University of The Bahamas and University of Botswana Expanding Academic and Scholarly Horizons

 President Janyne and Dr. Norris hold up the freshly executed MOU between both institutions. They are joined in the photo by UB Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Maria Oriakhi (rear left); UOB Senior Executive Assistant, Office of the Vice Chancellor, Mr. Moeng Segaetsho (centre rear); and UOB Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Faith Rapuleng-Tuelo (rear right).  

Nassau, THE BAHAMAS — Students and faculty at University of The Bahamas (UB) now have more opportunities to expand their horizons through a newly signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that UB has with the University of Botswana (UB) in Southern Africa, signaling a commitment to enriching educational opportunities and fostering international collaborations.

Both institutions sealed their new relationship during a signing ceremony held on Monday 13th May at UB’s Oakes Field Campus. President (Acting) of University of The Bahamas, Janyne Hodder, noted that this reflects both universities’ shared vision of delivering high-quality education, research, and innovation essential for the ongoing success and global impact of their institutions and respective nations.

“It’s a pleasure to be formalizing this newest international partnership,” said President Janyne. “Aligned with our current strategic vision for students, staff, and faculty to teach, learn, and foster academic excellence at UB and across the world, University of The Bahamas aims to create international experiences through study abroad opportunities, student and faculty exchange programmes, research partnerships, intercollegiate competition, and research fellowships. 

“Our university provides national access to higher education with global experiences, and this most recent partnership adds to [this diverse] array of international options for UB students, faculty, and staff.”

Monday’s MoU signing came just months after President of Botswana His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, in delivering a distinguished lecture at UB’s Oakes Field campus in September 2023, expressed his desire to strengthen relations with the government and the people of The Bahamas. He also expressed his support for broader, collaborative research and educational opportunities between the Botswana and Bahamian universities.

Under the MoU, student and faculty synergies will expand in research, guest lectures, workshops and seminars and other scholastic programmes. 

Professor Dr. Davis Norris, Vice Chancellor of the University of Botswana, emphasized the significance of knowledge economies, highlighting the pivotal role of education in driving economic prosperity. He expressed optimism about the partnership’s potential to make a meaningful impact.

“Economies are powered by what we call knowledge; we talk of knowledge economies, knowledge societies and so forth,” said Dr. Norris. “What this means is that now, the most important resource is not the oil, it’s not the diamonds, it’s not minerals; it’s our minds. It’s what God has given us. And I want to believe that all of us, being created in God’s image, have great brains. 

“Now, how do we turn these brains into products and services that can help mankind? And I therefore think your university has done very well in terms of improving the livelihoods of people in this country. My university has done very well in improving the livelihoods of Botswana. Therefore, I’m saying I believe that this partnership is really going to do a lot for the people of The Bahamas and the people of Botswana because it’s universities that must enhance economic activity in our countries.”

The University of Botswana was established in 1982 as the first institution of higher education in Botswana. It has three campuses: one in the capital city of Gaborone, one in Francistown, and another in Maun.

Accompanying Dr. Norris on his several-day long exploratory visit to The Bahamas are the Director of Public Affairs, Dr Faith Rapuleng–Tuelo, and Senior Executive Assistant, Office of the Vice Chancellor, Mr Moeng Segaetsho.

The agreement between the two institutions heralds a new chapter in global academic exchange, promising to broaden perspectives and empower students and faculty to contribute meaningfully to their societies and the world at large.