Blending Academic and Professional Programs
UNIVERSITY OF RWANDA-College of Business and Economics

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The University of Rwanda is the only public university in Rwanda and as such it is a multi-campus, multi-disciplinary university designed to meet the economic, social and cultural needs of the country and its people. The College of Business and Economics (CBE) is one of the 6 colleges of University of Rwanda. CBE offers business and economics courses from Undergraduate to Masters Programs and also offers professional courses in accounting. The provision of professional courses in Accounting at CBE is in line with the corporate sector accounting, financial reporting, and auditing practices within Rwanda. Rwanda is making considerable effort to align its accounting and auditing practices with internationally accepted standards and codes. Along with its growing economy, Rwanda must take effective steps for strengthening all the pillars of the infrastructure of accounting and auditing in line with the international good practices. Thus, in a bid to attain a satisfactory level in number and quality of public servants in the field of Public Finance Management-PFM (Accountants, Internal Auditors and/or any other staff entrusted with public finance related roles), Rwanda must opt to train more professional staff in order to strengthen public financial management as well as contributing to one of vision 2020 pillars of capacity building and a knowledge based economy. Basing on report by the office of Auditor General of state finances as per June 2013, regarding the accountability sector, the main concerns related to: the persistent weaknesses in preparation of financial statements and many errors noted during the audits; the high level of wasteful, unauthorized and irregular expenditure. Before the initiative, the accountants for many corporate entities are lacking the required skills to prepare financial statements in accordance with applicable accounting and reporting requirements. Consequently, in many cases compliance by preparers of financial statements with applicable requirements is limited. As per the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) published in June 2008, the current accountancy education and training capacity was inadequate to meet effectively the needs of the Rwanda economy. Universities were offering an accounting diploma and degree programs; however, those who aspire to gain professional accounting qualification were forced to look abroad for this certification. In order for future practitioners to have a sufficient background in the field of accounting and auditing, the accounting degree curricula in higher educational institutions should be harmonized with professional qualification. In this regard, CBE has made a practical step to blend academic and professional trainings in accounting. Since 2010, CBE has started providing Certified Professional Accountants (CPA) courses to qualifying students to allow them graduating with Bachelor degree and CPA. As per June 2014, 71 students sponsored by the CBE have completed successfully CPA in addition to their bachelor degree. Thus, the provision of accounting and auditing professional courses at CBE was recommended as a solution to the problem of inadequate qualified accountants to handle the issues of public financial management and accountability.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
In order for Rwanda to develop a competitive and efficient financial sector for the growth of a vibrant private sector, its financial system must be reasonably robust to earn investors’ confidence. Among other necessary attributes, a mechanism that ensures a high-quality financial reporting system, with the help of professionally qualified accountants, is crucial in this respect. A strong financial reporting regime for corporate entities in both private and public sectors will benefit the Rwanda economy in various ways, including: • Contributing to financial sector development through strengthening the country’s financial architecture and helping reduce the risk of financial crises and corporate failures, together with their associated negative economic impacts that have been witnessed in many industrialized and developing countries; • Empowering local communities to own and manage their development process by broadening the financial system through strengthening microfinance institutions; • Increasing foreign direct investment, which can be achieved through greater confidence in, and improved comparability of, financial information; • Facilitating economic integration on an international level, through further alignment of Rwanda’s national standards and codes with those of its main trading partners; • Improving access to financing for the small and medium enterprise sector by providing banks and other financial institutions with standardized, useful, and reliable information. All those attributes mentioned above could not be achieved without having a considerable number of qualified professionals to serve in public financial management. In early 2005, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) conducted a comprehensive “needs assessment and curriculum development study” for the development of capacity for accounting, internal audit and other financial roles in the public sector. The study highlighted that the number of existing staff in the above disciplines is not enough to cope with the current and future requirements of the PFM system. This was especially critical in the case of central government entities [ministries, departments and agencies – MDAs] and local governments. Therefore, the initiative of blending professional courses with academic qualification was proposed by the management of the former School of Finance and Banking (SFB) in 2010 currently known as CBE, the major player in the education of professional accountants. It was targeting students pursuing business courses especially in accounting and finance. Currently, CBE is also training GoR accountants, internal auditors, budget officers, directors of finance and other staff in finance roles. These professional trainings have imparted sufficient knowledge regarding the compliance of international financial reporting standards, and thus help the government in minimizing the issues of misuse and misappropriation of public funds. This initiative was brought on table by a team composed of Prof. Nshuti Manassseh who was the chairperson of board of directors-SFB, Peter Rutaremara, who was the President of iCPAR, and Dr. Papias Musafiri Malimba who was the vice-rector academics-SFB. It was implemented from 2010 and now currently a greater achievement is observed. As a result of having professional accountants trained under this scheme, the degree of compliance with accounting requirements by the public interest entities in Rwanda has now improved.