Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) is undergoing an exercise to reduce its staff compliment. “This has been necessitated by a significant and sustained decline in student enrolments faced by the entire tertiary education sector in Botswana mainly due to the low number of sponsored students by the main client being the Government, recent graduation of students as well as declining numbers of senior secondary school pupils who fail to meet the selection criteria of higher education institutions to attract DTEF funding,” said the University in a statement.
“Since 2014, the University has enrolled a very low number of students to replace the number of students who were graduating. In 2013, the University had a total of 7,247 students and employed staff numbers consistent with the needs of such a student community. As of 2015, the University had a total of 3,800 students still having the same staff complement to service over 7000 students while in 2016 the university had only 3142 students still with the same staff complement,” said Limkokwing.
Given this trend in 2017 the University, with reluctance had no choice but to reduce the number of staff, to remain viable and sustainable and below are a range of measures that the University has taken to date:
Notified the Commissioner of Labour before the initiation of the retrenchment process;
Served notices of the intention to retrench to the employees
Where practicably reasonable to do so, the university applied the “First-in - Last-out”, principle taking into consideration the efficient running of the university and the ability, experience, qualifications, redundancy of programmes and skills of the employees
The university has considered ways to minimize the impact of retrenchment by not renewing contracts of staff and has given warnings to its employees
The University has engaged in a consultation process with the employees including two staff meetings one in early December and one post-Christmas as follows;
Invited staff to contribute suggestions to address the challenges facing the University in terms of surplus personnel; &
The University has given affected employees notification for retrenchment as follows; The Limkokwing Staff Compliment comprises of 86% locals and 14% expatriates. From the overall retrenched figures (total 52 staff) 16% of the local staff population was retrenched while 23% of expatriate staff was retrenched. However, it is important note that retrenchment was based on required expertise.
The University does not have any written agreement with the union as the agreement it had with TAWU expired in 2013 (a development that the University notified both the staff and union of once it was made aware of the same by its legal team). The University has engaged comprehensively and willingly with staff on the retrenchment process from the onset.