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Review delays tertiary education sponsorships

BABOKI KAYAWE
The MoESD is reviewing the tertiary education sponsorship PIC: KAGISO ONKATSWITSE
The Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) and its partners in higher education financing are reviewing the tertiary learning sponsorship process, to align training with market needs as well as budgetary needs.

As a result, advertisements asking students to apply for sponsorships for the current academic year have been delayed. Education ministry spokesperson, Silas Sehularo said the review, expected to be complete in two weeks, is in relation to the number and cost of training continuing students, the number and cost of training new students and also the programmes to be sponsored.

Moreover, it is meant to align the recommendations of the Sector Committees at Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) in terms of priority programmes that the market demands. He explained that the exercise is also done for continuous improvement of processes “which is a requirement for every process or system in operation”.

“In any system there will always be gaps and these should be constantly identified and closed. Currently we are in the process of aligning to the recommendations of the HRDC Sector Committees,” he said, in an emailed response.

“The prospective students and the public are assured that this exercise will be completed in time for this current year group to apply.

“There will be no delays expected as feedback will be

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given in time for the whole funding application process to start and complete. The Ministry has had consultative meetings with tertiary institutions including Botswana Association of Private Tertiary Education Providers about this process of review.”

However, Sehularo could not say what the cut-off point for government sponsorship would be this year, opting to say they would communicate that in due time. The cut-off has been at 36 points in recent years.

“The cut-off point will be communicated at the appropriate time. Note that it is also part of the on-going review,” he said.

The demand for higher education funding for continuing students is 27,519.  However, the demand for beginners would be determined at the point of application for the academic cycle, Sehularo explained.

He said the budgetary needs for both streams as well as externally placed learners was part of the process currently being reviewed.

For the current financial year, the Department of Tertiary Education Financing (DTEF) – which is mandated with running government sponsorships – has been awarded P2.1 billion just slightly under that of 2015-2016, which was P2.3 billion.



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