Friday, September 25, 2020

Inadequate funding, bane of higher education ÔÇô BIUST VC

The Vice Chancellor of the Botswana International University for Science and Technology (BIUST), Professor Otlogetswe Totolo has identified inadequate funding as the main problem confronting the country’s second biggest state owned university.

Totolo says in order for higher education in country to be successful, there is need for government to properly fund universities to make them globally competitive.

Amongst other things, Professor Totolo says BIUST is currently going through challenge which entails difficulties in attracting and retaining high caliber staff both academic and administrative and students as well as inadequate teaching facilities.

As part of the National Development Plan 11 (NDP11), the Palapye science and technology university is said to be in need of a total of P764 million for some of its infrastructure developments.

BIUST intends to build a Faculty of Sciences & Faculty of Engineering & Technology ÔÇô estimated to cost P571 million as well as a library (P97 million).

Another infrastructure on the pipe line include a student center at P26million as well as a refectory (P20 million) and Data Centre (P50 million).

Professor Totolo said there is an inadequacy of research facilities such as research laboratories and research equipment and also lack of adequate academic support facilities such as a modern library, IT infrastructure, and associated services. He stated that the campus is also challenged by having inadequate funding for research support.

“To develop high quality research and innovation that can be transformed into tangible applications and products and provide research services and facilities that can support the needs of industry and society,” he said.

He stated that to establish research groups and focal areas, clusters, platforms, and networks in priority areas as defined by the University Research and Innovation Strategy which are aligned to local, national, regional and international needs and demands.

He spoke of the importance to deepen the integration of student research both undergraduate and post graduate into the academic curriculum and increase postgraduate research output.

Part of the ongoing research at BIUST for 2017/18 include mineral resource beneficiation for coal, copper, nickel, iron and diamonds and also production of energy vectors by chemical processing such as syngas, biogas, methanol, gasoline-coal to fuel processes.

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