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Botho University Participates in World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

Botho University took part in commemorations of the World Telecommunication & Information Society Day held in Thamaga on the 17th of 2016 under the theme, “ICT entrepreneurship for social impact.”

Botho University and other stakeholders within the ICT Sector such as Botswana Innovation Hub, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited, Ministry of Education and Skills Development, Botswana Fibre Networks, Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority,Mascom,Orange andBe-Mobile enjoyed an eventful day of learning, engaging and sharing on challenges, achievements and the future of ICT in Botswana.

Botho University setup a stall to highlight the ICT courses that the University offers which was visited by members of the Thamaga community as well as the dignitaries and other invited guests of the commemorations.

Botho University has shown its commitment to ICT through many initiatives, including the staging of Linkz, The Botho University Inter Campus ICT Challenge. Linkz is a competition which pits tertiary and secondary students from across the country in a battle of technological skill and is the only contest of its kind in Botswana. First staged in 2009 and initially open only to tertiary education institutions, the Linkz ICT Challenge eventually opened its doors to secondary schools in a bid to develop ICT skills at high school level and help students choose their career path within the ICT industry. It will take place again this year on the 16thof September.

Botho University will maintain its commitment to ICT educationin its broader goal of transforming the higher education landscape of Botswana.

 

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Botho staff engage in the upkgale hill busag challenge

Over a hundred hikers and trail enthusiasts from Botho University kick-started their weekend by partaking in the Annual BUSAG Up- Kgale Hill challenge on the 18th June 2016.

Divided into teams of three, the participants had to reach the peak and return to the starting point with the fastest team winning the challenge.

The challenge kicked off at 7.30am with team registration at Botho University. This challenge is one of several staff activities organized by the University to ensure a healthy lifestyle and encourage team-building.

The trek involved some challenges along the way, as teams took time to rest and catch their breath. This delayed the estimated challenge time, but in the end team Rhino scooped first position, Zebra second position and Cheetah third position.

 

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Teaching Excellence Talk on The Value of Student Engagement Through the Use of Educational Technology and its Role in Student Success.

On 9 April 2016, Botho University’s Teaching Excellence Department held the Teaching Excellence Talks at the Gaborone and Francistown campuses, under the theme, “The value of student engagement through the use of educational technology and its role in student success.” This theme was influenced by the rising influence of technology in education. Over the past few decades, student engagement has been recognized as a key criterion to promote student success irrespective of the mode of teaching delivery. Educational technology enables, amongst others, collaboration, helps to enhance content, empowers students and is capable of helping to facilitate effective feedback on student progress. The workshop, facilitated by Dolf Jordaan, the Deputy Director E-Learning and Media Development at the University of Pretoria (SA), focused on the practical application of the use of Blackboard Learning Management System to promote student engagement as well asthe use of social media and mobile devices. Mr Jordaan outlined that student engagement, as well as motivation and academic preparation, are the three main predictors for student success.

He further indicated that the current rise of technology provides a platform for an increase in the sphere of teaching and learning. Technology can also be utilised as a tool to promote student engagement. He emphasized that with the tools provided by ICT, particularly mobile technology, strides have been made with regards to bridging the gaps in the learning process, by providing feedback on the education they get, as well as collaborating with the Institution to improve student learning experience.It is our firm belief at TED that such platforms will go a long way in helping to improve the teaching and learning experience in Botho University.

 

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Botho Ryders Club secure sponsorship deals

The Botho University Rugby Ryders are now ready for battle at the Botswana Rugby Union League after obtaining sponsorships galore. The University’s Sports Division officially launched technical sponsorship from My Spar Botswana, Knight Frank, Simikit and FNB Botswana Foundation for the Rugby Ryders club on 22nd July 2016 at Gaborone Campus.

The sponsorship came after the BU Ryders had been struggling for some time to secure sponsorship for the team and, as a result, lost some players to other teams. The Coordinator of the Rugby club, Botho University and also the Secretary General of the BRU, Mr Ernest Mantsi, are hopeful that this shot in the arm will help lure new players to the team and retain the old ones.

