Yesterday, as students from the University of Tourism, Technology and Business Studies graduated, they were asked to utilize the vast investment of knowledge they had received to the corporate world in their respective fields to improve the country’s status.
Graduates from tourism and service industry specialty were more addressed to improve the level of tourism and service industry in the country, one of the powerhouses of Rwanda’s economy.
Various government officials said this during the University’s fifth graduation ceremony held at Petit Stade in Remera.
Up to 826 students graduated with degrees, diplomas and certificates in various disciplines, including business and information technology, hotel and restaurants management, travel tourism management and vocational training in food production, air travel administration, and airport operations, among others.
“The national vision must be based on relevant knowledge. This is part of government target to make the country top destination of conferences, and leisure tourism to enhance tourism industry contribution to national development,” said Callixte Kabera, the University’s vice chancellor.
He stressed the need for change in the way services are delivered in hotels, restaurants, and other businesses.
He emphasised that graduates should play a critical role in boosting Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) initiative in which government invested a lot of money for tourism industry development.
In 2014, Rwanda Development Board launched the MICE initiative as it sought to generate more revenues from hospitality sector.
“Through education we provide, we try to match knowledge with what is needed on the labour market, and fill gaps in the tourism industry,” Kabera added.
He urged graduates to be hard working, creative and innovative entrepreneurs in order to tackle unemployment and poverty in the country.
Dr Abdallah Baguma, the director of academic quality at the Higher Education Council, said there is still a gap of qualified workers in tourism and services industry.
“The number of needed workers is still a drop in the ocean. Even teachers in this sector are still few. The services and tourism sectors are expanding by the day and, therefore, need more workers,” he said.
Noting the need for quality education, he urged schools to work closely with the private sector that employs their graduates.
Best performers rewarded
The best performing graduates in various faculties were awarded trophies and different opportunities.
In the Business and Information Technology department, Francine Mukayizere emerged the best student with first class degree.
Liliane Ingabire, who also got first class degree in travel and tourism management class, will be granted Sulfo Industries products for a period of one year, while RwandAir agreed to provide air travel opportunities to the best performers.