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UR-CST poised to integrate Challenge Driven Education- An approach to increase students’ impact to community

17 Jun 2019

The University of Rwanda College of Science and Technology organized a training for its senior academics on “Challenge Driven Education-CDE for Sustainable Development”. This is a new education method which intends to enable students and faculty to identify problems in communities and find concrete solutions. The training was facilitated by two scholar from Sweden through the existing collaboration with KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

UR-CST Senior academics who attended the training

In his opening remarks, Dr Ignace Gatare, the Principal of UR College of Science and Technology noted that CDE method will shift the students’ mindset to become solution providers and be conscious about their role in solving community problems. He added that the new system would embrace multidisciplinary approach whereby students would be working in teams in order to deal with the complexity of community challenges. According to him, it will boost students’ team spirit while nurturing them with entrepreneurship skills.

Opening remarks by Dr Ignace Gatare, the Principal of UR-CST

“By identifying a challenge and bringing out a solution, a student is much more capable of nurturing his or her capacity in terms of entrepreneurship and innovation” Gatare said

Challenge Driven Education method increases students’ passion to learn because students feel useful and connected to the society. Amid the implementation of CDE, students are able to identify their strengths and might even find out their entrepreneurship skills in them without knowing.

The College of Science and Technology at the University of Rwanda is the densest in terms of academic programmes with a good number of centres of excellence. The College is trying to capitalize on available asset to do research that are challenge driven with much involvement of students. For this to happen, there might be potential reengineering of current systems and design a roadmap that would fully move the College from theory to practice. In addition, the College is planning to make a series of CDE training in order to understand related challenges in the course of its integration in education system.

The training was facilitated by Dr Jesper Vassel who is the Director of KTH Global Development Hub and Prof Anders Rosén. According to Prof Rosén, learning takes place through identification, analysis and design of a solution to a sociotechnical problem. He further reiterated that multidisciplinary approach aims to find a collaboratively developed solution, which is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

Dr Jesper Vassel (L) and Prof Anders Rosén training facilitators from Sweden

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