The Ministry of Education has stuck to its original budget in sponsoring new students at the University of Botswana and does not need any additional funds for this exercise.
Speaking to Mmegi yesterday, the permanent secretary in the ministry Ruth Maphorisa, said they had to put their heads together and come up with a plan to source funds for new students.
"We utilised the savings from last year that amounted to P350 million to sponsor new students. Government also took a decision that all civil servants that were supposed to go for further studies abroad would not go so that the money from all the different ministries that was supposed to sponsor them be used to sponsor new students," she said adding that the decision did not affect the civil servants
Maphorisa said while certain programmes were earmarked for sponsorship, the priority list was not released until after the students had already made their applications.
"So everyone applied whichever programme they wanted and therefore the high quotas that we had wanted in certain programmes was low while those that we were not interested in were very high. So we re-arranged the quotas to meet the capacity that we had wanted to sponsor," Maphorisa explained.
The Ministry has set a target of 11,886 students for sponsorship at both public and private institutions this academic season.