Bostwana: Private tertiary institutions and new public university offer greater access to higher education

November 4, 2014
  • AACRAO Connect
  • International Admissions and Credential Evaluation

By Ann M. Koenig, AACRAO International Education Services

Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT), a Malaysia-based higher education network with institutions in several countries, has become the first fully-licensed tertiary education provider in Botswana, after operating under an interim authorization for several years. The government of Botswana is looking to private tertiary providers to help increase access to higher education, as publicly-funded institutions cannot handle the demand. This is part of an overall strategy of human resource development adopted in 2009 to support the diversification of the country’s economy, which has been based mainly on the diamond and mineral industry and tourism. Limkokwing’s presence in the region also includes Limkokwing University Lesotho and Limkokwing University Swaziland.

The 2014 graduating class of LUCT numbered over 900 students from a variety of disciplines, including international business and hospitality management, information technology, design innovation, communications and creative media and technology, and architecture.

Botswana also has a new public university, the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), for which plans were begun in 2004. Amidst controversies surrounding location and staffing issues, and delays in construction, BIUST finally began teaching in August of 2012 using the facilities of a technical college that is to become a part of BIUST, with about 125 students in four programs. BIUST finally moved to its new campus in Palapye, about 25 miles outside of the capital city of Gabarone, in July of this year, with close to 400 students. Its goal is to triple that number in the near future.

The Tertiary Education Council (TEC) oversees all tertiary education in Botswana. Its Web site includes lists of “registered” institutions, both public and private. (Please note that the list is not dated; it does not yet reflect the new status of LUCT and does not include BIUST.) “Registration” denotes that an institution has been “accredited” according to the TEC’s quality assurance process, unless the notation “Letter of Interim Authority” appears after the institution’s name, which signifies that the institution has been approved as a tertiary education provider but the quality assurance review is still in process. About a dozen private higher education institutions in Botswana are currently operating with interim licenses. LUCT is the only private provider to have been fully registered thus far.

In the TEC’s institution lists, detailed information about each institution can be accessed by clicking on the “Read More” link in the right column next to each institution listing. This leads to a page where an institutional profile sheet in pdf can be downloaded.

Additional information on the educational system of Botswana can be found in resources such as the Botswana online country profile in AACRAO EDGE and the Guide to Higher Education in Africa, currently in its Sixth Edition (2013), jointly published by the  Association of African Universities, the International Association of Universities and UNESCO.