Students at the country’s second biggest university, the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) are complaining of lack of accommodation which hampers their productivity.
The students said the situation has forced them to travel long distances by bus or hitch hike from Serowe and around Palapye. The distance from Serowe and Palapye is 56 kilometers.
BIUST is more than 10 kilometers on the outskirts of Palapye. This means even locals who are not staying on-campus require transport for them to go to school. But the school only has one bus which is used to transport students.
“The university has one bus which transports the students but it is unreliable. Some of us sometimes use cabs and we are charged P20. Even when hitch hiking to school, it is not easy to find transport. We end up getting late for lessons,” said one student.
When the university opened in 2005 one of its promises was to offer quality education that is globally competitive. According to their website BIUST’s vision is “to provide globally competitive and high quality science, engineering and technology academic programmes in order to produce employment-ready graduates through excellence in teaching, learning, research, collaborative partnerships, industry linkages and community engagement.”
In an interview with The Botswana Gazette, BIUST Acting Director, Communications and Public Relations Keoagile Rafifing was economical in giving out information concerning the accommodation crises at the university. Rafifing said he was more concerned with the “security and safety of the students” which can be compromised by giving out more information about accommodation issues.
“Some hostels at BIUST are still under construction and they will be released on phases. Due to security and safety reasons, it is not appropriate to be dwelling on student’s accommodation issues,” said Rafifing.
The university said it has on site accommodation for 253 students for a student population of 420.