My Spar Botswana sponsored the teams with a new kit prior to their encounter against BAC North in Francistown. Both the men and ladies teams were ecstatic to receive the kit in time for the BRU rugby league, where they have given an impressive performance.

 

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Botho university wins campus insight excellence award

Botho University won a Campus Insight AWARD after the Campus Management recognized Higher Education Institutions for Innovative and Strategic Use of Technology. The award is named: Excellence in Constituent Services Botho University in Gaborone, Botswana, prior to implementing Campus Management’s Student, Portal and CRM solutions, recognized the need to improve its processes for capturing data for applicants, processing the information, responding in a timely fashion and supporting appropriate access to student records. Following the successful implementation of Campus Management’s Campus Nexus suite, Botho completely eliminated its manual processes and improved accuracy, efficiency, and transparency throughout the institution. In addition, the University has since achieved a milestone towards its goal becoming paperless, successfully instituting 48 new functions, processes, and reports.

 

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Botho University Gaborone welcomes freshmen on campus

The first few days at university can be a daunting experience for most freshmen as the setup is completely different from that of secondary school. To make this a smooth transition for its freshmen, Botho University held a Welcome Day for all its freshmen on the 27th July 2016 at Otse Multipurpose Hall at the Gaborone Campus. Unable to hide their excitement at this life-defining moment, hundreds of students and their families had already assembled at the University's gates in the wee hours of the morning, ready to be ushered into what will be their home for the next four years or more.

The Student Welcome Day is a programme where freshmen are afforded the chance to get a taste of the experiences and opportunities awaiting them at the University. The freshmen also got a chance to connect with academic advisors, faculties, student organizations and other departments that will support them and their families as new members of the Botho community. Since academic performance is crucial for every student's progression, the Student Welcome Day also introduces freshmen to the academic resources available to them as they pursue their academic endeavours, engage them with campus history, introduce them to fellow students and connect them with the campus-wide resources that will support their health, sense of belonging and well-being during their journey as students. Also available were the industry partners of the University, who came to share their roles in ensuring that the students enjoy their stay at Botho University. These included FNB Botswana and the Department of Tertiary Education Financing (DTEF). The Vice Chancellor of Botho University, Mrs. Sheela Raja Ram, Deans and Departmental representatives also addressed and welcomed the new students.

 

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Gaborone campus hosts its annual fair

The Student and Alumni Affairs Department at the Gaborone campus held its annual career fair for students and alumni on the 18th of August, 2016, under the theme 'Building Linkages to Break Barriers to Entrepreneurship'. At a time when the unemployment of graduates has turned into a global concern, the 2016 Career Fair aimed to empower both the current students and graduates and educate them about starting and operating a business. Entrepreneurship is seen as the answer to employment creation. The event, which was well attended by youth ready to learn the ins and outs of starting and operating a business, provided an opportunity to interact and learn about career prospects, and also learn more about entrepreneurship. The companies that attended the fair included some of the youth citizen-owned companies such as Vantage Properties, Bula Buka and Bee Sure Insurance.

The keynote speaker for the event, Vice President of the Women in Business Association (WIBA) Mrs. Nametso Ntsosa-Carr, had the audience eating out of her hand as she let them in on her life story, from her humble beginnings as an employee to eventually realising that she was cut out for the business world. She encouraged the youth, especially ladies, to go into business and make hay while the sun shines by taking advantage of different government initiatives aimed at citizen economic empowerment. She urged them to see entrepreneurship as a fulltime commitment rather than something that should be done on the side, as doing it part time reduces the chances of success.

A Botho University alumnus, Mr. Nthusang Tayopa, was brought in as a motivator, to give testimony that he was able to beat the odds and start a successful construction company. He therefore implored the attendees to take serious stock of their lives and go into the business world and take chances while they still can. Ms. Mildred Rutang, the young woman at the helm of Nicopolis Apartments who got her start-up capital from CEDA, was given a chance to impart her knowledge and the experiences she faces as a woman in the business world. She urged all not to give up on their dreams and to use the opportunities available to them.

