The Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) is faced with not only severe accommodation shortages for both lecturers and students but may not be ready for the August 2013/2014 academic year.
There are also shortages of classrooms, laboratories and office accommodation as the University prepares for both the relocation to its new campus in Palapye and the opening of the next academic year this August. As a result, BIUST may not have many options but to slash student intake.
The University has confirmed that it is faced with such problems and promised to rise to the challenge.
“BIUST is having a challenge with available residential accommodation for both students and staff. However plans have been put in place to identify additional accommodation from the private sector in and around Palapye. Plans are also underway to develop additional classroom, laboratories and office accommodation on campus,” the Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Shakie Kebaswele has said in a written response to enquiries by the Sunday Standard.
According to him, recruitment process will continue until May 2013 when the University will close the recruitment exercise and prepare to communicate with those students who have been admitted. Prospective students who wish to enroll with the university may be fewer than the 270 who enrolled for the 2012/2013 academic year.
“The student intake may be reduced for 2013-14 if the additional facilities are not completed in time for the start of the academic year. Our current Enrolment Model is based upon an intake of 250 students per year in 10 academic programmes,” said Kebaswele.
The University expects the recruitment process to continue until May 2013 when the BIUST will close the recruitment exercise and prepare to communicate with those students who have been admitted.
According to Kebaswele the total establishment for the two BIUST colleges will be sixty-three lecturers consisting of deans, heads of department, senior lecturers/lecturers, teaching instructors and teaching assistants to be in position by August 2013.
“Out of this number, thirty-two of these academic staff have already been employed for the current 2012-13 academic year. BIUST is currently receiving applications and beginning interviews for the academic staff required for the 2013-14 academic year with the goal of having those employees in post by August 2013,” he said.
Kebaswele says that thirty-one additional teaching staff are required by August 2013 adding that the recruitment and interviews are underway with the posts anticipated to be filled by the start of the 2013-14 Academic year.
“When the next academic year begins, the current cohort of students will proceed to their second year programme. This will, therefore, mean that part of the next recruitment of academic staff will be assuming their duties by August 2013.”
The construction of the founding development is said to be at the commissioning stage. The University says the building structures have been completed and are nearly ready for occupancy and use. Teaching laboratory equipment is still being commissioned.
According to Kebaswele, the founding phase is nearing completion.