Applying for equivalence certificate

What is the equivalence certificate?

The equivalence certificate is an official document, issued by the Rwanda Education Board (REB) or Workforce Development Authority (WDA), that presents the Rwandan equivalent of grades obtained in an international exam. It also proves that the equated qualification meets the standards of the Rwanda education system.

Why apply for the equivalence certificate?

The Higher Education Council (HEC) of Rwanda requires any one, intending to pursue tertiary education in Rwanda, to obtain the equivalence certificate if they hold an Advanced Level secondary school certificate not issued by REB or WDA.


Thus, prospective ALU students with such secondary school certificates must apply, obtain and upload their equivalence certificate in their Post Application Portal (PAP) to receive an unconditional admission offer and be eligible to enroll, provided that they have met other requirements for unconditional admission.

What is needed to apply for the equivalence certificate?

Please refer to the specific requirements for Advanced Level equivalence certificate application depending on the country/region in which you completed your secondary education. All the documents, except the passport/national ID card, must be notarized.


What is notarization and why notarize?

To notarize a document means to obtain an official confirmation that the presented copy of the original document is valid. You need to notarize all your equivalence application documents except your passport/identity document. Neither REB/WDA nor ALU will keep your original documents; thus, a need to have notarized copies of your originals.


Who can and where to notarize your documents?

Any certified notary from your country is eligible to notarize your documents. Please reach out to your school/Ministry of Education or the notary board in your country for reference of where you can find the notary in your country.


Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

If you have any question related to the equivalence process, please, refer to the frequently asked questions. You may contact the Admissions Team only if your question has been neither answered on your Post Application Portal nor the FAQ section.


Q1. Can I reserve my place in the program even if I don't have the equivalence certificate?


Yes, you can reserve your place in the programme without the equivalence certificate. However, please, note that the equivalence certificate is a requirement to be officially matriculated into programmes of study at ALU


Q2. Will I have my reservation fee returned in case my equivalence certificate is unsuccessful?


Please note that place reservation fees are non-refundable. However, in certain circumstances, that include visa application denial and/or equivalence rejection among others, exceptions will be made as long as required processes for the prior mentioned items were followed in a correct and timely manner. As such, please contact the Admissions Team < > to receive support and discuss the return of the place reservation fee.


Q3. I applied for my equivalence certificate, but I have not yet received it so far. I tried to contact Irembo and they told me that they have some technical issues on their system. Will this affect me in any way?


If Irembo is experiencing technical issues, please, contact Irembo customer service number - found on the contacts section of the platform - and inquire when you can resume your application. You will need an equivalence certificate to receive an unconditional admission offer and be eligible to enrol. Thus, try to start your equivalence application early in the post-admission process to have time to mitigate technical issues.


Q4. My equivalence certificate has not yet been approved and I applied for it over a month ago?

It should REB take about 7 to 10 working days to approve of the equivalence certificate. If this time has passed and you have not yet received it, please find your application following steps demonstrated in this video to confirm the reason and action steps required to get it.


Q5. I received my equivalence certificate, but my status is still conditionally admitted. What should I do?


Upon the receipt of the equivalence certificate, please, upload it in the Post Application Portal (under the equivalence section). The Admissions Team will receive your equivalence, update your admissions status, and allow you to access your unconditional admissions offer letter provided that you have met all other enrollment conditions.


Q6. Can I apply for the equivalence certificate when I am on campus as I cannot pay the fee?


You need to apply for the equivalence certificate before reaching the campus as it is required for you to receive an unconditional offer of admission. You can pay with Visa/Mastercard or MTN Mobile Money (if possible). The end of this video demonstrates how to make electronic payments.


 If you are a scholarship student and are struggling to make the equivalence application payments, please, reach out to Financial Aid for payment support by filling this google form. Then, email a written request to <> with the subject “Request for Equivalence Certificate Payment Support”. The Financial Aid office will then proceed with payments and inform you when finalized. 


Q7. I have not gotten my official/final results yet. Can I use my statement of results for the equivalence certificate application?


You can use an online/statement of results to apply for the equivalence certificate only if the examination board (e.g: UNEB, WAEC) in the country of your study has not yet issued your final/official certificate. REB will cross-check to confirm if your certificate has not been issued indeed.


Q8. I am a Rwandan national, but my portal says I need the equivalence certificate. What does it mean?


You still need to submit an equivalence certificate, if you are a Rwandan national holding a secondary school certificate not issued by REB or WDA. If this is not the case, please email the African Leadership Admissions <> and let us know so we can exempt you from submitting this certificate.


Q9. While completing the application for the equivalence certificate, there was a breakdown. Do I have to restart my application?


If the breakdown happens while making the initial application of your equivalence certificate, you will most likely start the application over again. However, if it happens while making edits on an existing application, you do not need to create a new application. Instead, find your application again using your Application Number/Bill ID and start making the edits over again.


Q10. I applied for the equivalence certificate but did not get any application confirmation yet. What should I do?


Irembo sends each applicant an automated email confirming the receipt of the equivalence certificate application, and the same applies to the subsequent actions taken through Irembo. Thus, it is crucial to add correct contact information during the application for this certificate as you will not have the opportunity to change these details after submitting the application. However, if you have already submitted wrong contact information, you can use your Application Number/Bill ID to find your application in the Irembo portal and review the current status. Refer to this video on how to find your application and review its current status.


Q11. I made a mistake in my application. How can I correct this mistake?


If you made an error that affects your application, REB would give you editing access to your application in the Irembo portal so you can edit and fix the error before the approval. This video demonstrates how to find your application, error made, and action required to fix the error.


Q12. I do not understand what document I need to submit as O-Level or A Level as I have a baccalaureate.

Always refer to these specific requirements (applicable to your country/region) for detailed information of what you need to apply for the equivalence certificate successfully.


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