In closing, the Dean of Office of Students, Research and Outreach, Dr. Bathsheba Mbongwe, thanked those who came forward to impart knowledge to students and the university's alumni. She urged the attendees to make use of platforms such as the career fair to ask relevant questions to help them on their journey of starting businesses. Other activities of the day included parallel presentations from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture on the initiatives they have available for the youth and First National Bank on their graduate program and what it entails.

 

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Botho University scholarship successfully launched

While the demand for more qualified professionals continues to grow, the supply can't keep up as the Education sector struggles to educate more Batswana with less funding. Botho University realized the need to offer a scholarship to students who qualify for a Degree but do not qualify for government sponsorship.

On Friday, 19th August 2016, Botho University launched a scholarship which would afford prospective students the chance to pursue their studies with the University. The successful launch was officiated by the Minister of Education and Skills Development, Honourable Unity Dow, and attended by government officials including Honourable Ndaba Gaolatlhe, Gaborone Bonnington South MP, as well as officials from BQA and the media.

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he initiative seeks to offer students opportunities to pursue Botho University programmes that will shape their future careers. The Scholarship is a response to the government call on cost sharing and will cover up to 50% of tuition for Botswana nationals who meet the admissions criteria. The scholarship award is based on a means test assessed by a selected committee consisting of the University management.

The scholarship covers tuition fees for the full length of the programme and is effective beginning from the July 2016 semester.

 

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International students orientation day

On the 31st of August 2016, the International Development Department, under the Office of External Relations, held an International Students' Orientation Ceremony. The event was attended by 19 new international students, including exchange students from the University of Venda, South Africa. Botho University currently has an international student population of around 85.

The purpose of this orientation was the inception and integration of newly admitted first-year students and students on exchange programmes into the academic, cultural, and social climate of Botho University and Botswana.

The event served as an opportunity and platform for the newcomers to gain insights into the elements of the university, as well as understand the basic facts about the country. It sensitized them to the services available to them during their stay here in Botswana, the values and functions of the community, and the central objective of the university as an academic enterprise. It also helped them to learn about matters relating to health, legal concerns, housing, campus activities, and other aspects of life while studying in Botswana.

The dignitaries from key stakeholders who attended the event were Mr. King Tshebo of the Botswana Police (Station Commander – Old Naledi), Mr. Kabo Motswiri from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Mr. Judika Tladi, First Secretary from the South African High Commission, Ms. Annah Motswewabeng from the Ministry of Health (Head Matron – Old Naledi Clinic) and Mr. Shagwa of Momentum Insurance.

In his welcome address, Mr. Golekanye Setume, Dean of the Office of External Relations, stressed the importance Botho University attaches to the goals stipulated in its Internationalisation Policy on nurturing and evolving a global professional character in students during the period of their study at the University.

Station Commander Mr. King Tshebo and Head Matron Ms. Motswewabeng spoke to the students about issues that are of concern to them, regarding legal and health matters respectively, during their stay in Botswana. They also encouraged the student cohort to focus on the primary objective and aim of student life while cherishing the values of self-discipline and respect.

 

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Francistown campus hosted Rio 2016 Botswana Olympic team

The Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) arranged for the Rio 2016 Botswana Olympics Team to embark on a tour of the country upon their arrival from the just ended Olympic Games in Brazil. Botho University's Francistown Campus was honoured to be chosen as one of the places to be visited by Team Botswana on August 30th 2016.

A total of twelve athletes and their coaches arrived on campus for a brief meet-and-greet session, during which the team was introduced to the Botho University community. They had the opportunity to interact with students and take pictures before their departure. Team Botswana was led by star athlete Nijel Amos and included, amongst others, Baboloki Thebe, Karabo Sibanda and Isaac Makwala; all 400m runners.

The event was successful and well-attended, as over 200 students came to meet Team Botswana. The students were delighted to meet their heroes in person. BNSC were also pleased that Botho University gave Team Botswana the chance to mingle with their fans and well-wishers.