University of KigaliThe University of Kigali (UOK), the first Vi member from Rwanda, joined the Virtual Institute today, extending the reach of UNCTAD's academic network to 128 institutions worldwide.

Created in 2013, UOK has experienced fast growth in its academic offer and number of students, now numbering more than 3,000. Its objective is to provide quality higher education and prepare graduates to compete successfully in national and international labour markets. The focus is on practical hands-on experience, small-sized classes, individualized support and an interactive atmosphere.

UOK offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees, including Bachelor's programmes in economics, business administration, information and communication technology, and law. It also offers Master's programmes in economics (with specialization in international economics, money and banking, and in international trade), business economics, applied business economics, and law. New Master's programmes in international cooperation and development, and in the fields of statistics, tourism management, and data communication and cyber security, are in advanced stages of development. Plans are also under way to start PhD programmes.

The university published the first edition of its research journal in 2015. Research is coordinated by the newly created Directorate of Research, which is currently conceptualizing UOK's research agenda and themes. Academic staff have undertaken research in economics, business administration and management, focusing on topics such as FDI, regional integration and trade, macroeconomics, energy and resource economics, and poverty eradication.

Associate professor, Caleb Tamwesigire, formerly of Vi core member, Makerere University Business School, will coordinate the cooperation with the Vi through the School of Postgraduate Studies. He holds a PhD in business administration, teaches courses on international economics and trade, regional economic integration and cooperation, and has recently been researching aid and economic growth/development in developing countries. He will receive support from Bernadine Bukomeko, who teaches teaches courses on statistics, economics, economic policy and analysis, and Rwandan economy at the Faculty of Business Management and Economics. Also involved is Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies, Alexis Manzi, who holds a PhD in applied demography and statistics, and teaches statistics and demography, and quantitative methods in economics.

UOK is ready to contribute its expertise in research mentoring and training to the Vi network, as well as taking part and organizing seminars and conferences. The university is also open to student  and staff exchanges. The expectation is that Vi membership will provide the university with access to educational and research resources, as well as opportunities for collaborative research and conferences, and help them develop a market- and demand-driven research agenda.

For more information, visit UOK's profile on the Vi website.