Funding for new university insufficient for upgrades
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Science and Technology, Professor Tjama Tjivikua said funding for upgrades at the institution is not enough to fully represent its new identity.
This came after Dr. Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation raised concerns over the lack of a student hall during the official opening of its academic year. The deputy minister stressed that it is very important to provide funding for a student hall as it is unhealthy for students to sit in the sun during such meetings.
Speaking to the Economist on the sidelines of the opening ceremony, Prof Tjivikua said submissions for funding of infrastructure and equipment are made by the university on an annual basis to the higher education ministry and to the National Planing Commission (NPC).
“Submissions are made every year, since 1996, for the construction of a multi-purpose hall for community events such as graduation ceremonies, amongst others, to be held. Yes, money has been given to us, but it is not enough to cater for everything.”
Prof Tjivikua stated the possibility of rain, in which case the opening of the academic year would have been ruined. The opening ceremony was held outdoors at the institution’s upper parking area. He added that since the university has been transitioning to a university of science and technology, it would need the appropriate study equipment and infrastructure. “New university, new funding. Science equipment and infrastructure are very expensive. Currently, we do not have any recreational activities for students to participate in.”
Still, the Vice-Chancellor was careful not to offend his line ministry, thanking the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation for the championing of the Namibia University of Science and Technology Bill through the legislative process.
Hon Ndjoze-Ojo referred any further questions by the Economist to the Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Hon Itah Kandji-Murangi, who was unreachable at the time.
Commenting on the request for additional funding, the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Hon Tom Alweendo said that he had not yet been approached by the ministry regarding discussions pertaining to any funding of infrastructure and equipment at the Namibia University of Science and Technology.