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Rwanda, being a small and landlocked country is limited in terms of size and natural resources. However, there is no limit in terms of knowledge. We are striving to be the knowledge-based economy. The research has shown that countries with more professional degrees develop more than countries with academic degrees only. Besides this, accounting is a noble profession and the government is in a need of big number of accountants. For instance, we need 2000 accountants to work in central and local government and 3500 home-grown accountants. Considering the East African Community, accounting profession is relatively new in Rwanda. For instance Kenya has 20,000 accountants Uganda has around 2000 and Tanzania 4000 accountants. Rwanda having 175 qualified accountants. This is obvious that we need to accelerate the pace and we are having a target of qualifying 260 professional accountants and 160 technicians by 2015. This is relatively low compared to the demand of the economy. Thus, the initiative of blending professional courses with academic qualification is unique, creative and innovative for the University of Rwanda. It will help the country to export accountants no neighboring countries after satisfying the local market.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The initiative of blending professional and academic programs was implemented in 2010 by the former School of finance and banking-SFB in partnership with the Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examination Board-KASNEB. At that time, SFB signed a MoU with KASNEB in provision of training/tuition, examinations, certification, marketing and coordination of professional examinations. SFB was in charge of providing necessary facilities such as lecture rooms, computer labs, and resource materials to be applied and used during the registration of students, examination entry and provision of training/tuition to the students. It was also mandated to avail qualified staff to provide training/tuition and guidance and counseling on matters relating to syllabuses, rules and regulations of the examinations to students taking the examinations of KASNEB. On the other hand, KASNEB was in charge of administering exams with rigorous devotion to excellence. For the initiative to be successfully, SFB has decided to align its curriculum with CPA syllabus. The Curriculum has been harmonized with CPA Program(s) in such a way that a student has chances of doing his/her undergraduate studies simultaneously with the CPA program. This help the school to minimize the coaching cost as our students will have covered almost big part and have sufficient package to do and pass CPA exams with minimum coaching. For effective implementation, CBE (Former SFB) undertook a study tour at KASNEB and Strathmore University in Kenya and a feasibility study to allow the registration as the accredited centre for KASNEB- CPA examinations. CBE also hired experts to review BBA curriculum and assess the likelihood of BBA graduate to pass CPA examinations. The centre for running and managing CPA programs was set up, headed by a CPA professional in charge of assuring the overall supervision and coordination of professional programs training. (CPA Ke, CPA R, ACCA, etc.); ensure thorough implementation of the ever evolving curricula for professional programs; creating and maintaining collaborations and correspondences with external stakeholders in professional training (e.g.: examination bodies such as KASNEB, iCPAR, ACCA, Trainees Sponsors etc); the centre is also in charge of monitoring and circulating information relating to professional programs training to the stakeholders in need. CBE BBA Curriculum has been harmonized with CPA Program(s) in such a way that a student has chances of doing his/her undergraduate studies simultaneously with the CPA program. The best students are selected and given a scholarship to cover their Registration, Annual Subscription, Exam Entry and Tuition fees to undertake CPA Courses. On this basis students are pursuing and complete CPA courses as follows: CBE BBA PROGRAM CPA Kenya CPA Rwanda Year 1 Semester 1&2 • Basis to select the best performers to be sponsored into the CPA Program • Registration into the CPA Program • Basis to select the best performers to be sponsored into the CPA Program • Registration into the CPA Program Year 2 Semester 1 CPA Part 1 Section 1 CPA Fundamental Level 1 Year 2 Semester 2 CPA Part 1 Section 2 CPA Fundamental Level 2 Year 3 Semester 1 CPA Part 2 Section 3 CPA Intermediate Level Year 3 Semester 2 CPA Part 2 Section 4 CPA Advanced Level 1 Year 4 Semester 1 CPA Part 3 Section 5 CPA Advanced Level 2 Year 4 Semester 2 CPA Part 3 Section 6 It is obvious that, students are completing undergraduate courses along with CPA qualification.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The design and implementation of this initiative was a combined effort of different stake holders ranging from current relevant civil servants to public and private institutions. The initiative was a whole idea of CBE (former SFB) management in its core mission of becoming an accredited centre for internationally recognized professional programs. KASNEB was the biggest stakeholder as it was a Kenyan public institution which signed a MoU with CBE regarding the provision of professional qualifications. iCPAR as the body mandated to regulate the accounting profession in Rwanda, was also involved in the process. It has undertaken a wide range of projects aimed at developing a sustainable institutional capacity to support the competence and integrity of the members to enhance their contribution to the accountancy profession globally. The World Bank, acting as administrator of the grant funds provided under the Multi Donor Trust Fund for support to the Rwanda Public Finance Management Program (“MDTF”) has made available the grant to support and strengthen the PFM system led by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning [MINECOFIN]. Through this scheme, various candidates especially public servants in finance and accounting roles are sponsored to undertake CPA programs. Today the initiative is being appreciated various stakeholders in both private and public sectors. Various beneficiaries including professional accountants, banks, audit firms and others are now getting involved in the implementation of the initiative through providing sponsorship to their employees.