8 Abilities

The RIU Difference

RIU Difference and the 8 Abilities

Woven into every course at Rwenzori , the 8 Abilities empower our students to become agents of change and principled leaders who meaningfully engage with their communities. They focus specifically on mastering skills in aesthetic engagement, analysis, communication, developing a global perspective, effective citizenship, problem solving, social interaction and valuing in decision making.

Why Rwenzori International University? Rather than use simple letter grades, we believe in pushing students to reach their highest personal potential. A standard letter grade tells you where you stand today; a RIU assessment tells you that plus how to take the next step to achieve greater understanding and application of knowledge. At RIU, we challenge students to "know it and show it."

Our students get to know their strengths and opportunities for growth, and they push themselves to reach their highest potential. Simply put, our 8 Abilities are what set our students and alums apart. 

Rwenzori International University is excited and proud to celebrate the few years of her operations in the Rwenzori Region and East Africa at large. Throughout the 2023-2024 academic year we will celebrate and focus on each ability monthly. As we say, if you know it, show it! 

Our 8 Abilities

Aesthetic Engagement






Developing a Global Perspective

Developing a

Effective Citizenship


Problem Solving


Social Interaction


Valuing in Decision Making

Valuing in 
Decision Making

Real-World Ready

We give students so much more than a single letter grade. We give them entire paragraphs of feedback, much like the performance reviews they’ll receive in the real world. This assessment lets students know what they’re doing well and where they can grow, fostering a desire for continuous improvement. All of our 8 Abilities are critically analyzed each year to determine their relevance and inspire a fresh perspective.

Diverse students in courtyard

Benefits of non-traditional grades

Students focus on their learning. They see challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than as obstacles to their success.

The impact of systemic drivers of inequality like race, gender, socioeconomic status and disability is reduced, leveling the playing field for all students. Regardless of what level they start at, students are assessed for their own individual rate of growth

Students are encouraged to take more risks. When they’re focused on performance and their strengths rather than grades, students are more willing to experiment with new ideas, leading to deeper learning and more creative thinking.

Student learning is more accurately represented. A single letter grade reflects a student’s ability to hit a one-size-fits-all benchmark, whereas our assessment-based model measures each student’s mastery of a subject and ability to apply knowledge and skill in real-world settings.

Rwenzori’s 8 Abilities help to shape you into a citizen who will succeed in all that she does. When I first started there, I was very shy. Rwenzori Internation University offers a lot of opportunities for growth and to master skills needed in everyday life. Rwenzori empowers you to be the woman you may have never dreamed you could be.

– Linet ‘23

Ready for what's next