THIS EXCITING new institution is currently under construction on a 2 500-hectare site in the rolling hills of Palapye some 270 km north of Gaborone. The express intention is to establish a state-of-the-art centre of excellence that is committed to to serve as a catalyst for economic transformation and that attracts some of the world's brightest young minds.
The doors of the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) will accept its first cohort of students in March 2011. Its main aim will be to produce well-rounded graduates fully equipped with work, interpersonal, management and entrepreneurial skills. To achieve this, BIUST will include in all science, engineering and technology curricula business management components for both undergraduate and graduate students. The emphasis will fall heavily on research in a wide range of anticipated academic programmes.
In the engineering faculty, for example, programmes and research opportunities will be offered in biomedical engineering, energy systems, mechatronics, and sustainable and renewable energy engineering. In the science faculty,there will be everything from agriculture to earth and environmental sciences, ecotourism, and land and water resource science. In the business management faculty, MBA and other programmes will be tailored for dual degree combinations in ecotourism and environmental management, innovation and enterprise, mining economics, and sustainable resource management. Areas of wide interest to the developing and developed worlds will be at the fingertips of research staff and students alike.
BIUST, which is being established by the Botswana government, aims to become a centre of excellence and innovation in the SADC region. The institution will ultimately accommodate 6 000 students from undergraduate to doctoral levels. Key components of the BIUST strategy include partnerships with leading international universities as well as carefully selected local, regional and international private-sector organisations involved in science, engineering and technology – and in the management of these specialities.