LC: I read that there was a report a few years ago about the student to PhD ratio in the school that you co-authored, and there was a goal to increase the number of full professors with PhDs in the coming years. Is that going well?
PC: I think that a good leader surrounds themselves with people who are better than them at lots of things. So if I surround myself with Deputy Vice Chancellors and Principals who are better than me in doing all of the things that my office has to do, and then you take that down to their level--they surround themselves with people who are better than them in the administration. And then you take it down to the next level, you’ve actually got the very best people, the most skilled and talented at the bottom of your organization. So it’s all about believing in those people and investing in those people.
PC: Rwanda is putting a lot of emphasis on knowledge based economies, but it’s also putting a lot of emphasis on future drivers for growth and human capital. If you look, most of the people in this country will be alumni of the University of Rwanda, they graduated from one of the former institutions. And a lot of people promoted to government positions are promoted from the UR. So we are able to have quite an influence.
Philip Cotton grew up in South London before attending the University in Scotland. He went to Saint Andrews University before studying medicine in Glasgow. He began as a junior doctor in Glasgow, and continued to do his special training, master’s, and doctorate there--“So quite a boring person really,” he claimed. As a medical student, he… Continue reading Philip Cotton — Bio
LC: So can you tell us a little about the University of Rwanda?
PC: So in September 2013 the University became a legal institute, which meant that all the former public universities ceased to exist. At that time, we merged the seven public universities to create the University of Rwanda. There was a task team working for six months to create the University of Rwanda, writing the laws and some of the early protocols.