BY LEKOPANYE MOOKETSI
Limkokwing, the Malaysian creative technology university, which has moved to Botswana, opens on March 21.
Its president, Tan Sri Dato'' Limkokwing, said in Gaborone that they are going to enrol 1,005 students for their programmes.
He said they have already registered 3,500 students, adding that the other batch would start in July.
He pointed out that they are starting with Botswana students but in future they would be targeting other nationals from various countries in the region.
The university is operating from the Fairgrounds mall while waiting to be allocated a plot where they would build a campus for 6,000 students every two years.
The Malaysian university will be offering Diploma and Degree courses in a number of disciplines including furniture design, advertising, graphic design, videography, broadcasting and interior design.
Limkokwing said they have employed 90 workers of which 70 are Botswana most of them graduates from its Malaysian institution.
He said Botswana students have been attending the Malaysian university for the past seven years. "We know Botswana quite well. Many of our graduates have been working in Botswana and I understand they are often preferred by employers," he said.
Limkokwing, who is an acclaimed creative director and communications guru in Asia, said they also plan to set up another university in London where they would be the first Malaysian university to do so.
He said they are promoting a concept of one university in three continents or what he calls a global university.
Limkokwing said their programmes are taught in 26 countries, adding that they are intending to open a branch in Beijing at the end of the year and another one in New York next year. He said Limkokwing is linked to 160 universities in the world.
He hinted that a student could do the first semester in Botswana before progressing to the second semester in Britain. "Everywhere you go, it is a different country but the classroom will be the same," he said.
Limkokwing said their long-term vision is to turn Botswana into a regional hub for education, adding that they are also intending to build an innovation centre.
He said they want to inspire young people to think about the future. They also want the youth to consider that they are an important generation.
He said the difference between Limkokwing and other universities is that theirs is industry-driven. He spoke of their programme known as Industry, which combines the university and the industry. He said the students are exposed to practical lessons by working in the industry.
Limkokwing said local authorities have been supportive so far. In fact, he held a meeting with President Festus Mogae on Friday during which the President accepted their invitation to conduct the official opening of the campus in May.
Limokokwing, who started as a news reporter, is an accomplished entrepreneur. He once worked as a cartoonist for a newspaper. When he got tired with journalism, he ventured into advertising and set up his own advertising agency in Malaysia.
In 1994, during South Africa''s first all-race elections, he was seconded to that country to set up a media campaign strategy for the African National Congress (ANC).
He received a personal thank you note from the former ANC leader, Nelson Mandela for the meritorious service that he rendered.