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Botswana

Higher Education

The University of Botswana is located in Gaberone. Until 1975 the University College of Botswana was part of the Regional University of Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland. When Lesotho dropped out, Botswana and Swaziland developed as a joint university until 1982 when collective planning ceased and the two institutions separated. The University of Botswana admits approximately 3,000 new students annually. All those receiving first and second class in their final senior secondary examinations are eligible to be admitted. Enrollment for the 1999-2000 academic year was 9,500 students.

By act of Botswana's Parliament, the university was established as a separate corporation. The institution is in complete control of its funds and can govern itself without direct intervention from the State. The University of Botswana directly controls its staff salaries, promotions, employment, and staff expulsion. It can decide student policy and programs. The university's budget is primarily financed by a government endowment and through government scholarships that pay full fees and personal allowances to all secondary school graduates who qualify academically. In 1990-1991 government subvention provided 74 percent of the university's revenue.

The University of Botswana offers a broad range of educational programs. Most are on the undergraduate level. Students can earn certificates for professions and career studies or baccalaureate degrees in accounting and business studies, engineering, law, library science, nursing, social work, and most of the basic arts and sciences areas. Baccalaureate degrees are also offered in home economics, agricultural science, and engineering and technology. Graduate degrees at the master's level are offered in education, business administration, public administration, and in arts and sciences.

In 1996 Botswana Polytechnic was incorporated into the University of Botswana as the Faculty of Engineering and Technology. Various ministries cooperate with the university to support the technical programs. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labor and Home Affairs share the responsibility of oversee the provision of craft training.

Non-university vocational training is provided at government Vocational Training Centers (VTCs). Enrollment is open to Botswana's employed and unemployed citizens. These centers are strategically located in development areas, which have diversified major industrial and commercial infrastructures. VTCs offer short courses during the day, evening, and weekends for full-time trainees and apprentices. Courses include mechanical, automotive, textile, computing, construction, electrical, commercial trades, and hotel/catering. The VTCs emphasize the importance of practical training and experience. The programs require apprentices to spend three months at a VTC and nine months at job training supervised by the Ministry of Labor and Home Affairs.

Aided by the British Broadcasting Corporation, Botswana's national television channel opened in the summer of 2000; however, much of the country will have access only to radio for some time because it is expensive to run lines to sparsely populated remote areas. Botswana Telecommunications Authority provides Intersawana, radio-based Internet connectivity throughout Botswana and the University of Botswana. The service is funded by the United States through the Education Democracy and Development Initiative, which supports delivering teaching and learning programs through various communication technologies including distance learning. Secretary of State Madeline Albright signed the agreement on behalf of President Clinton in December 2000 at the University of Botswana.


Additional topics

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceBotswana - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education