Application Deadline: DECEMBER 11, 2020 

In the past decade, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has committed to establishing and expanding strategic, long-term relationships with Rwandan institutions of higher education and the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda. The Nebraska UPEX-Rwanda Program, funded through the U.S. Department of State Bureau of African Affairs’ University Partnerships Initiative, is a fellowship that aims to create long-lasting, impactful relationships between U.S. and Rwandan universities through virtual exchangeprofessional development for Rwandan mid-career professionals (the Cohort), and U.S. mentorship in international partnership management. It will also build Rwandan administrator capacity and reciprocal engagement with the U.S. to enhance regional prosperity, security and sustainability.

Program Overview

Over the course of one year (2021), fellows in the Cohort will participate in a hands-on virtual training program on international partnership development; learn best practices through case studies and site visits in Rwanda and the United States (travel conditions permitting); and be matched with dynamic U.S. mentors to further understand and develop program skills. Nebraska will also leverage expertise within its network of peer institutes across the United States and university partners in Rwanda to deliver program content virtually and on-ground.

Key concepts that will be covered in the UPEX-Rwanda Program, include but are not excluded to:

  • Internationalization of higher education
  • Strategic planning and functions of university international partnerships
  • Stakeholder identification and engagement
  • Fundraising and grant-writing
  • Project implementation and management
  • Designing and maintaining sustainable programs and relationships
  • Special topics tailored to unique fellow needs and interests

At the conclusion of the program, each Cohort fellow will be expected to present an international partnership proposal for their institution; write a collaborative group white paper on applications for Rwandan higher education; and jointly organize a final symposium with the goal to establish a network of higher education professionals across Rwanda interested in developing international partnerships.


The UPEX-Rwanda Program is a fellowship program designed for mid-career professionals who work at Rwandan institutions of higher education. Applicants not meeting the below technical eligibility requirements will not be forwarded to the selection committee.

  • Are a citizen or permanent resident in Rwanda
  • Are proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English
  • Are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
  • Are eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa
  • Are not employees or immediate family members of employees of the U.S. Government (including a U.S. embassy or consulate, USAID, and other U.S. Government entities)

The U.S. Department of State and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln reserve the right to verify all information included in the application. In the event of a discrepancy, or if information is found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid and the applicant ineligible.

Preferred Qualifications

The Nebraska University Partnerships & Exchange (UPEX) Rwanda Program is a merit-based, open competition. After the December 11 deadline, all eligible applications will be reviewed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda. Following this review, chosen semi-finalists will be interviewed by the university and/or the U.S. embassy.

The selection committee will use the following criteria to evaluate applications (not in order of importance):

  • A demonstrated knowledge of, interest in, and professional experience in higher education administration in Rwanda and international partnership development
  • A commitment to applying development skills and training to benefit the applicant’s institution after the conclusion of the program
  • The ability to work cooperatively in diverse groups and to respect the opinions of others;
  • Strong social and communication skills; and
  • An energetic, positive attitude.


Following is the timeline for the 2021 UPEX-Rwanda Program. Dates are subject to change.

November 16, 2020 Applications open
December 11, 2020 Applications close at 11:59 PM CAT
Mid-December 2020 Semi-finalists notified and interviews conducted
Late December 2020 Finalists notified
January 2021 Program Orientation
February – July 2021 Program Training
August — September 2021 Final Presentation & Symposium
October — December 2021 Program Wrap-up & Evaluation

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the University Partnerships & Exchange (UPEX) Rwanda Program 2021

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