National University of Lesotho
Historical Note of the National University of Lesotho
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 was a realization of a decision taken in 1938 by the Synod of Catholic Bishops in South Africa 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 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 (OMI).
Pius XII College prepared its students for the external degrees of the University of South Africa (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 “decentralization” in certain specific areas on the part of UNISA, e.g. Pius XII College assumed greater responsibility for tuition and examinations. Indeed, between 1954-60, both the academic and physical growth of the College accelerated. Fathers Beaulé, 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…..