Research and education for sustainable development, the Higher Learning Institutions (HLIs) roles (Case study of RWANDA)
By the time being, Rwanda has embarked on public university reform of ``One university system``. This requires means and methods in order to conserve and protect the acquired progresses, but also in order to meet the challenges the society is facing in development. In its triple missions of teaching, learning, research and community outreach, broadly, universities in this country must reinforce research so as to innovate and orient Rwanda society. Thus, Universities and higher learning institutions must play a very big role in promoting sustainable development considering their place in research and modern education. Universities must shape education for a changing world trough specifically new learning theories that recognize basically that cognitive, cultural and social dimension are important in education process and balance between education for sustainability and environmental sustainability. Thus the system of knowledge transfer at university level should give enough emphasis to reflexive and transformative knowledge and avoid the image of historical alienation inherited from colonialists where scientific truth is largely dominated by positivist and theoretical approaches of knowledge and reality. Because working towards sustainable development seems to require substantial reorientation of university research program that focuses to dynamic interactions between nature and the society. It requires a new manner of conducting research activities using a full commitment to seeking solutions to sustainable development challenges on one hand, but also re-think a type of research methodology and understand how research in general is thought, conceptualized and implemented. The paper is intended to highlight the main problems the HLIs in RWANDA are facing in research field and give tentative solutions in order to contribute to research for sustainable development. As far as Education is concerned, the paper seeks in seeing how research is delivered and show the good methodologies to contribute to a society knowledge and competences based. The approaches considered are both multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary in mobilizing the scientific community to integrate different knowledge systems. Here, researchers should look first of all to the logical and realistic origin of the activity they are conducting and gain a better perspective of the research priorities in contemporary contexts. The RWANDA case study will be an illustrative example of a type of research that seeks to point out the main challenges faced by third world countries, but also in a manner that guarantee the success of new approaches and best practices while well oriented and managed even during reform periods in tertiary education in order to promote sustainable development.