New private university launches alumni association
The Botho University Alumni Association was launched last month by Botswana's former President Festus Mogae, at its campus in the capital Gaborone. Mogae praised the initiative, saying it reflected dynamic leadership, foresight and strategic planning.
He said the potential interaction of graduates with Botho, which was granted university status in March last year, was an "asset, and something that should not be taken for granted or ignored". It would raise the university's profile and could be part of its "bedrock foundation".
He hoped the association would also help to promote quality leadership and professional standards in Botswana's politics, business and communities.
A note from the university's career services department said the association would also be a conduit between civil society and Botho academics, and would help employers to source quality employees from its student body - over and above enabling the university to communicate and stay connected with its graduates.
"Education is about opening doors and seeing what is on the other side, and therefore we expect our alumni to serve the world in profoundly fresh and creative ways," said Ananth Ram, pro-vice chancellor for education and quality.
Botho gained university status after 16 years as a tertiary college. It was established in 1997 as a computing training institute in response to a government call for more information and communications technology capacity in the country.
It later diversified its courses, and became Botho College in 2009. Today it has four faculties - computing, accounting and finance, business, and education and continuing studies.
Botho is ahead of its private sector peer, the Malaysian-owned Limkokwing University of Creative Technology established in 2007. Mercy Rebaone Thebe, Limkokwing's regional director of corporate and media relations, said preparatory work was underway on the formation of an alumni association.
Another new university that is still assessing the idea of creating an alumni association is the public Botswana International University of Science and Technology, BIUST, which is based near Palapye in central Botswana and started admitting students in 2011.
University of Botswana
The country's oldest higher education institution, the University of Botswana, has an alumni association, which is managed by the secretariat of the University of Botswana Foundation - a non-profit organisation that promotes the university and seeks private funds to support its teaching and research.
A note from the foundation stressed how the alumni association builds partnerships to help university education, tapping the "generosity of its friends and supporters, alumni, individuals and the private sector".
The foundation administers and invests contributed funds from alumni and alumni association activities, and helps decide how the donations are spent. It also handles communications between the alumni association and graduates.
The benefits enjoyed by University of Botswana alumni through their association include invitations to events including dinners, dances, golf days, reunions and seminars, among other activities.