The Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Innovation and Training, Dr Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, delivered the keynote address on behalf of the Minister, Dr Ita Murangi-Kandjii. In her address to the academic community, she emphasised the importance of NUST placing Science and Technology with Innovation at the heart of its future operations. Ndjoze-Ojo said this is what will set the University apart from the rest and avoid duplication of programmes.
“Innovation should mean tapping local natural resources yet untapped, and if tapped already, tapping on generic knowledge and local resources from a new vantage point for sustainable results that have relevance for, and responsive needs of the people, especially at grassroots level,” she said.
Although the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields of study will be the core of NUST, other programmes that do not fall into this category, that were introduced before the transformation, will remain part of the University’s curriculum, she announced.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Tjama Tjivikua, emphasised that the University’s mission is to recognise the need for greater socio-economic participation at all levels of society. “We are in the business of hope, we sell hope and we attract the most academically talented faculty and students. We aim to empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things,” he said.
The Academic Welcome also included presentations by five speakers who focused on various efforts being made by NUST to bring tangible solutions to addressing needs in the communities. These included a concept solar powered electric vehicle set on embracing Namibia’s abundance of solar energy and reducing carbon emission. Though it is still at a concept stage, students from various disciplines and institutions working on this project aim to pave the way for this idea to become a reality in future.
“It is through tangible innovations such as these that NUST is determined to contribute to providing solutions to problems faced by the nation,” Tjivikua said.
The event was concluded by staff members signing a pledge, vowing to contribute towards helping NUST to become a premier university of science and technology that builds a prosperous and industrialised Namibia.