Thursday, July 18, 2024

BIUST, New Era, BUAN rebuke BQA

Following a July 12th statement issued by the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) cautioning prospective students not to enrol in specific engineering programs offered at the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN), and New Era College of Art, Science and Technology, rumours are flying about who is really in charge.

BQA which is mandated with maintaining the National Credit and Qualifications Framework (NCQF) issued a statement on July 12th indicating that: “BQA advises prospective students that the authority issued an intention to revoke the following Learning Programmes on 28 June 2023. Therefore, prospective students are informed not to enroll in these learning programmes.”

The statement goes on to list ten programmes that are offered by the three institutions which students are discouraged from enrolling.

However, a day later, on July 13th, BIUST responded with its own statement stating that the said programmes; Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Civil and Environmental Engineering and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Material & Metallurgical Engineering; are “fully recognised by BQA following the transition arrangements from Tertiary Education Council (TEC) to BQA”.

Furthermore, the BIUST statement also indicates that contrary to popular belief “BQA issued an accreditation letter of the two Learning Programmes on 1st March, 2023, stating the expiry date as 23rd February 2027. At the time these learning programmes were accredited, BQA did not indicate the requirement for endorsement of the programmes by the Engineering Registration Board (ERB).”

BIUST urged the public to “ignore that inaccurate public notice about BIUST,” adding that BQA issued a “dire misleading statement to the public”.

New Era College of Art, Science and Technology, on the other hand, published a nearly identical statement in which it stated that “it is in possession of all accreditation documentation including the certificates issued by Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) for the listed Engineering learning programmes at New Era College”. BQA stated in its statement that six of New Era’s engineering programmes were not BQA accredited.

Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) also issued a statement stating that all BUAN learning programmes “are fully recognised by the BQA following the transition arrangements from Tertiary Education Council (TEC to BQA,” adding that “The Public Notice is unfortunate, inaccurate and regrettable, as it misleads the public and prospective students.”

As events unfold, some people are beginning to ask whether BQA is succeeding in its apparent efforts to expand education at all levels in order to improve educational quality.

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