldier. The former was among the key liberators who initiated the struggle to liberate Rwanda in 1990 and he lost his life on the battlefield. The latter is a soldier who represents all the combatants who died, still alive and those in the future who will fight for the goodness of Rwanda and its citizens.
Besides, Imena is the second category which houses heroes such as King III Rudahigwa, Mrs. UWIRINGIYIMANA Agatha (once Prime Minister of Rwanda), RWAGASANA Michel, NIYITEGEKA Félicité and Nyange Secondary School students. All these heroes were defined by outstanding deeds which aimed at making Rwanda a land of brothers and sisters where each and everyone felt dignified and loved. Unity and wellbeing of Rwandans served as the common denominator among all these heroes as the speakers put it.
UGIZENEZA Janvière disclosed this year’s theme and elaborated on why the theme was chosen. As she said, heroism should be celebrated in tandem with the dignity of Rwandans.
“Heroism and dignity go together. A hero strives to be self-reliant because the future of a nation mainly depends on its nationals, not the outside world. That’s why this year’s National Heroes Day is to be celebrated under that theme. This is to remind all of us Rwandans to always remember that no one else will build this country other than us”, she said.
Towards the end of the lecture, questions were asked and then answered to the satisfaction of the attendees.