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The provision of professional qualification along with academic qualification required CBE sufficient resources to make it a success. Its implementation involved a number of activities which necessitated skilled professional staffs. Initially CBE was forced to set up a centre for professional programs to coordinate the whole process which necessitated payment of additional allowances. Funds were to be mobilized to sponsor students for registration, examinations, exemptions and payment of qualified staffs for coaching. Costs relating to the initiative were relatively high compared to academic programs. CBE was paying USD30 per hour/subject for coaching. A total of USD1000/student was to be paid to cover registration and examination entry fees for any student doing CPA part I. USD 942 was to be paid for a student doing CPA part II and also a total of USD1000 was to be for CPA part III. Since December to June 2014, CBE has approximately spent USD 650,000 for this initiative of training professional accountants. Resources to finance this initiative were mobililised mainly through the government treasury as CBE is a budget agency. However, getting resources was highly competitive as the university was having many priorities. As a result of performance and success of the initiative, public as well as private institutions (including MINECOFIN, OAG, and Audit firms like KPMG, PWC, DELOITE and others) were interested in sponsoring their employees to come and join professional courses at CBE. This helped CBE to mobilize enough funds to finance the initiative in addition to appropriations received from the government treasury. Due to its remarkable success, institutions as well as private individuals are joining the program at CBE and as result, enough generation of incomes is expected in the future.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Trainings in Bachelor program does not offer recognized professional skills that the industry is yawning. It was thus imperative for the UR-College of Business and Economics to refocus on its core mission of becoming an accredited centre for internationally recognized professional programs. The output of the initiative is now reflected in efficient provision of services in public and private institutions. From December 2010 to May 2014 CBE has enrolled 349 students. In addition to this, there some other students took initiatives for self-sponsorship and later on were awarded sponsorship subject to passing the previous papers. Therefore, CBE has sponsored 426 in total as per May 2014 out of this 397 students undertook CPA-K and 28 students for CPA-R. It is obvious that CBE has made an investment aiming at turning people into human capital in the process of helping the government of Rwanda to get qualified professionals in accounting and finance fields. A remarkable output of this initiative is that, out of 175 Rwandans professional accountants, 71 qualified from CBE with a short period of 3 years. In a nutshell, concrete outputs of the initiative are:  71 professional accountants were produced by June 2014  All professional accountants graduated were absorbed by the market automatically due to their high potentials. Only 2 out of 71 candidates are not employed  In the public sector, governments and donors want to be sure that the money they provide is used for its intended purpose. Good financial information and professional ethical standards help to reduce the likelihood for corruption and improve governance, and therefore make more money available for poverty reduction. Qualified accountants helped a lot in this area  Professional accountants produced by CBE, working in the public sector have played a critical role in protecting the public interest by promoting accountability, effective financial management and good governance. This helps to ward off corruption and ensure more efficient and effective use of limited public sector funds. Table 1: CBE graduates and their employers-/Sectors Working in: Private Sector Public Sector NGOs Unemployed Total 51 17 1 2 71 It is clear that most of CPA graduands are employed by private companies rather than public companies. This is because the private sector, especially audit firms provide good pay and has some professional development schemes compared to public sector.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
For its effective implementation and success, this initiative was to be monitored and evaluated on time basis. In this regard, the office was established in charge of coordinating the implementation of the initiative. The office is in charge of selecting best students to be sponsored by the university, selecting and recruiting qualified lecturers to conduct trainings, arrange classes for proper trainings. Evaluation and assessment of the institution was done by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda-iCPAR as well the Kenyan Accountants and Secretaries National Examination board, and accreditation was given to CBE. Later on, CBE conducted a survey and a tracer study of its graduands to understand whether they are all employed and highlight those who are employed in public and private sectors. It was highlighted that only 24% of graduands are employed in public sector and 72% are in private sector.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The challenges facing the profession of public accounting in Rwanda and in the region have become increasingly complex in response to the changes in the way business is conducted. An accountant anywhere in the world can no longer claim that the complexities of international business have no bearing on his local profession. The implementation of this initiative was not straightforward. There were some challenges encountered during the process. There highlighted as follows: • Lack of qualified, competent and motivated staffs. Professional courses require qualified lecturers to drive the coaching process. Lecturers were to be hired form outside for instance Kenyans. • Poor and inadequate instructional materials and equipment as well as inadequate infrastructure in general • Low level of public /private sector partnership (PPP). There is a lack of cooperation and partnership between the institution and private sector. Private companies also should sponsor their employees to do professional courses • Competing demands on university budget with other priorities. The appropriation of funds for this initiative was low and CBE was forced to sponsor less number of students. To overcome all those challenges CBE decided to recruit and establish a pool of Part-Time Lecturers to support CBE in the coaching of CPA candidates. The selected individuals are professionally qualified and experienced in the relevant discipline, demonstrate professional integrity, self confidence, and ability to teach associated with teaching experience in the field of Accounting, Auditing, Taxation, Management, Economics, ICT & Communication, and Law. CBE is now working with private companies, motivating them to sponsor their employees who wish to undertake professional courses. Finally, an appropriation of budget is made every year for the department in charge of professional courses to help carrying day to day activities.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
