BA ISAGO University now BOBS ISO 9001:15 Quality Management System certified
BA ISAGO University achieved yet another milestone by attaining the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS) Certification, which was bestowed upon the 19 year old University on the 19th of November, 2021.
In a lavish ceremony held at the splendid BA ISAGO Convention Centre, BOBS Acting Managing Director Mr Botsile Kebapetse awarded the QMS Certificate as well as the BOBS Certification flag. The flag was also hoisted at the University’s Gaborone Campus Main entrance, where it flies majestically for all BA ISAGO Staff, Students and visitors alike to see. This august event was officiated by the Honourable Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology Dr Douglas Letsholathebe, and in attendance were BA ISAGO Shareholders and Board Members, who were joined by notable high ranking Government Officials, Heads of Public and Private Tertiary Education Institutions, Representative of Media Houses, Captains of Industry as well as the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Mr Oupa Masesane who was among the 100 dignitaries who graced the occasion.
In his opening remarks, BA ISAGO University Managing Director, Mr Odirile B. Gabasiane said for nearly 20 years BA ISAGO University has been peddling through difficult uncharted virgin territory, in a journey punctuated by seemingly, insurmountable challenges. He stated that in some instances, BA ISAGO encountered unnecessarily immense impediments, trials and tribulations, which to some degree, were influenced by die-hard conservatism, bureaucratic bottlenecks, as well as a tight, rigorous and stringent regulatory environment. He further lamented on negative public perceptions about the credibility and efficacy of emerging private universities and of course the difficulties of doing business in an overly regulated environment, whose open and free market dictates and dynamics are driven and largely influenced and controlled by Central Government.
Despite all these challenges faced by the University, The MD observed that the University managed to achieve one of the most remarkable and fitting grand milestones in the endeavour to meaningfully and qualitatively contribute to Human Capital Development of Botswana and the SADC region. In June 2015, the University achieved another great milestone when it was granted full University status by the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA). This ISO Certification was viewed as a further endorsement of BA ISAGO’s commitment to issues of quality and a good indication of the University’s readiness to join the league of trusted and credible institutions globally.
Gabasiane revealed BA ISAGO’s ‘Big Dream, ‘‘which is to reach its fullest potential and position the University as one of the leading private Universities in the country’’. “This dream, he said’’, is embedded in the Big-Picture as espoused and driven by the University’s Strategic Plan of 2018-2022, which seeks to consolidate and grow the recently established School of Graduate Studies and Research, as well as internationalizing the student and staff compliment”. Mr Gabasiane went on to state that the University’s Strategic Plan also seeks to expand infrastructural development and further diversify the curriculum with a stronger, focused, aggressive and more purposeful delivery of graduates who are market ready. The MD concluded his opening remarks by noting that the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System is in line with the strategic commitment of the University to provide quality products and services across all levels and structures of the University.
Taking the guests on the tough journey towards the QMS Certification, BA ISAGO President, Dr. Ruramayi Tadu, said the decision to apply for the BOBS Certification was motivated by the quest of the University to streamline its quality processes and ensure continuous improvement of the University. Although the arduous process started in 2016, it was put on hold due to the new BQA regulations, which required the University to be accredited under the new rules and regulations. The BOBS Certification process resumed in 2018 and the first submission by the University was made in November, 2020.
The Guest of Honour at the Event, Honourable Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Dr Douglas Letsholathebe expressed his utmost appreciation for BA ISAGO University’s role in contributing to the Government’s efforts to promote quality education in institutions of higher learning. Dr Letsholathebe stated that the Tertiary Education Policy of 2008 calls for increased focus on quality, accountability and performance development of formal quality assurance systems and increased oversight, monitoring and evaluation of performance of tertiary education institutions to ensure both improvement and accountability.
The Minister stated; “It is a pleasure to see BA ISAGO aligning to international standards that will definitely enhance global recognition. We consider Institutions such as BA ISAGO as key stakeholders and partners who support our agenda to improve the quality of education in Botswana.” He further urged the University to continue nurturing the superb working relationship with BOBS and other stakeholders for continued sustainability and consistency. Dr Letsholathebe did not mince his words when he admonished some Private Institutions of Higher Learning for corrupt practices in their operations, and he paid special tribute to BA ISAGO for not being involved in corrupt and illicit practices in student recruitment in the past 19 years. He observed that ever since he assumed office, he has ‘‘never received any adverse report about BA ISAGO University’’.
BOBS Acting Managing Director, Botsile Kebapetse was impressed with the Institution’s commitment to quality and said BA ISAGO demonstrated utmost quest for quality. “The scope for you certificate covers a diverse variety of services including: the development of programmes, student administration, teaching, learning, assessment, research, publication, community management, student welfare, administrative services including HR, Finance, library, marketing, IT, etc.” he highlighted.
Mr Kebapetse lamented that the importance of adoption of a QMS cannot be overemphasised: For organisations and companies to be competitive and thrive in their respective sectors, it is vital for them to adopt best business practices, which are the main pillar of the BOC ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems. Through certification, BA ISAGO University is forging a lifelong partnership in which BOBS will provide third party assurance and promotion of the quality of your services.
He applauded the University for taking a huge step in the right direction, which will ensure their meaningful contribution to the country’s ‘Vision 2036’ and help them compete globally. He expressed his delight that BA ISAGO voluntarily chose to buttress its quality assurance system through BOBS and that such ISO Certification elevates the University to the ranks of other institutions of higher learning globally. “I wish to commend the Leadership and Staff of BA ISAGO University for your dedication and hard work in acquiring this certification and encourage you to maintain this certification and let it become your normal way of doing business.” said Mr Kebapetse in conclusion.
The Director of Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance, Mrs Tlamelo Kelebeile noted in her closing remarks that the process was both demanding and rewarding. “It has assisted us to adopt a process approach in implementing quality requirements,” she revealed. She further stated that they were able to undertake stakeholder analysis to identify the needs and expectations of interested parties and key stakeholders. Further to that, her Division recently launched a Student Quality Handbook and Forum to provide more platforms to regularly engage with students on quality issues, among others.
The University’s Steering Committee, led by Mrs Kelebeile and guided by the Institution’s President, Dr Ruramayi Tadu, were highly commended for their hard work, resilience, team spirit and commitment to making the BOBS ISO 9001:2015 a huge success.