Minister urges UB to make own money

University of Botswana.PIC.KENNEDY RAMOKONE
University of Botswana.PIC.KENNEDY RAMOKONE

In the midst of the ongoing tension between the University of Botswana and its staff, the Minister of Education and Skills Development Dr Douglas Letsholathebe has said the University of Botswana, just like other transformative universities across the world, is expected to reduce its reliance on government subvention by strengthening its other streams of revenue, particularly research and innovation.

Letsholathebe told Parliament on Friday that apart from the subvention the university gets from government, it also gets revenue from fees still paid by government. The Minister shared that the fees charged by the university have increased from P372,457,619.35 in 2018/2019 to P664,219,399.00 in 2021/2022 corresponding with the increase in student enrollment from about 11,000 to 16,000, “This heavy reliance on government is not sustainable. The University must intensify its research efforts in order to generate its own revenue. It can no longer be business as usual. In her Budget Speech of February 6, 2023, the Minister of Finance Peggy Serame clearly stated that "as part of cost containment measures, government will continue to review subventions and grants to State-Owned Enterprises and Local Authorities with a view to reducing the allocations to the extent possible".

“The University has to live up to this reality. I believe that with their new strategy they can make it. This shows we have to restrategise. Like any other organisation that benefits from annual government subventions, the University of Botswana is always expected to accommodate any salaries adjustments within its approved subvention ceiling and income from other sources. However, the approved personnel budget for each year from 2018-2023 covered all salary costs excluding inflationary adjustments. The reason being that a provision for salaries adjustment would exceed both the subvention ceiling, as well as any other income the University generates from other income streams.

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