In the public sector, professional accountants are essential to the effective, efficient and ethical operation of governments and to the protection of the rights of their citizens. Professional accountants who completed their studies at CBE are now serving in the public sector and they play a critical role in protecting the public interest by promoting accountability, effective financial management and good governance. This has helped to ward off corruption and ensure more efficient and effective use of limited public sector funds. They also are involved in supporting performance and encouraging innovation in the delivery of public services to citizens, consumers and other stakeholder groups. A tracer study was made by the office in charge to understand the impact of those professional accountants in both private and public sector. It was highlighted that CBE has produced competent professional accountants. And businesses are considering them as invaluable assets. These professional accountants employ an inquiring mind to their work founded on the basis of their knowledge of the company’s financials. Using their skills and intimate understanding of the company and the environment in which it operates. Professional accountants in business they respond to challenging questions. Their trainings provide by CBE in accounting enabled them to adopt a pragmatic and objective approach to solving issues. This is a valuable asset to management, particularly in small and medium enterprises where they are often the only professionally qualified members of staff. In the public sector, governments and donors want to be sure that the money they provide is used for its intended purpose. Good financial information and professional ethical standards help to reduce the likelihood for corruption and improve governance, and therefore make more money available for poverty reduction. Qualified accountants helped a lot in this area. Professional accountants produced by CBE, working in the public sector have played a critical role in protecting the public interest by promoting accountability, effective financial management and good governance. This helps to ward off corruption and ensure more efficient and effective use of limited public sector funds.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The initiative of blending academic programs and professional programs is sustainable and can be replicated by both public and private universities. This initiative was started by CBE in 2010 has proved to be sustainable and successful without major problems as reflected by the increase in the number of professional accountants all over the country. The increased number of professional accountants helped to ward off corruption and ensure more efficient and effective use of limited public sector funds. Professional accountants in the public sector are involved in supporting performance and encouraging innovation in the delivery of public services to citizens, consumers and other stakeholder groups. At national level, the initiative is being replicated by the Independent University of Kigali-ULK where by ULK alumni and students especially those who did accounting and finance are given free coaching and they pay for exams to do the exams of certified public accountant (CPA) program at ULK. This will increase the number of professional accountants in both private and public sector. Indeed, this initiative is transferrable as we are planning the sell this initiative in the republic of Burundi where we identified a shortage of professional accountants.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
From this initiative I learnt than professional accountants can make a great impact on the economy. It was highlighted that the country with a big of professionals can develop and boost up its economy that the country with less professionals. Rwanda is still lagging behind as far accounting profession is concerned compared to other countries in the region, thus it is urged that Rwanda must accelerate the pace. Rwanda is targeting also to produce 500 accountants by the end of 2015. In this regard, the University of Rwanda- College of Business and Economics is re-focusing its mission to become an internationally recognized center for professional trainings. It is hereby proposed that all Government students admitted at CBE be required to register and do CPA exams simultaneously while doing BBA program. CBE is planning to cooperate with WDA to set p a program where students completing senior six and are not fulfilling the minimum requirements to go for bachelor programs can be sponsored to undertake CAT and later up-on successful completion they can be allowed to join bachelor or CPA. Therefore, we do recommend the government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in partnership with the University of Rwanda, to make appropriations of the budget aiming at sponsoring best students to undertake these professional courses. Private sector also especially audit firms and other companies should move ahead to sponsor their employees to undertake these courses. We are sure that it will increase the number of professionals who can satisfy the local market and where necessary they can be exported to neighboring countries.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   UNIVERSITY OF RWANDA-College of Business and Economics
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   DJAMALI NAMBAJIMANA
Title:   Coordinator of Professional Programs  
Telephone/ Fax:   +250 783 749 715
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   namdja@yahoo.fr  
Address:   MBURABUTURO
Postal Code:   1514
City:   KIGALI
State/Province:  
Country:  

          Go Back

Print friendly Page
video porno.. brasileiros xxx xhamster