The Head of the Department of Architecture and Spatial Planning, Prof Sampson Umenne, described the validation of the Bachelor of Architecture (B Arch) and Bachelor of Architecture Honours (B Arch Hons) programmes for the period 2016 to 2020, as ‘a landmark achievement by the first Namibian School of Architecture which is less than six years old.’ He added that it was also an historic event as it is the first-ever full validation of the qualifications offered by the department.
“By awarding the Architecture programmes the unconditional validation status, the NCAQS is granting recognition to NUST programmes as having been tested and found to be capable of producing results of acceptable standard against set criteria, viz. evidence-led and peer-reviewed evaluation. The judgement is based on the evidence presented by the department’s Architecture Learning Site (ALS), including teaching portfolios and assessment instruments, exhibition of students’ works, and revealed by interviewing staff, students and external examiners,” Umenne explained.
The validation status furthermore provides a benchmark of international standards as well as allowing mobility of students between the various programmes offered by validated Architecture Learning Sites at other institutions. It also provides a stepping stone for accreditation by the Namibia Council for Higher Education (NCHE) and opens opportunities for the Department to seek validation by other international regulatory bodies such as the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) and the International Union of Architects (UIA) and others.
Since its inception in 2010, the department has produced four cohorts of B Arch graduates and three cohorts of B Arch Hons graduates who are, all either gainfully employed or pursuing Master’s qualifications at South African universities. “This is clear evidence of the recognition of the quality of our graduates,” Umenne said.