University of Botswana

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University of Botswana
Coat of Arms of the University of Botswana
Motto Thuto Ke Thebe (Setswana)[1]
Motto in English
Education is a Shield[1]
Established 1982
Type Public
Endowment P334 million(US $50million)
Chancellor Ketumile Masire
Vice-Chancellor Thabo Fako
Administrative staff
Students 15,484
Undergraduates 14,093
Postgraduates 1,445
Location Botswana Gaborone, Francistown, and Maun, Botswana
Campus Urban, 1.15 square kilometres (280 acres)
Colors Brown and Blue
Mascot Bull (Steer)

The University of Botswana, or UB was established in 1982 as the first institution of higher education in Botswana. The university has four campuses: two in the capital city Gaborone, one in Francistown, and another in Maun. The university is divided into six faculties: Business, Education, Engineering, Humanities, Science and Social Sciences. A Faculty of Medicine is scheduled to enroll students in 2009 as part of a collaboration with the University of Melbourne in Australia.[2]


The contrast between the old UB (foreground) and the new UB (background) reveals the country's recent economic growth.

UB began as a part of a larger university system known as UBBS, or the University of Bechuanaland (Botswana), Basotoland (Lesotho), and Swaziland; which was founded in 1964 to reduce the three countries' reliance on tertiary education in apartheid-era South Africa. After Botswana and Lesotho became independent in 1966, the university was called the University of Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland (UBLS).

In an unexpected move in 1975, Lesotho withdrew from the partnership and established its own national university. For several years a joint University of Botswana and Swaziland existed until in the early 1980s the university was amicably divided into two separate national universities. It was at the time of Lesotho's initial withdrawal that Botswana, which was among the poorest nations in the world, started the One Man, One Beast movement. This fundraising campaign formally known as the Botswana University Campus Appeal (BUCA) was spearheaded by the late President Sir Seretse Khama in 1976. The campaign was launched to raise money for the construction of the Botswana Campus of the University of Botswana and Swaziland.

BUCA followed in the wake of a unilateral nationalisation of a joint-university campus facility in Roma by the Lesotho government. Batswana (People of Botswana) and other stakeholders made contributions of all types (including cash, cattle, grain, eggs, etc.) towards accomplishing the set target of one million rand. By 1982, the University of Botswana became a reality and remains the oldest institution of higher education in the country. The One Man, One Beast movement endures today on the university's main statue located outside the new library.


Administration building

The President of Botswana also serves as the Chancellor of the University.[3] The top administrator on campus is the Vice Chancellor. There have been only four Vice Chancellors of the University:

  • 1982–1984: Prof. John Turner, BA, MA, TDip (Manchester), Hon LLD (Ohio), Hon DLitt
  • 1984–1998: Prof. Thomas Tlou, BA (Luther), MAT (Johns Hopkins), Cert in African Studies, MA, PhD (Wisconsin), Hon DLitt (Luther), Hon LLD (Ohio)
  • 1998–2003: Prof. Sharon Siverts, BS, MS (Ohio), PhD (Pennsylvania)
  • 2003–Present: Prof. Bojosi Otlhogile, LLB (UBS), LLM, PhD (Cantab), Attorney Botswana.

Student life[edit]

Residence hall
Intramural football match

Many students live on campus in residence halls.[4] Students that live in the residence halls are served meals in campus refectories.[5]

Campus life offers many amenities, including an Olympic-sized swimming pool, an entertainment arena, and sports courts (basketball, tennis, handball, netball, volleyball). The university is also adjacent to the National Stadium, which is available for university use. The practice fields outside the stadium are the location for university intramural sports.

The university also provides a free medical clinic and counseling services.

Library system[edit]

The University of Botswana library system has been in existence since 1971 when the first thousand volumes were housed in an unused church building in the village of Gaborone. The first official building was opened in 1986, which was two stories tall and contained only five computers.

In 2001, the library moved to a new building, more than tripling its size. The new main library is one of the largest university libraries in Africa with five floors and a significantly larger and more modern computer network.

