Is there a role for Botswana Government Technical Colleges within a tertiary education and training market?

  • Ian Morris

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)


This thesis explores how, Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is being influenced by the globalising influences of the Tertiary Education and Training (TET) market and the associated national organisational changes in Botswana.Botswana achieved its independence in 1966 and was once one of the poorest countries in the world. However, since the discovery of diamonds, Botswana has risen into an upper middle-income country with one of the highest investments per GDP in the world in education and training. Government Technical Colleges (GTCs) have been equally supported with heavy investment in modernising, equipping and expanding facilities to the highest first world standards which have virtually doubled the available student capacity since 2000. In 2000, a new full-time qualification, the Botswana Technical Education Programme (BTEP) was launched to enable more young people to access TVET. Botswana has always been committed to privatisation in the belief that it is more efficient and effective than governmental bureaucracies. For this reason Botswana University and a number of higher education colleges were established as parastatal institutions from their inception. To further liberalise tertiary education and training (TET) and increase opportunities for youth, private universities and colleges were encouraged to establish themselves in Botswana with the attraction of access to the government Grant/Loan Scheme (GLS) in 2007. The GLS pays institutional fees and provides a living allowance grant/loan to students. GTCs were only recognised as secondary education and training institutions despite offering certificate and diploma qualifications similar to some of the tertiary institutes. This initially widened the academic/vocational divide and excluded GTC students from accessing the GLS and the status that this provided. This situation was exposed in 2007 as BTEP students began to leave GTCs to enrol with the new private tertiary institutions, in a desire to obtain the GLS. Government ministers became concerned, having declared their commitment to operating GTCs at full capacity and so in 2010 included all BTEP students under the GLS.A number of the existing GTCs are now planned to become tertiary parastatal institutions believing this will enable them to compete more fairly within the educational tertiary market. The researcher uses an intensive case study methodology to explore the issues and challenges impacting Botswana GTCs at this time of radical educational change. Within the government ministries, there remains confusion over craft/artisan and technician qualifications. A conflict of interest between various government ministry departments is identified, and this is likely to prevent some of the planned rationalisation to reduce duplication of provision. Implementation of change appears to be much harder to achieve than agreeing the principles of policy reform. The research concludes by exploring what might be done to enable the BTEP qualification to play a greater contributory role in achieving Botswana’s vision of an educated and high skill/ knowledge based economy.
Date of Award10 Nov 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorHugh Lauder (Supervisor) & Manuel Souto-Otero (Supervisor)

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