This article uses the Rwandan experience to offer valuable insights into the enormous potential—and the significant challenges—that countries intending to build higher education capacity to stimulate economic development face. Rwanda’s dynamic context presents a unique opportunity for Rwanda’s higher education sector, to demonstrate the critical role that universities can play in national development efforts. However, the government’s vision from it’s Vision 2020 issued in 2000, can only be achieved if Rwanda’s universities are able to provide an educational experience of sufficient quality to their students. This article outlines some of the recent successes of Rwanda’s higher education sector and highlights some significant challenges for quality, which continue to hinder Rwanda’s public universities. It provides an overview of higher education in Rwanda, and highlights significant challenges that impact on the quality of higher education in Rwanda. The article concludes by recommending that increased attention must be paid to what is or is not working in terms of student learning—particularly related to the unique cultural, social, and economic situation of Rwanda—to truly revitalize the higher education sector in Rwanda.