Faculty of Business[edit]

The Faculty of Business building

The Faculty of Business was established in 1997 following the reorganisation of the School of Accounting and Management Studies (SAMS) under the Faculty of Social Sciences. The need to establish an independent faculty was primarily driven by increasing numbers of students who showed an interest in business programmes. Under the umbrella of this new faculty, three departments were created to offer specialism in management, marketing, and accounting and finance. The most popular of these is the Bachelor of Accountancy (BAcc) program, which trains students for a professional level accounting certification exams, most notably the ACCA. Many graduates have integrated this degree into tracks such as becoming American CPA's or members of the UK's CIMA. The faculty offers five degrees:

  • Bachelor of Accountancy (BAcc)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Management
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Marketing
  • Bachelor of Information Systems (BIS)
  • Bachelor of Finance
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Faculty of Education[edit]

The Faculty of Education is the oldest faculty in the university. It has grown over the years in terms of student enrollment, number of departments, and the number of programmes offered. The faculty is composed of nine departments including Adult Education, Educational Foundations, Educational Technology, Home Economics, Languages and Social Sciences, Nursing Education, Physical Education and Primary Education. There are twelve undergraduate programmes: a Master of Education degree with nine specialisations, a Master of Nursing Science program, a Master of Counselling and Human Services programme, two MPhil and Ph.D. programmes and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education. The new semester schedule has resulted in the discontinuation of the certificate in Adult Education and Diploma in Home Economics, Physical Education and Science Education programs. New programmes have been introduced including the Bachelor of Educational Management. Changes in structure of the Faculty are expected during the Botswana government's National Development Plan 9, with some departments being incorporated in the envisaged Faculty of Health Sciences. The enrollment for 2001/2002 was 2,255 excluding 98 graduate students. The current academic staff complement stands at 124, making the staff/student ratio 1:14. The localisation rate is at 60% with one professor, three associate professors and 18 senior lecturers.

Faculty of Engineering[edit]

The Faculty of Engineering and Technology (FET) was created in 1996 as a result of Botswana Polytechnic being incorporated into UB. The faculty is located approximately 1.7 kilometres (1.1 mi) from the main UB campus in downtown Gaborone.

There are two campuses. West Campus mainly consists of Mechanical and Civil Engineering division whereas East Campus consists of Electrical Engineering and Industrial Design and Technology divisions. It offers Certificate, Diploma, Bachelors and Masters in areas related to Engineering. and the planning courses which takes 5 years ,4 years in Botswana and the last year to complete with masters at professional planning institutions

Faculty of Science[edit]

Environmental (Earth) Science building

The Faculty of Science, which has the largest annual enrollment, began as the School of Science of UBBS in 1971. Its original four departments (Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics) were involved only in teaching Part I of the BSc degree programme. In 1975, when the Lesotho campus dissociated from UBBS, the teaching of Part II (years 3 and 4) began in all departments. The departments of environmental science, geology, and computer science were added to the faculty before the University of Botswana came into existence in 1982.

The head of the Environmental Science department, Dr. Segosebe, is also the Chair of Somarelang Tikologo, a local environmental NGO in Gaborone.

Faculty of Social Science[edit]

A number of programmes at the certificate, diploma, degree, and masters levels are offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences. Students admitted into the BA programme are allowed, with the permission of the relevant heads of department, to pursue a combined major in two subjects from departments within the faculty as well as selected departments in other faculties. Degree programmes offered in the faculty include Bachelor of Law, Bachelor of Social Sciences, Bachelor of Social Work, and Master of Public Administration. As well as Bachelor Of Arts in Criminal Justice.

School of Medicine[edit]

Botswana has finally established its very first medical school after years of intensive planning to get this project underway. It has already admitted a total of 36 top students specially selected from BSc and Premed who will be pioneers of "SoM" beginning in August 2009.

The Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) professional degree is a 5 year programme. The first two years will follow an integrated Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach. The last three years are clinically structured providing the opportunity to practice in the hospital and community. Although at present a warehouse is being utilized, the Faculty of Health Science building will be completed in first half of 2010. A 450 bed academic hospital is also being constructed and is due for completion in 2013.

Notable Alumni[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 24°40′S 025°56′E / 24.667°S 25.933°E / -24.667; 25.933