Why students should pursue degrees from officially accredited NQA institutions
Bogus tertiary institutions are rife in Namibia and students are often left hanging by education institutions both locally and internationally. The newly proposed measures and laws to curtail bogus institutions comes not a moment too soon.
Recently, as many as 2000 students saw their pursuit of a recognised degree go up in smoke as the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA) would not recognise certain academic institutes and their qualifications.
This is a major problem as locals determined to get an education get duped into paying fees for degrees that have no meaning and no standing with prospective employees, as they are not officially recognised.
Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) which provides different types of funding to local students wanting to pursue a degree is often confronted with questions about the rejection of funding for a specific institution by students. Because NSFAF has the very important task of providing the means for the youth of Namibia to be educated at tertiary level, it is essential that the monies spent on the students is not misspent.
This is why NSFAF only works with NQA certified institutions. The NQA is committed to the promotion of quality education and training in Namibia through the development and management of a comprehensive and flexible National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
Education is vital for a nation and its youth and if Namibia truly wants to be a knowledge-based society it has to take the pursuit of tertiary education very seriously. The right education in combination (inter)nationally recognised qualifications open doors for the youth that were previously closed and provides a country with the academic and intellectual foundation to move forward. This can only happen if the Institutions that offer courses, diplomas and degrees are controlled, monitored and certified by the Ministry of Education.
Through the NQA this is highly regulated. That is why NSFAF is so very strict about this regulation and happy that there is more legislation coming to curtail the ‘fly-by-night’ institutions, without certifications. It is also why NSFAF is very selective in its partnerships with international academic institutions. Offering students the reward of a recognised qualification after the hard work and sacrifice these students have invested into attaining their degrees is the goal of starting any study. Especially as it is no secret that tertiary education is exceedingly costly and should lead to a promising career and not disappointment and financial hardship.
In Namibia, like in other African nations the youth are always told that education is the key to a better way of life. This is certainly the case, but only if the hard work and dedication which the students put in is rewarded with a qualification that is recognised, accepted and respected by the Ministry of Education and ultimately by potential employers.
As so often, youngsters, aspiring professionals need to heed the saying ‘Buyer beware’ when it comes to education, much like in the rest of life. Simply enrolling at an Institute and paying large sums of money for a course does not guarantee a recognised qualifications. NSFAF plays its part in shielding would-be students from making costly mistakes. However, the advice therefore is, is do your homework and ensure that the academic institution you want to attend, is recognised by the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA) and by NSFAF, both nationally and internationally. This ensures that the students can be confident that their investment in their education will not lead to disappointment and money wasted.