The decline and fall of higher education in Botswana: Quality assurance authorities complicit (Part II)

UB library
UB library

Quality assurance agencies should place the interests of students in tertiary institutions and those that are still coming front and centre of what they do. In this second and last installment of a two-part series, TITUS MBUYA* argues that so long as there are no consequences for failure to comply with the standards set by regulatory agencies, unscrupulous education and training providers will continue to cheat the system at the expense of the future of students while they laugh all the way to the bank.

The challenge for Botswana over the last 17 or so years has been how to reconcile the rapid increase in the number of students accessing tertiary education with good quality education which is globally competitive and nationally relevant. This is something that higher education authorities elsewhere in the world are also grappling with because the general trend in many countries has been that when there is a rapid growth in the number of students in higher education the quality of higher education drops substantially.

With the rapid increase in the number of eligible students graduating from secondary school, the demand for institutions of higher learning increased, and hence, private tertiary institutions proliferated. Again, this was a continental phenomenon not only unique to Botswana. In some countries, like Kenya, it happened much earlier than here. By the 1980s seven new universities in Kenya were added to the already existing three, which had been there since independence in the 1960s. Since there were no robust mechanisms in place to regulate higher education institutions the quality of education in many countries suffered. So, the growing diversity of private institutions, in particular, raised the issue of standards.

Editor's Comment
Bravo police for prompt action

It is also hurting that whilst we all know that the Botswana Police Service (BPS) is charged functionally with the duties to investigate all forms of crime, some locals have resorted to taking the law into their own hands. It is very wrong to do that. There is also a possibility that one may wrongfully take the life of a person in the process, unless it is a justifiable case of self-defence. Recently, in the city of Francistown, some locals found...

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