Top US graduate school opens diversity gateway for E. A. innovators

East African mobile application and Web developers now have an opportunity to diversify their skills through programs offered by Carnegie Mellon University, a major U.S. higher education institution that launched a campus September last year in Kigali, Rwanda.

The new campus, named Carnegie Mellon University-Rwanda (CMU-R), will seek to develop an innovation incubator, first-rate education programs and a mobility research centre to extend the university’s worldwide innovation footprint in East African countries: Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, South Sudan and Tanzania, according to CMU website.

CMU-R programs will include among others, Master of Science in Information Technology program (MSIT) — which has a basis in mobile applications, information security, networking, software management and entrepreneurship skills. The programs will be offered on scholarships provided by the world’s top ranking university.

The Government of Rwanda has also pledged to offer 50 percent tuition fees to students who qualify for enrolment at the institution — for both the master and the professional development programs. CMU-R will also benefit from the African Development Bank’s US$14 million funding.

Each Student seeking enrolment at the institution will meet the same strict admission standards applied at the university’s main campus in Pittsburgh, according to CMU website.

The first enrolment is set to begin this year with an initial batch of 40 students. The number is expected to reach 150 by 2017. Those enrolled would be expected to participate in internships in the East African companies and enterprises. CMU-R will award Pittsburg equivalent degrees, according to the CMU Website.

CMU, renowned for its world-class arts and technology programs, has more than 11,000 students, 86,500 alumni and a staff of 4,000 individuals. It boasts of a faculty ratio of 10:1.

The CMU-R launch fits with East Africa’s vision of transforming into an ICT-led economy. It is also in line Rwanda’s goal of training IT professionals with an entrepreneurship and innovative mind. In 2007, the United Nations named Rwanda East Africa’s leading ICT hub.

The institution that is open to students worldwide although the programs are primarily targeted to benefit students from the East African region, reports U.S. News & World Report’s.

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