Requirements for Setting up a Private Higher Learning Institution

A private higher learning institution is established as a non-profit - making organisation. Any person, wishing to establish a higher learning institution is required to fulfil the conditions set by the Ministry in charge of Higher Education and signs an agreement to that effect, with the same Ministry.

Any individual or legal person, wishing to establish a private higher learning institution, confer academic awards, and change the level education system, shall address a written application thereof to the Minister in charge of Higher Education for consideration.

The application is accompanied by:
1° the denomination of the higher learning institution, its headquarters, its category and the teaching disciplines;
2° the mission and objectives of the institution;
3° a detailed document specifying the assets and financial resources of the institution;
4° a document showing the organisation and administration of the institution;
5° the details on the system of admission of students and on the teaching programmes offered by the institution;
6° a detailed document specifying the nature of the buildings and equipment connected to the kind of training to be offered;
7° a document specifying the size of the planned personnel, its category and the classification of its posts;
8° a detailed document describing existing or planned infrastructure; 9° a document showing the functional and financial management control system of the institution;
10° the certificate of full identity of the founder of a Higher Learning institution and the certificate of legal personality, if it is a legal person.

- The Minister in charge of Higher Education, after examining the provisions of Article 12 of this law makes a decision on the basis of the report made by the National Council for Higher Education. The decision is notified to the applicant within six (6) months from the date the application is received.

Where the application is accepted, the Minister in charge of Higher Education signs a operating agreement with the applicant.

The institution’s operating agreement is valid for at least three (3) years with effect from the date of the signature of the agreement mentioned in Article 14 of the this law. This deadline is renewable only once (1).

The Ministry in charge of Higher Education publishes the operating agreement for a private higher learning institution in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Rwanda.

The private higher learning institution that has obtained a operating permit, submits a detailed annual activity report to the National Council for Higher Education.

The higher learning institution that has obtained operating permit submits a written application for an indefinite approval to the Ministry in charge of Higher Education.

This application is accompanied by the following:
1° the operating agreement;
2° a list of members of the permanent academic, administrative and technical staff indicating their qualifications;
3° a list of students in each level;
4° the detailed document describing buildings and equipment in relation with the training offered;
5° an annual activity and financial report of the institution approved by an authorised auditor;
6° an inventory of current and fixed assets of the institution;
7° any other document that may be required by the Minister in charge of Higher Education.

The definitive operating agreement of a private higher learning institution is granted by a Ministerial Order of the Minister in charge of Higher Education on the basis of the report made by the National Council for Higher Education, within three (3) months from the date of the receipt of the application.

On approval of the application by the Minister in charge of Higher Education, he or she signs a definitive operating agreement with the institution.

The agreement indicates the category of the institution, its educational levels, its faculties, its research centres and its schools as well as academic awards it is allowed to provide.

On approval of the application by the Minister in charge of Higher Education, he or she sign a definitive operating agreement with the institution.

The agreement indicates the category of the institution, its educational levels, its faculties, its research centres and its schools as well as academic awards it is allowed to provide.

When, upon review of the report mentioned in Article 18 of this law, it is proved that the private higher learning institution does not meet the required conditions, it is not granted the definitive operating approval. In this case, the Minister in charge of Higher notifies the applicant within thirty (30) days from the date the decision is made. The private institution concerned, which has not been granted a definitive operating permit, may, upon meeting all the required conditions, reapply within the time limits specified by law.

The Degrees or diplomas or certificates awarded by a private higher learning institution whose definitive operating approval is not granted shall not be accredited.

Any higher learning institution that shall have been granted a or definitive operating approval and which wishes to upgrade its educational levels, to establish new faculties, new research centres or schools, signs an additional agreement with the Minister in charge of Higher Education.


Also available:

- Guidelines for Recognition of Private Institutions of higher education

- View document describing Powers, Responsibility and Duties of Higher learning Institutions

- Download Application for Accreditation (Definitive Operating Agreement) for a Private Institution of Higher Education

- Download Program proposal Form

- Qualification Framework and Code of Practice for the Assurance of Academic Quality and Standards in Higher Education

- Procedures for Validation of Modules and Programmes

- General Academic Regulations