The leadership of the University of Botswana has welcomed the DRUSSA programme and expressed their appreciation for it during a meeting at the start of the DRUSSA Research Uptake implementation event on 14 and 15 November. Present at the meeting were the Deputy Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), Dr John Kirkland, and University Management of the Academic Affairs Division. The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic Affairs, Prof Otlogetswe Totolo, who pledged support for the initiative, which is intended to enhance the entrenched history of research that supports Botswana’s national development.
As the only national university in the country until recently, the University of Botswana has been lauded for both the human resources development and knowledge generation that has resulted in much of the research undertaken since its inauguration in 1982. This was highlighted during a meeting between DRUSSA facilitators Liam Roberts and Tomas Harber, and UB DRUSSA Leader Prof Isaac Mazonde and myself. It emerged as a topic again during the subsequent workshop attended by the DRUSSA implementation team. Workshop participants from academic faculties, research institutes, the Research Office and the Department of Public Affairs learned how the DRUSSA programme could support the university in strengthening institutional capacity for Research Uptake.
During workshop discussions a lively debate ensued, revealing participants’ desire that research carried out at the university should impact positively on society at large and improve people’s quality of life, in line with the objectives of Botswana’s National Vision 2016. This will also increase the visibility and relevance of the university.
Dr Mogodisheng Sekhwela is the Assistant Director, Research Quality Management, R&D, and DRUSSA Champion at the University of Botswana