The Tertiary Education Council (TEC) says it will rid the market of ‘rogue’ institutions, which have breached the Tertiary Education Act by failing to offer diploma programmes.
TEC Director for Quality Assurance and Regulations, Felix O’mara, said that some of these institutions were found operating in Maun, Francistown and Gaborone. He said they had stopped offering diploma level programmes after would-be students had been warned and sensitised not to enrol with them.
Recently, the TEC reported two institutions, Damelin and Arthur Portland, to the police who found them guilty of operating contrary to the requirements of the law.
Dr O’mara said the two institutions were consequently charged.
Following that, Dr O’mara said TEC advised the institutions to close the programmes down and reimburse students enrolled in the programmes. Further, TEC advised the two institutions to seek registration with the council for authority to operate as tertiary institutions if they met the criteria for registration.
According to Dr O’mara, TEC ensures that franchise programmes are accredited in the country of origin and subjected to review and approval for relevance to both the Botswana and international market before they are offered here.
He said institutions that offer franchise programmes with partners in Botswana must together with TEC take responsibility for quality assurance of these programmes. The programmes must meet threshold standards before they are approved in Botswana.
British and other universities have long partnered with local institutions. For example, the Botswana Accountancy College has partnered the University of Derby; Botho College is in partnership with Sunderland University and Teesside University while ABM University College has partnered with Anglia Ruskin University.
Dr O’mara advised institutions applying for quality audits as required to set up infrastructure to help them produce self-study reports based on agreed criteria. These would relate to programme quality, student learning, student support services, research, teaching, and community engagement.
“The challenges in the quality of some offered programmes cause concern and our objective is to merge the institutions,” said Dr O’mara.
He said prior to the establishment of TEC, the education sector was fragmented and did not have standards.