A professor at South Africa’s University of North-West has urged the University of Botswana (UB) to expand its research and development if it is to live up to the billing of a research-intensive university by 2021.
Professor Mogege Mosimege, the University of North-West’s Deputy Chancellor for Academic Affairs, made the call at the annual UB research awards.
He said research intensive universities are those committed to creating and disseminating knowledge in different fields with a strong foundation of research at the highest level.
The professor observed that such institutions nurture and support the highest quality of research and scholarships and facilitate development of research in selected areas of strength. They also provide adequate administrative and technical support staff members and enable them to maximize time for research as well as provide internal funding for research.
“I’m sure the University of Botswana has identified strengths where they can focus their attention,” he said.
The UB’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Professor Frank Youngman, opened the proceedings with an assessment of the progress of the research strategy launched in 2007.
“It is time we begin to measure progress by using the research to focus on initiatives that are specified in the strategy development,” said Professor Youngman.
The occasion also witnessed the launch of two tools essential for efficiency and assessment in research ÔÇô the University of Botswana Research, Innovation and Scholarship Archive (UNISA) and the Research Management System (RMS).
UNISA provides an archive, which will act as a key mechanism for storing, managing and processing both published and unpublished research information and making it widely accessible to support teaching, learning and research. Among other things, it increases the UB’s visibility, status and public value in line with its strategic goals.
RMS on the other hand enables the university to electronically monitor both internally and externally funded projects. That way, information on the research conducted at UB can be tracked easily and made available on the web globally.
The office responsible for these tools is working hand in hand with the UB IT Department and the library in setting up these instruments.
“When they are fully in operation, the university will experience change, not only in the management of research but also in its academic culture,” said Professor Youngman.
Meanwhile, the Researcher of the Year award for 2010 has gone to Professor Rodreck Mupedzwa, Head of Social Sciences.
Other lecturers who received staff awards were The Telegraph columnist and Google translator, Dr Thlapelo Otlogetse, Dr Susan Keitumetse, Professor Musa Dube, Professor Richard Tabulawa, and Dr Angelina Totolo.
The special internal distinguished recognitions went to Professor Keshav Sharma, who was appointed to the Chancellor’s Chair on 30th June 2009 and Professor Olukinle Iyanda, who joined the faculty of business in August 2000, as its first full professor.