The Mandate of the Department of Media Studies is to create responsible media practitioners who can use their communication skills to help develop Botswana.
The Vision of the Department is to be an academic leader for mediated communication, by provision of the best in facilities, education and research.
The Mission of the Department is to foster critical thinking and creative skills for the benefit of media practice in the nation and the international community.
The Values of the Department are commitment to:
- Ethical standards in education and the media
- Intellectual curiosity
- Innovation in thought and creative practice
- Equality with respect to gender, ethnicity and disability
- Transparency in issues of education, media and communication
- Accountability for all decision-making
Plans for a Department of Media Studies were initiated in 1999 with a team of consultants under the leadership of Professor Kupe. The Department started in 2002 under the leadership of Founding Professor Levy, who wrote the first curriculum. In January 2005 Professor Kerr assumed the Headship. During this formative period, a Partnership with the McGee and Knight Foundations helped bridge staff shortages and provided high quality journalistic expertise. One of the McGee fellows, Doug Cosper helped start a student newspaper UB Horizon in 2007, and another, Julia Cass helped to sustain it during the paper’s difficult early months.
Two major developments in the period from 2007-2010 were the development of post graduate programmes and the revision of the curriculum. In 2007 a revised undergraduate programme started to be taught, and by 2012 it had completely overhauled the original syllabus. In 2010 Senate approved two post-graduate programmes in Media Studies, a Masters and a Post-graduate Certificate (aimed at upgrading media skills for those without a first degree in the area).
A major factor in this growth period was the attempt to localise the department. As a result of this policy, one Motswana has completed his PhD and four more are working on their PhD programmes overseas with two of them about to complete. Another factor was the signing of MOUs with two important NGOs, Gender Links and the Twinning Centre. These MOUs are helping the Department to fulfil its developmental obligations to professional and community service in the fields of Gender awareness and training of journalists in HIV/AIDS issues.
On 1st June 2012 Professor Rooney took over as Head of Department. This appointment coincided with the Department’s physical move into new facilities in Block 247, and an anticipated period of expansion of its activities in the fields of teaching, research and service.