First Year Students' Essay Competition

All incoming University of Botswana First Year students are invited to commemorate the Nation’s 55th Independence by participating in an Essay Competition reflecting on Botswana’s Journey 1966 – 2021. 

The competition is open to 2021/2022 first year students of the University of Botswana who meet the criteria as detailed below.  

Students will be required to choose between two titles and write a 3000 word essay on the title of their choice. 

  1. The resilience of Batswana as a people, 1966 - 2021. 
  2. Botswana in the eye of the storm as we commemorate 55 years of independence, and look to many more. 

It is timely for all of us as a country to reflect on these themes as we commemorate and celebrate fifty five years of sovereignty and self-governance as an independent nation.

Participating students will be required to interpret the titles provided as they see fit and write an essay analysing issues related to their interpretation and offer possible remedies / direction to progress 2021 and beyond. 

Eligibility, Guidelines and Terms

  1. Eligibility

    Registered full-time first year students, citizens and non-citizens (students repeating courses not eligible), from all faculties / departments. 

  2. Essay Guidelines 

    1. The essay competition consists of written submissions which are to be delivered to the Department of Culture, Sports and Recreation, Culture and Arts Unit by the deadline of November 30 2021
      Competition entries should be emailed to by 4:30pm of the date of the deadline. 
    2. Only one essay submission per participant is allowed.
    3. Only original works / essays will be considered for the competition. Previously published works on a related theme are inadmissible. Any form of plagiarism will result in disqualification of the entry. 
    4. Length of essay: 3000 words maximum, 2000 words minimum. 
    5. Format Requirement:
      • Typed on a A4 size electronic page.
      • Font size shall be 12 points. 
      • 1.5 interlinear space 
      • Margins of 2.54cm on top, bottom and both sides.
  3. Cover of the Written Submissions 

    • Cover should include full names of the author, address, email, student identification number, faculty and course studies. (A photocopy of the UB student ID card to be enclosed with the submission). 

    • The title of the essay should be written clearly and underlined. 

  4. Scoring of the essay

    The following criteria will be considered in assessing competition entries: 

    • Content originality and creativity: 50% 

    • Relevance and analysis: 15% 

    • Clarity and coherence: 10%   

    • structure: 10%  

    • Language quality: 15% 

  5. Prizes

    • First prize - HP Laptop computer 

    • Second prize - Samsung Tab A7 

    • Third prize - Canon Single Lens Camera 

    All participants will receive a certificate of participation from the department. 

    Winning entries and winners names will be published in the Department’s Facebook page. 

    The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.  

    Winners will be expected to produce their original student ID card and Omang / national ID card / passport when receiving their prizes.

  6. Copyrights 

    Copyright in all contributions accepted will remain with the authors. 

In pursuit of academic excellence