With its world class sporting facilities, the Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, believes the University of Botswana can serve as a high performance centre for sport.
Professor Norris told a visiting European Union three-member delegation at UB on May 18, 2018, that the University boasted, among others, a world class Campus Indoor Sports Centre that could be used as a high performance centre that could attract athletes from all over the world.
The delegation comprised the Director for International Cooperation in the European Commission’s Directorate for Education, Youth and Culture, Ms Antoianeta Angelova-Krasteva and Policy Officer, Ms Paola Ottonello, all based in Brussels, Belgium. They were accompanied by Policy Officer, Social Sector, European Union Delegation to Botswana, Ms Catarina Caetano, who is based in Gaborone.
Professor Norris pleaded with the delegation to support his vision to turn the indoor sports centre into a high performance centre “…and have athletes from all over the world coming here and that’s where you can come in,” said the Vice Chancellor.
In addition, he said the University sought strategic collaborations with various partners to strengthen its research capacity, and the European Commission could come in handy in that respect. “In order to achieve this, we must grow our graduate student population,” he said.
Professor Norris noted that as the world was moving towards knowledge economies, UB should in addition to generating knowledge, have capacity to turn such into tangible products and services.
Ms Angelova-Krasteva emphasised the importance of making sure higher institutions of learning had the capacity to equip young people with knowledge and market relevant skills. She said the European Commission recognised the challenges such institutions faced, to prepare young people for the future job market. As such, Ms Angelova-Krasteva said that called for close cooperation at various levels with industry and making sure that policies were in place to assist institutions.
She observed that the European Commission would work towards expanding its cooperation with Africa, especially in the education sector. Some of the programmes she mentioned were the Erasmus Plus, which is an EU's programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020. The programme offers a range of opportunities for higher education students, doctoral candidates, staff and institutions from around the world.
Ms Angelova-Krasteva also spoke about the Horizon 2020 programme, which she said was the biggest for mobility and training of researchers, and advised UB to take advantage of the programme to grow its researchers.