International profile: Botswana, Brazil

Honorary degree recipients at Installation

- September 30, 2013

University leaders Bojosi Otlhogile and Joaquim Clotet Marti. (Provided photos)
University leaders Bojosi Otlhogile and Joaquim Clotet Marti. (Provided photos)

This Friday, Dalhousie will welcome eight university leaders from around the world as part of the proceedings to mark President Florizone's installation. The leaders, each with an impressive set of accomplishments, will receive honorary doctorates from Dalhousie and will take part in a panel discussion on "The future of universities," 9 a.m. Friday in the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium; all are invited to attend. The event will also be broadcast live in Alumni Theatre, Agricultural Campus and will be webcast on the Installation website.  

Each day this week, we'll be sharing two of the leaders' profiles here on Dal News. For full details on the honoured guests and Installation proceedings, visit the Installation website.

Bojosi Otlhogile
Past Vice-Chancellor, University of Botswana

The stereotypical image of a university is of a campus populated with century-old stone buildings, wrapped in ivy and steeped in tradition. But what of more recent institutions, those like the University of Botswana, a university with just over three decades of history, an educational institution that has grown as its country has grown? At the University of Botswana, the buildings are modern and spread over four campuses, and the challenge is not reinvention so much as it is invention.

That was the challenge Dr. Bojosi Otlhogile, recently-retired Vice Chancellor of the University of Botswana, faced as he worked to cement the university’s reputation as one of the most notable institutions within sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Otlhogile is a graduate of the University of Botswana and Swaziland, a predecessor of his present university and where he obtained his law degree (LLB). He went on to complete his LLM and PhD in Law at the University of Cambridge in England. After returning to Botswana, he held a variety of academic posts at the University of Botswana, including Head of Law and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. He was appointed vice chancellor (a position equivalent to that of university president) in 2003 and served in that role until 2011. He currently serves as the director of educational publisher Pearson Botswana, and chairman of the Standard Chartered Bank Botswana.

Under his leadership, the University of Botswana expanded both in the size of its student body, now numbering over 17,000, and the programs it offers (currently over 130 in seven faculties). Dr. Otlhogile led efforts to expand the university’s focus from humanities and social sciences to include science and medicine programs. The latter, in particular, is part of an effort to provide local training in key professions. One route to establishing the University of Botswana’s faculties was to partner with institutions internationally. During his time at the university’s helm, Dr. Otlhogile fostered these relationships, working with Dalhousie University’s School of Architecture, for example, to establish the University of Botswana’s own architecture program.

Dr. Otlhogile continues to be a leader in post-secondary education on his continent and beyond, fostering the leadership of others through his role as co-chairman of the Programme for Universities Leadership in Southern Africa.

Joaquim Clotet Marti
President, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul

What is the secret to Brazil’s culture of innovation? As a principal participant in that innovation, Dr. Joaquim Clotet’s experience offers compelling insights. The President of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Dr. Joaquim Clotet has been a leader for the internationalization of the university, university-industry collaboration, and innovation at the university and in the overall Brazilian economy.

The results of Dr. Clotet's dedication and commitment? Over 140 research and development projects, 18 start-up incubators, 2,600 employees, and more than 500 master’s and PhD scholarships allocated to TECNOPUC-based researchers. TECNOPUC provides professional qualification training on new IT technologies and tools. In all, it is an integrated, multi-layered approach to education and research that is translating academic achievement into entrepreneurial innovation, while offering students a “sandbox” par excellence. It is also a model for other Brazilian technology parks, which have followed its example.

But Dr. Clotet is not focused solely on innovation within Brazil’s borders. He recognizes the importance of international connections, both for students and for the university itself. The Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul sends and receives students from and to the entire world, providing exemplary services to the students and undertaking innovative ways of integrating them into the university. At the same time, under Dr. Clotet’s guidance, the university has forged alliances with leading educational institutions in more than 25 countries around the world. Recently, Dalhousie University joined that list, entering into a Memoranda of Agreement that will support both research collaboration and student mobility between Dalhousie and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul.

Joaquim Clotet was born in the province of Barcelona, Spain, in 1946. He graduated in English Language and Letters at the University of Barcelona, and obtained his PhD in Philosophy and Letters from the same university. His post-doctoral studies took him to the University of Georgetown, Oxford University, the Gregorian University in Rome, the University of Ottawa and the University of Warwick. The focus of his academic work has been bioethics, and he has authored or co-authored 11 books and many more publications on such topics as philosophical approaches to justice, and the scientific and ethical debate regarding human genetics.

More information: Installation website


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