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Lesotho Institute of Accountants (LIA) and Botho University (BU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cement a partnership on the training of Lesotho Professional Accounting Programmes. Under this agreement Botho University shall provide tuition for Lesotho Professional Accounting Programme (LePAP), a professional accountancy programme developed by LIA while LIA shall be responsible for the management of examinations for the same programme.
The two institutions, both having education and training mandates; one for the determination of competencies for education and training of aspiring accountants and one for provision of tuition for higher education sub sector, have decided to forge closer relations as partners.
The signing of the MOU was held at a cocktail event at AVANI Lesotho on Tuesday 13th November 2018, attended by stakeholders known to both LIA and Botho University in the public and private sector. The relationship between LIA and BU began early this year when the LIA approached Botho University for a partnership on the training of LePAP, which the university welcomed with open arms. LIA chose Botho University because the institution already has successful professional accounting programmes that are run in Botswana and are recognized by global professional accountancy bodies, which made Maseru Campus an obvious choice to train the next calibre of professional accountants.
The training of the first cohort of students under this partnership began this academic year (2018/2019) with forty one students enrolled to the fully sponsored LePAP programme. The end goal of this programme is to graduate a fully-fledged, well recognized, industry relevant and professional Chartered Accountants.
This collaboration will go a long way in ensuring quality provision of LePAP thus increasing the number of competent accountants in the country.
KHOTSO! PULA! NALA!
The Botho University Entrepreneurship Development Unit, under the Student and Alumni Affairs Department, hosted the third annual eLab ideas pitching platform on the 12th of November 2018, where interested students and alumni presented their business ideas and the best considered to be part of the third cohort of the eLab residents.
The e-Lab is an initiative that aims to help the Botho University students and alumni identify practical applications to current issues, problems, and needs. It is also where students across the curricular come together to share ideas, access resources, and come up with innovative approaches to problem solving. The e-Lab includes activities a speaker series with alumni entrepreneurs and other members of our entrepreneurship community, training workshops focused on relevant skills, and field trips, where necessary, to connect with the broader startup community across Botswana. In addition, it identifies mentors and incubates, connects and supports outstanding student-entrepreneurs and facilitates their success beyond Botho University, into the community. This is done through activities or opportunities like providing office space and secretarial services, hosting pep talks with real entrepreneurs, mentorship sessions and experiential training.
In her opening remarks, Aravinda Ram, DPVC—Technology and Employability welcomed the judges, speakers and attendees to the event and gave an overview on the eLab and what the lab hopes to achieve. The guest speakers on the day were Mr. Base Sebonego, who is the founder and CEO at Mosele Legal Services and Ms. Jennifer Fuller the founder and Managing Director of Fullertimes Int and Family Gems BW who gave pep talks on entrepreneurship in general and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. The speakers also gave advice to the aspiring entrepreneurs on the importance of thorough introspection before starting the entrepreneurship journey, to verify their passion and whether they are really cut out to be in that space.
Ten ideas were presented on the day: an online class on coding, Aquarium Restaurant, Road Accident Alert App, Simple Shoe Care, Locally manufactured toothpicks, Uber for laundry, Automatic Electricity Purchase, Amusement Park, Crypto Cyber Forensics Security Services and Baobab Food Products. After hearing the pitches, the judges asked presenters questions to clearly understand the ideas and then advised accordingly. The three ideas that won on the day to become part of the eLab are Corner Block, Uber for Laundry and Automatic Electricity Purchase. The three were not the only winners on the day because the Simple Shoe Care owner was offered a sponsorship by Mr. Base Sebonego which included a trip to Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa to benchmark on other businesses operating there and the startup capital to open the first shop. Another offer on the day was to Automatic Electricity Purchase; Mr. Base Sebonego invited the owner to have a meeting with him to talk more about his business idea.
Overall, the event was a successful one, with advice by the industry captains with different business experiences.
Botho University’s Faculty of Health and Education Research Conference (FHERC) held a Health and Education Research conference on Thursday 8th November 2018, at Botho University – Gaborone Campus, under the theme: Roles of Health and Education for sustainable growth and development in Africa. Under consideration during the conference were mainly 8 sub-themes that are as follows:
- Primary Health and Sustainable Development
- Health Education and Development
- Education and Preventive health
- The nexus between Education, Poverty and Health
- Education Technology and Health
- Health Information Systems
- Outcome-based Education and Sustainable Development
- Educational Technologies
Vice Chancellor of Botho University Mrs. Sheela Ram delivered the welcome address, after which Dr. Tiny Masupe, from the Department of Family Med & Public Health, University of Botswana delivered the keynote address. Dr. Masupe talked about the role of education in insuring good health, the need for inter-professional collaboration between health practitioners and the need for health professional to be change agents as health care is very dynamic.
