A staff layoff is expected at Botho University this year, the institution has said.
While details in the Monday press release are still sketchy about how many people will lose their jobs, Botswana Guardian has learnt that close to 100 people are going to be retrenched from the university’s two campuses in Gaborone and Francistown.
Botho University has a staff complement of around 400 people. “The current infrastructure and human capital provides for far more students than we currently have enrolled between the two campuses, Gaborone and Francistown. We have tried to redeploy excess staff in various departments to other functions of the university but there is a limit to doing this since there are (sic) still excess staff in most functions in both campuses,” states the press release.
The university management says the university has been affected by the decline in numbers of students that enrolled between 2014 and 2017, although the figure was not provided. The combined effect of the reduced student numbers, stagnant fees and increasing costs of operation puts immense pressure on the institution, says management. “The university has been considering possible solutions to these challenges as we need to be financially viable to deliver our mandate,” states the letter hinting on the restructuring exercise and also sharing that after embarking on it, they would be able to forge ahead with new sustainable growth strategy that looks at new programmes and new geographies to expand into.The institution had it tough last year with students protesting against unaccredited courses, and suspension of students. At one point, the university closed down after some Gaborone campus students allegedly burnt down a tree and closed the road thereby preventing vehicles movement next to the roundabout.