Batswana students wishing to enroll for science and technology courses will soon find more university openings following last week?s commitment by Howard University of America to help set up a science and technology university in Botswana.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Festinah Bakwena, and Howard University President Patrick Swygert, last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish the Botswana International University of Science and Technology.
Currently, only 7 percent of Botswana?s 1.6 million citizens have access to tertiary education. By the year 2016, Howard University and the government of Botswana plan to nearly triple that number increasing access to 20 percent.
Howard University will provide technical assistance in the development of a campus plan; development of undergraduate and graduate curricula in science, technology, the social sciences, humanities, business and economics; and recruitment, selection, hiring and development of an administration and a faculty for the institution, including the provision of graduate education, mainly at the Ph.D. level at Howard University for talented Botswana who are designated for future faculty positions.
Howard University President Patrick Swygert was quoted in a press statement as saying, ?Howard University is celebrating its 140th year of preparing and producing leaders for America and the global community; we are extremely proud to be a part of this partnership with the Republic of Botswana. We are committed to making the Botswana International University of Science and Technology a reality.?
According to the press statement issued by Howard University, the Botswana delegation during the signing ceremony expressed the urgency for capacity building and economic development in Botswana. ?When there are no more diamonds we will have our people,? said Bakwena. ?It is important as a developing country for us to invest in our human resources and there is no better way to do that but through education.?
Howard University is one of 48 U.S. private, Doctoral/Research-Extensive universities and comprises 12 schools and colleges. Founded in 1867, students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, a Truman Scholar, 13 Fulbright Scholars and nine Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D.s than any other university in the world.