There were 22 papers presented overall, 6 of which were from FHE final year students as well as 12 from Botho University staff and 4 from outside/industry. These presentations were conducted in parallel sessions in Otse Theatre 1 and 3 with an attendance of 53 presenters and 50 delegates.
The day was interesting to the students in attendance and academic researchers from different institutions as they interacted by posing questions to the presenters.
The past week, BU, Maseru crowned the King & Queen at an event not short of glitz and glamour at Meloding Club, Victoria Hotel. The club was filled with spectators full of excitement to see what the pageant had in store for them on the stage and also the DJ did not disappoint as he kept the revellers on their toes with the entertainment.
Botho University’s Faculty of Business and Accounting recently hosted a research conference under the theme ‘Towards a Diversified and Sustainable Economic Transformation; Integrating Technology, Entrepreneurship and Business Solutions’. The event, held on the 23rd October 2018, was graced by academic researchers from different higher education institutions, who presented their research papers for academic interaction and social networking.
Botho University, Maseru took part in the Lesotho Universities and Colleges Sports Association (LUCSA) Zonal qualifying games on the 13th and 14 October 2018 and this saw the institution sprinting into the quarter finals in Soccer (Male), Basketball (Female & Male) and Volleyball (Female & Male). BU was in group D with Thaba-Tseka Technical institute, Paray School of Nursing and Lesotho College of Education (LCE).
Last week, Botho University—Maseru, in partnership with the Council on Higher Education (CHE) Lesotho hosted the 4th Southern African Quality Assurance Network Conference (SAQAN) under the theme ‘’Quality Assurance is Higher Education: Theories, Perspectives and Practices geared towards attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Southern African Region and beyond.” SAQAN is a voluntary association of quality assurance bodies and higher education institutions, which are united by their commitment towards entrenching a strong culture of quality in higher education across the region.
SAQAN holds an annual workshop with the objective of promoting and bringing together quality assurance practitioners and researchers in the SADC region and beyond to share experiences, best practices and approaches towards promoting the culture of quality assurance in higher education. In addition, the event is also intended as a platform for exchanging research findings pertaining to quality assurance. Quality assurance professionals from Southern Africa and other regions on the continent are invited to submit paper abstracts and/or poster abstracts with a view to presenting at the conference. Authors of abstracts which meet the standards proceed to develop full papers.
During the workshop, the Vice Chancellor of Botho University, Dr Sheela Raja Ram chaired two sessions in Naleli Hall. The first presentation was by T. Mokuku of the National University of Lesotho on ‘’Education for Sustainable Development as an Organising Framework for Quality Programmes in Teacher Education at NUL’’; the second, was a presentation of a paper by T.Z Maqutu of the Cape Peninsula University, RSA; titled “Quality Assurance in an African Developing World Context: Is it an enabler or a hindrance towards attainment of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development”.
The Maseru campus Dean Dr Abhishek Ranjan presented in the plenary session a paper titled ‘’Quality Assurance in Higher Education with a focus on Internal Quality Assurance: The case of Botho University.
Botho University staff continued to impress with Mr M. Maqutu from the Faculty of Health & Education showcasing ‘’What Performance Indicators Reveal about whether Quality Assurance in Higher Education yields expected outcomes’’
Furthermore, two members from the Faculty of Computing; Ms. Mukai Turugare and Mr. Robert Nyabawa were engaged by the Council of Higher Education as Rapporteurs together with others from other higher education institutions, with the responsibilities;
- To ensure that proceedings and outcomes of the conference are clearly recorded;
- To prepare and present recaps during plenary sessions of key issues covered in the conference;
- To prepare a communique covering salient issues to be presented at the end of the conference; and
- To prepare a conference proceedings report that will be submitted to CHE within two weeks after the conference.
On the second day of the workshop, all delegates were entertained with dinner at the Thaba-Bosiu Cultural Village where culture & tradition was the theme of the evening while the final day was filled with fun activities such as the boat riding and pony trekking.
KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden is one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. Botho University has entered into a partnership with KTH, to work with industry and society in the pursuit of sustainable solutions to some of the challenges identified by various stakeholders (challenge owners). The focus of the KTH Global Development Hub is the exchange and cooperation between KTH and Botho University to incorporate challenge driven education model.