BHSU reps visit Botswana to recruit students, forge partnerships

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, April 16, 2015/Categories: 2015








           BHSU student Courtney Gross meets with high school students in Botswana. Officials from BHSU visited with over 3,000 students at a recruitment fair while visiting the country recently.



Representatives from Black Hills State University attended the Botswana Tertiary Education Fair and Conference in Gaborone, Botswana recently. The visit generated interest from future students and solidified BHSU&rsquos partnership with Botho University, a leading multidisciplinary university in southern Africa.

BHSU President Tom Jackson, Jr., was invited to serve as a chairperson at the Conference.

"The purpose of our trip was to make sure that when students graduate from BHSU they&rsquore ready to engage with individuals in the global marketplace," said Jackson. "BHSU students have opportunities to participate in service learning and study abroad across the world and through this trip we will continue to increase those opportunities for our students."

Jackson said BHSU currently has students enrolled from 29 countries and plans to enroll more students from Botswana and several other countries.

"International students at BHSU have a 98% graduation rate &ndash there&rsquos no better number in this region," said Jackson.

BHSU representatives interacted with over 3,000 students from Botswana at the Botswana Education Fair, bringing home 500 completed contact cards to follow-up with students wanting more information.  Already, BHSU has received 10 completed admission applications from Botswana and the country&rsquos Ministry of Education is identifying high-achieving students to recommend for admittance to BHSU.

BHSU student Courtney Gross, English education major from Brandon, traveled to Botswana with the BHSU team to talk with students about the opportunities at BHSU. Last summer Gross participated in a study abroad experience in Lithuania and currently helps international students with English writing and speaking skills at the BHSU Writing Center.

"It was a delight for me to interact with the students at the Education Fair.  I answered many questions. Students were particularly curious about what life in Spearfish is like," said Gross.

Students in Botswana were especially interested in BHSU&rsquos business and education programs. Officials at Botho University and other universities that the BHSU representatives visited are interested in strengthening their ties to BHSU through a research at a symposium in Botswana next fall and other student and faculty collaborations.

BHSU is now making plans to increase service learning opportunities abroad for BHSU students. The international service learning option provides BHSU students with a global experience while earning academic credit.  

Dr. Lois Flagstad, vice president for student life, said the government of Botswana is investing in the education of its citizens as a result of economic success from mining and other business sectors.

"The opportunities for faculty or student exchanges and internships are endless. We visited our strategic partner Botho University and explored future partnership opportunities with secondary schools, the Botswana Vaccine Institute, a science and technology institution, a business school and a center for agricultural research," said Flagstad. She noted that Botho University visited BHSU this spring and two additional representatives will be on campus this summer.

For BHSU student Gross, the trip was meaningful because the global leaders in education she met and interacted with shared her passion for education. Gross says the experience confirmed her choice to become a teacher and take a leadership role in service learning opportunities to improve and enrich the education of her future students

"The power of collaboration will provide my students with opportunities for personal and academic growth," said Gross.

For more information contact Corinne Hansen, director of university and community relations, at 605-642-6215 or


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