The SAS N& S are guidelines for student affairs professionals working within Educations and Training Institutions.

The Honourable Assistant Minister of Tertiary Education, Research Science and Technology, Honourable Fidelis Molao launched the SAS N&S at the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) Campus in Palapye on the 7th December 2017.

Speaking at the launch, Honourable Molao called upon all Tertiary Education Institutions and Student Affairs Services (SAS) Practitioners to make the implementation and practice of SAS Norms and Standards a reality and a true success, he advised, “include the SAS Norms and Standards in your priority agenda”.

He further echoed that this is for the benefit of both the Learner and Institution. Participants included all key stakeholders in Tertiary Education and Training and Student Development. Amongst them were Heads of Institutions, SAS Practitioners and Student representatives from all the Tertiary Education providers. The development of the SAS Norms and Standards is a ground-breaking initiative that was informed by a situational analysis in the Botswana Tertiary Education landscape focusing on provision of student services. Although many institutions have made progress in improving their student services many are still not doing enough. It is apparent from the situational analysis that many Institutions did not regard this service as part of their core function therefore neglecting it.

There is need to standardise student services and provide assistance to those Institutions that are having challenges. It is in the interest of HRDC to ensure that the graduates are adequately trained and nurtured (academically, professionally and socially).  Student Affairs Services are complimentary to academic services and must be learner centred. Learners have the responsibility to organise themselves to participate in their institution’s governance structures and pursue their personal and social interests.

Technology and Innovation are important components that should aim towards changing the mind-set of Student Affairs Services Practitioners thereby providing world class service to their Learners. 

The development of SAS Norms and Standards is expected to impact upon: programme development and targeting of appropriate students; ongoing professional development and improved effectiveness; the embedding of Student Affairs and Services staff and their work into the institution/agency, as well as into the broader community; lobbying/politicising just causes, including genuine equality of opportunity; the securing of adequate budgeting for appropriate services; bench-marking that helps ensure comparisons with best practices and evaluation and assessment of programmes and services. It is widely accepted that learning inside and outside classroom should enable full student development.

Botswana prioritised 10 functional areas. These were prioritised on account that they need immediate attention as they are the fundamental fabric for student development and growth. However, they are by no means static nor exhaustive. In the medium and long term, the SAS professionals should identify other critical functional areas.


Table One: Functions Areas of SAS


Academic Advising and Support


Personal Counselling and Support


Health and Wellness


Residence Life


Sports and Recreation


Student Leadership and Governance


Welcoming and Orientation


Career Services


Special Needs Services


HIV and AIDS services


In conclusion, Mr Eric Sebokedi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the South African Student Services Agency recommended the establishment of the Botswana Student Affairs Services Association (BOSASA) which will become the official professional body with the mandate to develop the SAS profession in Botswana. 

BOSASA would not only become the custodian of the SAS Norms and Standards for tertiary education institutions in Botswana but would also facilitate the development, adoption and implementation of other instruments aimed at promoting the SAS competencies and advocacy. This thought was tacitly welcomed by the majority of attendants. 

The different speakers reiterated that ‘the Success of a Learner is the success of an institution’. They called upon all concerned parties to deliver on their role and ensure they immediately embark on the exercise as a collective.


News Date: 
Thursday, December 7, 2017