The National University of Lesotho
is situated at Roma
Roma is a settlement under the Manonyane Community Council in the Maseru District of Lesotho, some 34 kilometers southeast of Maseru, the capital of Lesotho. The Roma valley is broad and fertile, and is surrounded by sandstone cliffs topped to the East by basalt mountains which provide magnificent...
some 34 kilometers southeast of Maseru
Maseru is the capital of Lesotho. It is also the capital of the Maseru District. Located on the Caledon River, bordering South Africa, Maseru is Lesotho's only sizable city, with a population of approximately 227,880 . The city was established as a police camp and assigned as the capital after the...
, the capital of Lesotho
Lesotho , officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a landlocked country and enclave, surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. It is just over in size with a population of approximately 2,067,000. Its capital and largest city is Maseru. Lesotho is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The name...
. The Roma valley is broad and is surrounded by a barrier of rugged mountains which provides magnificent scenery. The University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...
enjoys a temperate climate with four distinctive seasons. The governing body of the University is the Council and academic policy is in the hands of Senate - both Council and Senate being established by the Act.
Faculties and departments:
Science & Technology
- Association of Commonwealth Universities
The Association of Commonwealth Universities represents over 480 universities from Commonwealth countries.- History :In 1912, the University of London took the initiative to assemble 53 representatives of universities in London to hold a Congress of Universities of the Empire...
- Association of African Universities
The Association of African Universities was established in 1967 to facilitate co-operation between its members and with the international academic community. It is based in Accra, Ghana...
- International Association of Universities
- Southern African Regional Universities Association
The Southern African Regional Universities Association was established in 2005 as a membership based association for the 66 public universities in the 15 countries of the Southern African Development Community ....
Pius XII Catholic University College
The origins of the National University of Lesotho go back to April 8, 1945, when a Catholic University College was founded at Roma by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy of Southern Africa. The establishment of this College
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...
was a realisation of a decision taken in 1938 by the Synod of Catholic Bishops in South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...
to provide African Catholic students with post-matriculation and religious guidance. The Catholic University College was founded in an isolated valley 34 kilometers from Maseru in a temporary primary school building at Roma Mission.
In 1946 the College moved from the temporary building to the present site. This was made possible by the allocation of some 52 acres (210,000 m²) of land to the College by the Paramount Chief.
In 1950, the Catholic University College was ceded to the Congregation of Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Pius XII College prepared its students for the external degrees of the University of South Africa
The University of South Africa is a distance education university, with headquarters in Pretoria, South Africa. With approximately 300 000 enrolled students, it qualifies as one of the world's mega universities.-History:...
(UNISA). By September 27, 1954, having satisfied itself that Pius XII College was an academically viable Institution, UNISA agreed to enter into a formal agreement - thereby granting an "Associate College" status to the College. This development was of major significance to the Roma intellectual community as it entailed a certain degree of "decentralisation" in certain specific areas on the part of UNISA, e.g. Pius Xil College assumed greater responsibility for tuition and examinations. Indeed, between 1954-60 both the academic and physical growth of the College accelerated. Fathers Beaule, Quirion, and Guilbeault (then Rector), participated actively in the early development of the college.
In the early 60s the College experienced difficulties academically and financially. UNISA unilaterally decided to redefine its relationship with the College and, finally, the main benefactor of the College directed its resources elsewhere.
The denominational character of the College had made it difficult for international organizations, agencies, and foundations to fund such an institution of higher learning. Despite these problems, advice received from Sir John Lockwood and Sir James Cook, both Vice-Chancellors' of British universities at the time, discouraged the College authorities from seeking an affiliation with either the University of London
-20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...
, or for that matter, any other overseas University. As early as 1952, attempts by the college to secure a special relationship with the University of London, through the Inter-University Council for Higher Education Overseas (Commonly referred to as the I-VC) had been unsuccessful.
In view of the prevailing difficulties, seen as a danger to the development of university education in Basutoland
Basutoland or officially the Territory of Basutoland, was a British Crown colony established in 1884 after the Cape Colony's inability to control the territory...
in 1962, the General of the Oblate Congregation requested Fathers Banim, 0. M.I. and A. W. Hall, O.M.I. to visit Roma and assist the College in finding a practical solution to its problems.
The South African Government had declared its intention not to admit African students from outside South Africa into the University of Fort Hare
The University of Fort Hare is a public university in Alice, Eastern Cape, South Africa. It was a key institution in higher education for black Africans from 1916 to 1959. It offered a Western-style, academically excellent education to students from across sub-Saharan Africa, creating a black...
