Confronting the challenges of Journalism Education in Rwanda in the context of educational reforms
Keywords:Rwanda, Journalism education, educational reforms, political economy, practical theory of journalism education, scholarship of teaching and learning, global south
Policy reforms aimed at improving access to and equity in tertiary education have meant that university classes are not only larger, but more diverse in terms of students’ competencies and experiences. Despite the increase in the size and diversity of student populations in universities, the financial, technological and human resources have not expanded at a similar rate, leaving academic programs struggling to improve the quality of educational experience, whilst teaching more students with less resources. This is particularly difficult in practice-based disciplines such as medicine, nursing and journalism, where coaching models and small-class learning experiences are seen as being the most effective way of nurturing work-ready graduates. Teaching journalism under these conditions is particularly problematic because of the dynamic changes being experienced across the media industries as a result of technological change and the changing media ecosystem.
This article uses the University of Rwanda as a case study to examine the impact of tertiary education reforms on journalism education practices. Drawing on the ‘Practical Theory of Journalism Education’ and the ‘Educational Change Model’ perspectives, this paper calls for judicious implementation of educational reforms. It argues that by phasing the introduction of reforms, universities can better manage the change process in order to maintain quality educational experiences. However, this alone cannot ensure quality journalism education outcomes. Universities need to foster innovative teaching practices and approaches to learning in order to sustain quality when teaching large and diverse classes.
Through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions, the findings illuminate how journalism education in Rwanda has changed its original orientation and pedagogy to include strategic initiatives, teaching innovations and expanded opportunities for students in response to policy reforms aimed at promoting an all-inclusive education sector.
How to cite this article:
JJUUKO, Margaret; NJUGUNA, Joseph. Confronting the challenges of Journalism Education in Rwanda in the context of educational reforms Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the South. v. 3, n. 2, p. 49-67, Sept. 2019. Available at:
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