This ground breaking agreement will enable both universities to develop planned collaborative opportunities which embrace a range of subjects, including business, life sciences, entrepreneurship, rural development and financial planning.
The partnership will develop collaborative projects supporting the founding objectives of developing undergraduate and postgraduate social enterprise projects for implementation in Rwanda, identifying undergraduate and postgraduate course development opportunities, as well as identifying opportunities for visiting scholars and developing research opportunities.
Initial funding has been secured through the Quintin Hogg Trust for 2017 and 2018, which will allow undergraduate students from both institutions to collaborate via inter-university teams. Teams will be asked to generate ideas for social enterprise projects in Rwanda. These projects will be assessed by a panel of academics, local entrepreneurs and funding bodies. The winning projects will be considered for further development and funding.
This collaboration will also provide participating students with a unique transformative learning experience aimed at developing essential employability skills, such as cross-cultural communication, project management, business strategy and management.
The University of Westminster was represented by Jon Pike, Director of Internationalisation Westminster Business School, Darrell Kofkin, Course Leader for undergraduate marketing programmes Westminster Business School, and local representatives, Philip Onzoma and Brian Kirungi while the University of Rwanda was represented by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Philip Cotton, OBE.
Speaking about the partnership, Jon Pike said: "The University of Westminster is dedicated to preparing students for employment across the world, inspiring them to grow intellectually throughout life and to add value by providing skills to help shape civilised and inclusive societies. This project fits this objective perfectly."
University of Rwanda's Vice Chancellor, Professor Philip Cotton said: “This initiative provides a great opportunity for students from both universities to work together to develop projects as a part of their undergraduate learning journeys, to put knowledge into practice and to anticipate future success. This project is a great way to explore what employability means for universities while expressing essential values of community investment and community benefit.”