The rise of Botho University

The rise of Botho University

MASERU – FROM humble beginnings to steady growth, Botho University is transforming from being a lecturer centred learning to learner centred tutoring.
This was said during a stakeholders’ network meeting in Maseru last Thursday.
The university’s Dean and Head of Maseru Campus, Dr. Abhishek Ranjan, said the institution only had 21 students in four programmes when it started the Maseru operation in 2015.
The number has grown to 800 students spread over eight programmes.

“We have 19 graduates this year out of 21 students we started with,’’ Dr. Ranjan said. This year’s event was the university’s first graduation ceremony in Lesotho, said Dr. Ranjan.
Stakeholders were happy to share their feelings about the university at the network meetings, which was meant to link students and stakeholders in various industries.
Speaking at the meeting, Relationships Inspiring Social Enterprise (RISE)’s founder, Daniela Gusman, said their objective as a company is to enhance entrepreneurship. Gusman said they have massive programmes across the continent and 90 percent of the impact goes to social entrepreneurs.

RISE is a US-based non-profit organisation that believes in the importance of a world where sustainable social businesses, created by local social entrepreneurs, are provided with resources, knowledge, and the professional community needed to be successful and transformational in their communities.
Gusman said they also have massive programmes on youth unemployment, with expectations that the challenges are going to increase as the population grows.
“We really need to invest in education and entrepreneurship for youth to be able to create their own opportunities of enterprise,” she said.

Gusman said they work with colleges and they also have a fellowship to train youth in communities to start their own projects.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor for Finance and Employability at the university, Priya Lyer, said the mission of Botho University has always been to produce employable graduates who can fit into any global market or who can start their own enterprises.

“That has been our dream all along and it has driven all what we do,” she said.
Lyer said they have an advisory board for every programme that they offer and they are also frequently carrying out changes to ensure that their graduates can fit into the modern industry.
She said there is skills shortage in the country so “we want to fill that shortage by producing needed skills in the market”.
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohlabi Tsekoa thanked the university for helping unlock opportunities for young people to fit into the world of work by providing skills, innovation searching and seeking for excellence.

“You don’t only help them to learn,” he said.
He directed his speech to the graduates and said the country needs young men and women who can drive the economy.
“You are the hope of this country, you should put Lesotho where it belongs,” he said.

Refiloe Mpobole

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