Officials from the University of Cincinnati in the United States of America have been visiting the University of Botswana this week to explore possible areas of collaboration.
University of Cincinnati Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and provost, Professor Valerio Ferme accompanied by Vice Provost Professor of Marketing, Professor Raj Mehta, held meetings with UB Management to discuss how the two universities can work together to deliver on their mandates.
The University of Cincinnati is a public research university and often coined as ‘Research heavyweights’ has 200 years of history as a research pioneer. University of Cincinnati scientists invented the world's first electronic organ, antihistamine, heart-lung machine and oral polio vaccine. Consequently, having the University of Cincinnati as a partner can be ideal especially at a time when UB is going through a transformation that seeks to put research at the forefront.
Speaking during a meeting held in the Council Chamber UB Chancellor, Ms Tebelelo Mazile Seretse, expressed delight that the visit by the University of Cincinnati officials was taking place at a time when UB had just started implementing its new strategy.
“Seven years still to go on our strategy, we are hoping that from here we can have meaningful and long-lasting relationships with the University of Cincinnati,” she observed.
Ms Seretse further underscored the need for a long-term relationship that coild help improve UB’s world rankings.
Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, gave a history of UB that through the spirit of self-reliance Batswana contributed cattle towards its establishment with the sole aim of providing education and the critical human resource that the country yearned for.
However, he noted that times had changed and if UB was to achieve growth in research and innovation there was need for a mindset change besides adopting an entrepreneurial mindset with societal impact. A change that will produce graduates that are self-reliant and industry ready but more importantly employable globally, said Professor Norris.
In response, Professor Ferme also spoke about the importance of infrastructural developments such as labs and need for industry linkages and partnerships to utilize the expertise in the industry.
Meanwhile, a group of students are expected to arrive in Botswana from the University of Cincinnati in May on a student exchange programme at the Faculty of Education, a move that is expected to bolster relations between the two universities.