, and the Natal Medical School (Wentworth) after December 31, 1953. Although this ban was relaxed for Basutoland students until 1958, the writing was on the wall.
The College, which by 1959 had 171 students, 141 of whom were students from outside Basutoland - mainly from South Africa, Northern
Northern Rhodesia was a territory in south central Africa, formed in 1911. It became independent in 1964 as Zambia.It was initially administered under charter by the British South Africa Company and formed by it in 1911 by amalgamating North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia...
and Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia was the name of the British colony situated north of the Limpopo River and the Union of South Africa. From its independence in 1965 until its extinction in 1980, it was known as Rhodesia...
, and Nyasaland
Nyasaland or the Nyasaland Protectorate, was a British protectorate located in Africa, which was established in 1907 when the former British Central Africa Protectorate changed its name. Since 1964, it has been known as Malawi....
- was already deeply involved in contributing to the training of future civil servants and teachers for the Bechuanaland Protectorate and Swaziland.
Clearly, the High Commission Territories (H.C.T) were indebted to Pius XII College for its role in producing a cadre of educated women and men to tackle developmental problems after independence. On the other hand, the- College, which was going through a period of financial difficulties felt that it would be most appreciative if its efforts in providing the prerequisite manpower needs for the H.C.T. could be recognized both in cash and in kind. At the same time, it was apparent that the H.C.T. also wanted to play a more significant role in the decision-making bodies of the College. In a curious way - the Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...
Church, the Basutoland Government, the University authorities and even the other H.C.T. territories sensed the need for a decisive step to be taken in order the re-define the role and the governance of the College.
Negotiations began with the view to establishing an inter-territorial, non- denominational University, principally to serve the H.C.T. Indeed, it has been said that by that time the three High Commission Territories were beginning to see the College as destined to become a "University of the High Commission Territories". Progress was made to enable a deed of cession to be signed on June 13, 1963, the indemnity being met jointly by the Ford Foundation and H.M.'.s Government in the UK. The indemnity was signed between Sir Hugh Stephenson, then newly appointed High Commissioner acting on behalf of the projected new University, and at the time of signing the indemnity the facilities of the College, most of which were attributed to the period when Fr. Romeo Guilbeaut was Rector, had expanded rapidly. Besides the original "temporary" houses and classrooms, residences which could accommodate 100 male and 70 Students, some 20 staff houses/flats, a modem science block, a kitchen and refectory block, administrative buildings, workshops, garage and a power plant were in existence. Also under construction was a new library building whose funding had been secured form the World Council of Churches
The World Council of Churches is a worldwide fellowship of 349 global, regional and sub-regional, national and local churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service. It is a Christian ecumenical organization that is based in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland...
, and the World University Service. Student numbers had grown from the original five, to 180.
University of Basutoland, Bechuanaland Protectorate and Swaziland
On January 1, 1964, Plus XII University College was replaced by the independent, non-denominational University of Basutoland, Bechuanaland Protectorate, and Swaziland
Swaziland, officially the Kingdom of Swaziland , and sometimes called Ngwane or Swatini, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, bordered to the north, south and west by South Africa, and to the east by Mozambique...
with its own Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth 2. By virtue of the same Charter, the Oblate Fathers kept a close relation- ship with the U.B.B.S. through serving on the Council and teaching, as well as in the physical presence of Piux XII College House, a residence for the Oblate community.
University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland
To be in line with the names chosen after independence in 1966, U.B.B.S. became the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.
A historical date in life of U.B.L.S. is April 7, 1967, when the first autonomous degrees and diplomas were conferred. The University continued to grow steadily - physically and academically, being supported by the three governments' subventions and by international organisations. In time, branches of the University were established in Botswana and Swaziland.
U.B.L.S, through much admired as an institution, soon found problems in the areas of growth and administration. Cooperation between the three campuses was not always consistent and equal, as interests and concerns about development and future plans differed between the three campuses.
By 1974, ten years after its establishment, the U.B.L.S. was offering five degree courses, eleven diploma and certificate courses and four post- graduate degree courses.
National University of Lesotho
The decision to establish the National University of Lesotho on, the Lesotho (Roma) campus site of the former U.B.L.S. was taken on October 20, 1975, by the National Assembly through Act No. 1 3 of 1975. NUL is the proud heir of Pius XII University College and U.B.L.S. It occupies the same site, grounds, and buildings as its predecessors, as well as additional ones.
Over the years new faculties and departments have been established, particularly with the help of the EU. The Dutch for example have been key to establishing the Education faculty at the University.