Government committed to advancing higher education - Ndjoze-Ojo

The Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Innovation and Training, Dr Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, has expressed her disappointment that the start of the year at universities was marked by student groups staging protests against registration fees and debt.

Speaking at the official academic opening of NUST, Ndjoze-Ojo said that in future, it is important that such issues should be constructively discussed through the proper channels. “If these channels do not exist, create them,” she said. The Deputy Minister also applauded everyone who had worked tirelessly to ensure that an amicable solution was reached.

 

Turning her attention to the first year students, she said the beginning of university life, especially for them, marks one of the most important transitions of their lives.

“In the next three to four years, you will learn and incredibly acquire new knowledge. You will need to refine your abilities to study, think critically and express your ideas in writing and speech. Therefore, the university is expected to teach students to question interpretations that are given to them; to reduce information overload to the order of coherent argument; to identify problems for themselves and use rational approaches supported by evidence to resolve problems,” she warned.

Dr Ndjoze-Ojo announced that the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation is committed to advance the higher education system. “We are currently working at expanding technical and vocational training; improving the status and quality of output and outcome of higher education; and finding creative ways to increase financial support to students. These measures are intended to create more opportunities for Namibians to access higher education and training so as to acquire skills in those areas needed by industries,” she said.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Tjama Tjivikua, assured the new students that they had made an ‘excellent choice’ by deciding to study at NUST. “This new institution is a global university and has been borne out of an institution that has, over the years, built a high pedigree of academic excellence which provides NUST with a strong foundation to launch itself into the future,” Tjivikua said.

One interesting facet of the opening was that an enrolled student and a former student were granted the opportunity to address the gathering. Comfort Bishi, a first-year Civil Engineering student, testified about his ambitions to become a top achiever in his class and to one day make a meaningful contribution to industry.

Mia Davids, Head of Corporate Communications at the Namibia Airports Company, encouraged the students to craft plans for their careers and overcome the odds. Davids, who started her studies in Journalism and Communication Technology approximately 10 years ago, said her hunger for success and desire for excellence prompted her success.

More than 13 000 students have registered at NUST to date, of which approximately 3 500 are in their first year.

Date: 
Friday, February 5, 2016
for Month: 
February, 2016

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