University of Rwanda Vice Chancellor Philip Cotton visited Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) on Tuesday, May 1, with Dr. Paul Farmer, Kolokotrones University Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, and other partners from the Human Resources for Health (HRH) Program.
In a lecture titled “Being University: Not Settling for Anything but the Best,” Cotton spoke about efforts to bring together fourteen institutions, ten campuses, and 30,000 students into one public university. Through the HRH program, the University of Rwanda has built a new healthcare education infrastructure, including the first ever dental school in the nation.
“We are just going to have our fifth graduation this year. We will see the graduation of our first-ever dental surgeons,” Cotton said.
“Harvard has had this quiet yet monumental impact on the lives of young people who occupy this space,” he said.
Cotton attributes the success of the University of Rwanda and its programs to a new dynamic culture around education in Rwanda, and a commitment to creating an open, accessible, and empowering space for students.
“Universities exist for young people. They exist to give opportunities to young people, Cotton said. “We exist as university leaders to make sure that happens, so that they can go on and give opportunities to other people.”