Quality Tools

The Kigali Independent University ULK has two directorates of academic quality, one located at the main campus, the Kigali Campus as well as a second one located at the Gisenyi Campus.

Each Directorate is managed by a Director of Quality, who is also a Senior Executive of the University, member of the Academic Senate as well as member of the Executive Council. The Director of Quality reports to the Rector of the University.

Each Director has an administrative assistant (Bachelors Degree Holder) as well as various other field supporting units. The Directorate duties are summarized in the following up of the conformance as well as the enhancement related to university quality management tools such as:

Quality Tool 1: compliance with laws

  1. Law 1: law n°20/2005 of 20/10/2005 governing the organization and functioning of higher education;
  2. Law 2: law n°23/2006 of 28/04/2006 governing the national council of higher education;
  3. Law 3: presidential order n° 51/01 of 13/07/2010 establishing quality standards in higher learning institutions.

How does ULK apply and comply with this tool?

Here are a few illustrations on how it applies and complies with the above tool:

  • ULK complies with all the provisions of the law n°20/2005 of 20/10/2005 governing the organization and functioning of higher education, organs provided by article 42:
    The Board of Directors; the Senate, the Executive Council, the School Councils and Departments, are all implemented and are functioning. Article 64 provisions Executives of the HLI, all the eight categories of the law are a reality at ULK. Article 80 related to the teaching staff is also fully implemented, etc.
  • ULK goes by the provisions of the Law N°23/2006 of 28/04/2006 Governing the National Council of Higher Education, in its article 5, paragraph 3, regulating realities related to Learning and Teaching.
    The Credits Accumulation and Modular System set up by the NCHE has been fully implemented in all the programmes, for all modules and units as well as in all the years of study. Programmes Specifications and Modules Descriptions have been designed, approved at the institutional and national levels and are fully implemented.
    Out of the 45 texts released by the NCHE, ULK has fully implemented 39 texts and the remaining are under implementation;
  • In addition, ULK complies with the provisions of the presidential order n° 51/01 of 13/07/2010establishing quality standards in higher learning institutions. Its section 1: on the student staff ratio and on the student-space ratio is fully met.

The following table illustrates it better:

Table: Illustration of the compliance with various National Higher Education Quality Standards by ULK

Standard Title Standard Measure ULK Compliance
Student Staff Ratio 1 lecturer for 25 students 1 lecturer for 19 students
Student Space Ratio 1 student: 1m2 of class space 1 student: 2.4 m2
Student Book Ratio 1 book for 20 students 1 book for 14 students
Student Computer Ratio 1 computer for 20 students 1 computer for 5 students
Student Internet Access Time 5 hours per week for a student 8 hours per week for a student
Ratio PhD in Total Staff 15% of the staff as PhD holders 15% as PhD holders
Ratio Masters in Total Staff 90% of the staff are masters holders 96% are masters holders

Source: computed from: Kigali Independent University (ULK)- Mineduc- NCHE- REB joint computed Statistics – AcademicYear 2011-2012. Musanze & Nyandungu, July- August –November, 2012.Unpublished

Quality Tool 2: compliance with ULK regulations

    • internal regulations (values ; mission ; objectives ; organs & duties ; general academic regulations; discipline and sanctions, etc.);
    • Manual of Procedures (academic procedures – registration, programmes, modules, units contents and running, assessments ; administrative procedures; financial procedures ; auditing procedures ; quality management procedures)


  • manual of attributions.

These first three university regulating texts are hence fully implemented;

Quality Tool 3: The use of routing slips:

since January 2009, the Kigali Independent University ULK has put into place Routing Slips for assuring good customer care service tracking and delivery.

What is a routing slip?

A routing slip is an official form which has to be filled-in in three copies, by any ULK student or former student when he or she is requesting for a given academic document.
Once filled, one copy of the routing slip is sent to various services for the set-up of the required document, the sign-in, the calling of the requester serviced and finally the delivery of it.
The second copy goes to the Quality Directorate for a post-control of processing and delivery.
The third copy is kept by the student for any end-purpose.

The processing of each one of the existing university routing slips has a clear deadline. Each week a report on the delivery is established and corrective measures taken;

Quality Tool 4: Organs Decisions, particularly the Academic senate and executive council decisions:
the decisions from these organs guide the design and implementation of services of quality, to be delivered as well as on customer care; effectiveness and efficiency.

