The University of Rwanda has a Biodiversity Conservation and Natural Resource Management program, located in the College of Science and Technology, School of Science.
This program was developed with the support of the MacArthur Foundation in 2009, with the first intake of students in 2010. The program is based on input from stakeholder organizations and a needs assessment in the area of biodiversity, conservation and wildlife management. Since then there have been four intakes, averaging 7 to 15 students. The majority of students work full time in positions with conservation NGOs, the Rwanda Development Board (national park authority), public and private secondary schools, University of Rwanda, and District environmental offices. They bring a wealth of professional and practical experience to the classroom discussions. They study ecology, human-dimensions of conservation, wildlife management, climate change, GIS applications to biodiversity conservation, and other modules, culminating in an independent research project.
Graduates of the program contribute to Rwanda’s national development and poverty reduction strategies through their work in institutions such as the Ministry of Environment, Rwanda Environment Management Authority, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and other institutions. Some graduates have gone on to get PhD degrees at universities in Canada, Europe, and USA.
In 2017, the University of Rwanda joined with the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany to create a dual degree program between the Biodiversity Conservation and Natural ResourceManagement Masters program at UR and the Biogeosciences Masters program at University of Koblnz-Landau.
Students of University of Rwanda enrolled in the Biodiversity masters program, will study the 3 rd semester at University of Koblenz-Landau and return to their home university for the master’s thesis in the 4 th semester. Students from the University of Koblenz-Landau joining the dual degree agreement will study the 3 rd and 4 th semester of their master’s program at the University of Rwanda.
At both Universities a mentor will supervise the students going for the Dual Degree program and assist them in selecting the most suitable modules for their studies. Each master’s thesis will be
supervised by two supervisors - by the main supervisor from the University of Rwanda and a second supervisor from the University of Koblenz-Landau. In April 2018 six students from the UR Biodiversity Conservation and Natural Resource Management program will travel to Germany to study at the University of Koblenz-Landau, where they will take formal coursework and experience a unique cultural adventure.