Local tertiary education providers rescue the economy

The growth of the local tertiary education sector has saved government more than P300 million, which, was previously injected annually towards educating Batswana abroad.

 

Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) Acting chief executive officer, Patrick Molutsi said this at the launch of BA ISAGO University yesterday.  HDRC has been charged with developing the human resource capital for the country’s economy.
Formerly BA ISAGO University College, the institution was this month given the red light to operate as a university by the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA).
Molutsi said the transition brings to nine the total number of local universities, namely Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Botswana, Botswana International University of Science and Technology, Botswana Accountancy College, Botho University and Limkokwing University.  Molutsi said though an exorbitant price was paid to foreign universities, some programmes they offered left a lot to be desired.
“Some of the academic offerings were of very low standards,” he said. 
The director of the Department of Tertiary Education Finance Eugene Moyo concurred with Molutsi on the cost saving benefits that BA ISAGO university and others have brought.  Still at the same event, Moyo said that it cost P35,000 to educate one tertiary student locally, relative to P400,000, especially in Australian institutions. 
He also applauded BA ISAGO’s resilience and approach to higher learning as it contributes to achieving government’s plans to reduce the number of higher learners placed externally.  “Two years ago, there were 15,000 Batswana students abroad, and 11,000 were in South Africa. 
“Today there are only 888 learners left outside,” he said.  Furthermore, the increase of homegrown higher education providers has seen the increase of locally placed learners from 28,000 eight years back to 48,000 to date.  Molutsi encouraged BA ISAGO to keep up the momentum and educate for modern needs as opposed to traditional universities. 
Though these institutions have achieved some milestone changes, he  suggested that programmes needed to transform towards a developmental approach.  Molutsi hailed BA ISAGO University, which applied for this status back in April 2012, for offering market relevant programmes.  He said relative to traditional universities, modern day institutions’ offerings were appropriate to the labour market.   BA ISAGO has a total student population of 3,500 and a very minute international student body representation of only 40.  According to BQA acting director, quality assurance Phetolo Modiega, the minimum student population required to achieve university status is 2,500.  Authorities at the institution said they were currently faced with challenges of accommodation.  
They pointed out that once that is resolved they intend to vigorously attract students across the region, and internationally.  Seventy-nine (79%) of the student community is on government sponsorship, while the balance is either self or privately funded, explained Odirile Gabasiane, BA ISAGO University Managing Director. 
He added that the University was working towards a funding formula that would exalt private/ self sponsorship to 40 percent in the next five years, given the foreseen lack of sustainability in government tertiary education financing.  
The major turning point in the evolution and development of private tertiary education in Botswana, he said occurred in 2006 when government started sponsoring students in private institutions.  “BA ISAGO was among the first few private institutions which were accredited to offer diplomas and degrees,” he said. 
“The College also embarked on a rigorous programme to develop relevant qualifications at not only undergraduate, but also postgraduate programmes.  “All the 54 programmes offered have a direct bearing on the human capital development of Botswana,” Gabasiane said.  He added that the programmes’ relevance and appropriateness were demonstrated by immediate absorption of its students in the labour market. 
The University has four faculties, which is part of the minimum requirements to achieve university status, explained Modiega.  
The faculties are Education, Built Environment, Arts and Sciences, Commerce and Para-Legal Studies. She further said a good governance structure, relevant academic staff composition, as well as infrastructural development were critical considerations in granting this status.  Modiega further elaborated that at the moment the institution has been given an interim letter, which is subject to review in two years.  During this period, the institution is allowed to grow and meet some of the withstanding requirements. Failure to meet the requirements, the university labelling will be revoked, she added.

Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) Acting chief executive officer, Patrick Molutsi said this at the launch of BA ISAGO University yesterday.  HDRC has been charged with developing the human resource capital for the country’s economy.Formerly BA ISAGO University College, the institution was this month given the red light to operate as a university by the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA).

Molutsi said the transition brings to nine the total number of local universities, namely Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Botswana, Botswana International University of Science and Technology, Botswana Accountancy College, Botho University and Limkokwing University.  


Molutsi said though an exorbitant price was paid to foreign universities, some programmes they offered left a lot to be desired.“Some of the academic offerings were of very low standards,” he said. The director of the Department of Tertiary Education Finance Eugene Moyo concurred with Molutsi on the cost saving benefits that BA ISAGO university and others have brought.  Still at the same event, Moyo said that it cost P35,000 to educate one tertiary student locally, relative to P400,000, especially in Australian institutions. He also applauded BA ISAGO’s resilience and approach to higher learning as it contributes to achieving government’s plans to reduce the number of higher learners placed externally.

“Two years ago, there were 15,000 Batswana students abroad, and 11,000 were in South Africa. “Today there are only 888 learners left outside,” he said.  Furthermore, the increase of homegrown higher education providers has seen the increase of locally placed learners from 28,000 eight years back to 48,000 to date.  

Molutsi encouraged BA ISAGO to keep up the momentum and educate for modern needs as opposed to traditional universities. Though these institutions have achieved some milestone changes, he  suggested that programmes needed to transform towards a developmental approach.  

Molutsi hailed BA ISAGO University, which applied for this status back in April 2012, for offering market relevant programmes.  He said relative to traditional universities, modern day institutions’ offerings were appropriate to the labour market.   BA ISAGO has a total student population of 3,500 and a very minute international student body representation of only 40.  

According to BQA acting director, quality assurance Phetolo Modiega, the minimum student population required to achieve university status is 2,500.  Authorities at the institution said they were currently faced with challenges of accommodation.  They pointed out that once that is resolved they intend to vigorously attract students across the region, and internationally.  Seventy-nine (79%) of the student community is on government sponsorship, while the balance is either self or privately funded, explained Odirile Gabasiane, BA ISAGO University Managing Director. 

He added that the University was working towards a funding formula that would exalt private/ self sponsorship to 40 percent in the next five years, given the foreseen lack of sustainability in government tertiary education financing.  

The major turning point in the evolution and development of private tertiary education in Botswana, he said occurred in 2006 when government started sponsoring students in private institutions.  “BA ISAGO was among the first few private institutions which were accredited to offer diplomas and degrees,” he said. 

“The College also embarked on a rigorous programme to develop relevant qualifications at not only undergraduate, but also postgraduate programmes.  “All the 54 programmes offered have a direct bearing on the human capital development of Botswana,” Gabasiane said.  He added that the programmes’ relevance and appropriateness were demonstrated by immediate absorption of its students in the labour market. The University has four faculties, which is part of the minimum requirements to achieve university status, explained Modiega.  

The faculties are Education, Built Environment, Arts and Sciences, Commerce and Para-Legal Studies. She further said a good governance structure, relevant academic staff composition, as well as infrastructural development were critical considerations in granting this status.  

Modiega further elaborated that at the moment the institution has been given an interim letter, which is subject to review in two years.  During this period, the institution is allowed to grow and meet some of the withstanding requirements. Failure to meet the requirements, the university labelling will be revoked, she added.

 

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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