As illustration: the Decision by the Senate to run in each and every academic year and for all the programmes, without exception, the course (module) of English and Computer Skills, to guarantee that after four years of successive English and Computer Skills, graduates will be fully skilled equipped, contributing therefore to their fitness for purpose;

Quality Tool 5: Performance contracts Imihigo:
The Kigali Independent University ULK Community, particularly its management has resolved to implement Management by Objectives into its academic and administrative governance practices.
This practice involves the signing of, at the beginning of a period (Year, Semester, Quarter) of a performance contract, listing actions agreed as “to be achieved’ by a manager with the top management of the university.

Thus, the achievement of listed actions is followed-up and evaluated periodically. Yearly aggregated, the above cited evaluations will constitute the yearly evaluation of the performer. This allows the Management to have a temperature of the achievements of the Regular Academic Activities a week after another, monthly, and per semester for corrective measures;

Quality Tool 6: Regular quality follow-up reports (weekly, monthly, and annually):
released by the Directorate of Quality, the Customer Care Office, for quality and customer care fitness;
Quality Tool 7: hearing from Students representatives:
through their active participation in the Board of Directors, the Academic Senate, the SchoolCouncil, and various Class representatives, through AGEULK (Students’ Association) and hearing from all the other students: through suggestions boxes; face to face regular meetings and accountability days, etc.;
Quality Tool 8: Lecturers evaluation by students:
According to Professor Dr Nnamdi O. Madichie University of Sharjah – UAE. (2011). Students’ evaluation of teaching (SETs) in higher education: a question of reliability and validity. The Marketing Review. Vol. 11. Num. 4. Pp. 381-391; “the importance of students’ evaluations of teaching (SETs) as a feedback mechanism into ensuring quality assurance in higher education cannot be underestimated…Only about 30% of colleges and universities asked students to evaluate lecturers in 1973, but it is hard to find an institution that doesn’t today.

Such evaluations are now the most important, and sometimes the sole measure of a teacher’s teaching ability.

At ULK, this is fully implemented, as once a lecturer is evaluated by students with an average mark of less than 65%, the course is taken out of him/her (article 39 of ULK Internal Regulations);

Quality Tool 9: Teaching staff recruitment by a commission of qualified and competent lecturers:
with immediate decision release after interview. The hiring of any staff is made into a commission made up of competent and qualified lecturers from ULK and from other local and foreign lecturers. Illustration: have been part of recruitments teams: Professor Roeloef Haveman, Dr Ugirashebuja Emmanuel; Dr Usengimukiza Felicien, Dr Buchanan Ismail, Dr Akinyemi Benjamin, Dr Ntaganda Javan, Dr Bajpai, G. and Egwake Johnson, etc;
Quality Tool 10: ULK staff seminars:
two days meetings with emphasis on the corporate culture: (values, philosophy, etc.); on customer care; quality; teaching methodology in HLI; etc.
Quality Tool 11: availability of academic and administrative executives:
in office, via phones, via mails. The service requester is asked to contact hierarchy if not well served;
Quality Tool 12: Modules-units notes and teaching materials:
controlled vis a vis, the conformity to the Programme Specification and to Modules Descriptions, in a departmental commission of three experienced and qualified lecturers;
Quality Tool 13: Class attendance by students:
controlled and recorded on a daily basis, for quality and customer care purpose, with reports to hierarchy for immediate and corrective action, as into the services industry, timely delivery is fundamental;
Quality Tool 14: Examinations questions -papers:
controlled in a departmental restricted commission made up by the lecturer and the Head of Department, to control the consistency of the paper with the Modules Descriptions as well as with English linguistic requirements;
Quality Tool 15: End of year deliberations:
conducted by appointed and accountable School commissions, guaranteeing of equity, and conformity to the academic evaluation regulations as well as to national and international standards of student’ s good performance;
Quality Tool 16: Students claiming letters:
processed in departmental accountable commissions with outcomes communicated to students via internet and telephone;
Quality Tool17: Exclusion of students:
(cases of cheating, misconduct, etc.), after a fair investigation and hearing process.
Quality Tool18: Exclusion of staff:
(cases of professional insufficiency, non compliance to ULK regulations, misconduct, etc.) after a fair investigation and hearing process.