FUTURE OF IDE

Future of IDE

Almost all the recommendations contained in the COL/Siaciwena’s report were accepted by UNISWA. These have been built into the IDE and UNISWA new strategic plan, and others, such as the amendment of University Act and Statutes, are already being attended to.

In the UNISWA strategic plan, the action plan is envisaged as follows:

Amendment of Act and Statutes   - by   UNISWA

May – October 2009

Submission of Amended Act to Mined                    

November 2009

Submission of Amended Act to Parliament

February 2010

New Act in place

June 2010

Creation of the College of Distance Education (CODE) 

August 2010

Creation of The Open University of Swaziland (TOUS)

August 2015

To address the issue of demand of higher education in the country and that of diversification, appropriate physical facilities, infrastructure, equipment, teaching and administrative staff, and other resources will have to be mobilised for the CODE. The creation of CODE would also release teaching and learning resources that can be returned to the benefit of UNISWA. To ensure a smooth transition from CODE to the Open University of Swaziland (TOUS), and avoid an inefficient use of resources, it would be prudent that CODE be established outside the current UNISWA premises, on an area that will have adequate land for future expansion as CODE would develop to become The Open University of Swaziland (TOUS). Perhaps consideration could be given that once CODE is created, it is relocated to the William Pitcher Campus in Manzini. The student teachers studying on a full-time basis at William Pitcher College will move to the Kwaluseni Campus and the Ngwane Teachers College campus. If this proposal is acceptable, detailed plans and costs of the relocation of IDE, the conversion of the William Pitcher College to suit CODE needs, the teaching staff requirements, the administrative staff requirements would need to be undertaken by the appropriate UNISWA units.

 

The benefits of this plan to the country are many:

  1. It would increase the number of Swazis doing tertiary education and would increase the country’s participation rates in Higher education and help the country achieve the MDG’s and the EFA targets.
  1. It would absorb the increase in the number of High School graduates in the country and provide them with training to acquire knowledge and skills to get employment inside and outside Swaziland and hence reduce the unemployment rate in the country.
  1. The creation of CODE and TOUS would open up many opportunities for employment for locals as instructors, administrators and as support staff.
  1. It would help address the training needs for industry and the public sector by providing demand driven short-term and long-term courses and programmes.

     

  1. It would save the Swaziland Government money as Distance Education is a cost effective way of increasing student enrolments with decreasing level of overheads, and thus allowing a transition from “elite” to “mass” education. Many universities are feeling the pressure to control their costs, improve quality of teaching, focus on customer needs, and respond to competitive pressures. More graduates would then be produced from the existing funds.
  1. It would provide for more diversified courses and programmes and tailor made ones and hence improve its focus on supporting growth sectors in an efficient and cost effective way. It would therefore offer new programs and courses that are not found in traditional universities and hence produce graduates with relevant knowledge and skills for the employment market.
  1.   It will enable IDE to benefit from Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) based learning systems, in order to be responsive to the demands of a knowledge-based economy.