The event, hosted this year by the School of Engineering, is held annually to showcase research done by the Poly’s academic staff during the year and to promote a culture of research excellence among staff and students.
Prof Errol Tyobeka, Special Adviser to the Rector, opened the event, emphasised its importance and said “Research is one of the key steps in advancing higher education in Namibia. It sets a good platform for good vibrant discussions that helps to drive a knowledge-based economy.”
Dr Andrew Niikondo, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, said the Institutional Research Week was a platform for Faculty members to share their work with colleagues, the general public and Poly’s stakeholders. He encouraged researchers to make use of local research presentation platforms. “We have the upcoming SANORD conference and local publications are available. Presenting at this research week doesn’t cost anything, people just need to participate,” Niikondo said.
Alushe Nditya, Resource Mobilisation and Grant Management Manager from the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST), highlighted some of the key enablers that are needed to ensure the success of research in institutions of higher learning. She said these included, amongst others, research relevance and publication of findings and financing.
“Institutions of higher learning are well positioned to drive research that is locally applicable, locally appealing and locally relevant. Research will assist in providing pragmatic, action-orientated recommendations for addressing local challenges and drive policy direction,” Nditya said. According to her, at least 2% of Namibia’s GDP will be apportioned to Research and Development and a substantial amount of that will be used by institutions of higher learning. The three-day event ended with an award ceremony where ten researchers were rewarded for their efforts.