Exploring Issues of Relevance and Quality in the Context of a University Programme
Quality and relevance in education are important considerations for university programme designs in today’s competitive world. A relevant and quality education programme is likely to afford graduates the opportunity to fare well in the local, regional and international market and social environment. This paper draws insights from a mini research project that was conducted at the University of Botswana in Botswana, within a wider, collaborative research effort established amongst five universities in the Southern African Development Community which focused on the links between educational quality and relevance and environment and sustainability education. Other projects in this collaborative partnership focused on school and community links. This paper, however, explores issues of relevance and quality in the context of a university programme on environment and sustainability education. The data for the research was gathered through a questionnaire survey and focus group interviews. The results of the research provide insights into how a research-based course design process could enhance issues of relevance and quality in university education. An analysis of the research data generated in Botswana has revealed that the university programme investigated should emphasise the local context while taking into consideration that local context is shaped and informed by external contexts (national, sub-regional, regional and global). It is argued that this orientation could ensure that university graduates receive relevant and quality education.
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