BIUST holds virtual graduation due to Covid-19 Pandemic regulations
Dr Kebaneilwe Labani Senior lecturer Biological Science and Technology gave the opening welcome remarks. She stated that due to unprecedented times the graduation ceremony would be held virtually. “We know the amount of resilience that you have had to display to be a part of this day now were your awards are now been conferred. We hope you enjoyed your academic journey with us. Where we endeavor to bring challenging and thought provoking Programmes aligned to the needs of the economy. BIUST is working towards to be a premier research based university bring quality learning experience to all of you.”
The Distinguished Professor Dennis Siginer who is the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs called upon the council and declared the congregation duly constituted and commence the graduation.
His Excellency former President of Botswana Festus Mogae ,the BIUST chancellor in his capacity declared commencement of the graduation and awarding of degrees to the class of 2020.He said ,“it’s a time to celebrate accomplishment of hard work and your quest to acquire knowledge. The skills and knowledge u have acquired will provide a platform for you to continue meaningful development of your community, country and world at large. Therefore I Challenge you to work tirelessly towards bringing a challenge to these societal challenges, science is knowledge and knowledge is power.”
Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology Honorable Dr. Douglas Letsholathebe gave salutations. “You have made it under special circumstances and this is a true reflection of life itself as nothing is ever guaranteed and one should always be prepared to show agility and ability that is needed in challenging times.” The minister went on to express that, “with your education it will not be enough in the world.” The knowledge based economy can only be achieved through improving tertiary education system. His ministry is also playing an important role in creating a digital transformation in the country strategy as well as working towards a SMART Botswana. In concluding his speech he congratulated the class of 2020 and said, “it is your moment to contribute to society, grab it and shine cause I believe in all of you.”
Professor Totolo, the BIUST Vice Chancellor said he takes pride in the student’s remarkable accomplishments and thus the theme, ‘innovation technology and entrepreneurship: access to knowledge based economy in the Covid-19 era.’ “Dr. Mogae will confer 373 graduates. 269 from Faculty of Engineering and Technology consisting of 262 Bachelor of Engineering and 7 Master of Engineering degrees.102 graduates from Faculty of Sciences consisting of 80 Bachelor of Science and 15 Masters. Amidst the conferment sits two doctors for having clambered to the very summit of academic achievement. Namely Chipepa Fastel (Phd Statistcs) And Mphago Banyatsang (Phd Computer Science).”
The Professor gave a brief highlight of the University progress:
1. Coal to liquid refinery set up in Palapye producing coal liquefying by products such as fuel ammonia using pyrolysis technology They have partnered with Botswana oil and SEZA .
2. Making electricity through coal, solar
3.Farmyard monitoring system
4.patent electrical switching for installation build to optimize power consumption.
To curb the threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the university manufactures of soaps and sanitisers which are distributed for free nationally.
6. Drones were developed with help from Botswana Defense Force were built and they were used to spray public spaces .
7.BIUST and Themba Labs built a Covid 19 dashboard to monitor geological spread of pandemic among other notable achievements.
The Vice Chancellor urged the graduating class of 2020 to, “Hold University flag high and demonstrate that you are worth to be BIUST alumni.”
Dr.Annah Mokgokgong , the Chancellor North West University who was invited as guest speaker touched on important topics around the pandemic and entrepreneurship. She congratulated the graduates and acknowledged the devastation caused by the pandemic and how it has affected all sectors globally. “Covid 19 has led to an increase in entrepreneurial activity which we call ‘thinking outside the box.’ Your graduation is in good time as you can take advantage of these opportunities. Technology, innovation and entrepreneurship should be life savers of today’s new normal as evident from the proliferation of innovation worldwide.”The guest speaker highlighted notableawards by Biust.
“In the Oliver Tambo Africa Chair competition BIUST was elected as one of the top African universities and research institution to be awarded an honorary award from this Research chamber. This election process was done by the national research foundation of SA.”
“1.4million euros was granted by European Commission to BIUST under Intra-Africa academic mobility scheme. She went on to note key innovators within the pandemic. View the video of the graduation below :