SADC student visa may be on the horizon

Botswana academics, researchers and students may benefit from a proposal by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for a regional student visa. The proposal, part of a protocol on education and training, is contained in the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020 – 2030.

“Interventions have included the treatment of SADC students as local students with respect to tuition, application, and examination fees in public universities in most Member States leading to a proposal to introduce a regional visa for students, academics, researchers, and scientists,” reads part of the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2020-2030.

Although all Member states have their own distinct education policies, SADC recognises the need to synchronise the policies for the good of the bloc by removing obstacles that hamper academics’ freedom of movement within the bloc. Among other things, the protocol intends to introduce tax and customs exemptions in the region; establish centres of specialisation; develop regional teacher standards and competencies; as well as promotion of technical and vocational entrepreneurship education and training through the development of a TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) Nomenclature Framework and Strategy. The Sunday Standard quoted a former teacher who applauded the move. The publications quoted the teacher saying the regional visa is a positive move which will see more academics within the region able to move freely and thus spur and contribute to the movement of knowledge in the bloc.

However, Botsane highlighted that this might be problematic in the long run as some students and academics could move to countries such as South Africa, which has the best universities and educational institutions on the African continent. The SADC protocol states that the bloc is making strides in establishing the SADC Women in Science, Engineering, and Technology organisation and the SADC Qualifications Framework (SADCQF).

However, Botsane highlighted that this might be problematic in the long run some students and academics are likely move to a few countries such as South Africa which has the best universities and educational institutions on the African continent. The SADC protocol states that the bloc is making strides in establishing the SADC Women in Science, Engineering, and Technology organisation and the SADC Qualifications Framework (SADCQF).

Source: https://www.sundaystandard.info/sadc-student-visa-beckons/

3 months ago

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