Mushrooming number of colleges a cause for concern
By By Albin Jacobs
Director Southern Business School Namibia
Media statements about Namibian students being left hanging by education institutions both locally and internationally are very troubling. Every day diligent students of all ages enrol in private higher education institutions that advertise across all mediums and are very visible on social media, promising qualifications and ultimately success.
The lack of places at the established tertiary institutions make prospective students easy and vulnerable targets. Private Higher Education Institutions are there to complement the efforts by government to provide a Higher Education System that would develop the required skills in the Namibian economy. The challenge arises when Private Higher Education providers operate without accreditation or recognition from the NQA.
With fewer than 40% of Grade 12 students getting the necessary results to qualify for entrance to tertiary education. A huge number of prospective students are looking for other options. It is at this point where Private Higher Education Institutions must pick up the baton. This is the point where Private Higher Education Institutions must fill the gaps in the system, by complementing the opportunities created by government. Many of the Private Higher Education Institutions do just that. They provide a service that provides an alternative route on the journey of higher education and lifelong learning to many Namibians.
Many of them serve as a bridge between secondary education and tertiary education. However, the students’ pursuit of a recognised degree often goes up in smoke as some of the Private Higher Education Institutions operate without accreditation or recognition from the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA). This is a major problem as Namibians determined to get an education get duped into paying fees for qualifications that have no value and no standing with prospective employers. It is heart wrenching to tell a student that the qualification that took three years to complete, sometimes under the most challenging of circumstances, is worth nothing.
It is for this reason that SBS Namibia ensures that all its qualifications are accredited and recognised. SBS ensures that all its qualifications are recognised by the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA). I firmly believe that Private Higher Education Institutions must be committed in supporting the NQA in the promotion of quality education and training in Namibia through the development and management of a comprehensive National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
Albin Jacobs, Director of the Southern Business School of Namibia further explains; “Education is vital for a nation and its youth. It opens doors that were closed before and provides a country with the academic and intellectual foundation to move forward.” SBS Namibia prides itself in offering its students the reward of an accredited and recognised qualification after the hard work and sacrifice students have invested in attaining their qualifications.
In Namibia, like in other African nations the youth are always called to action, with education as the battle cry. Hard work, dedication and commitment are hailed as the bastions of achieving the dream of being a graduate from an accredited and recognised institution. As so often, youngsters and aspiring professionals need to heed the saying ‘buyer beware’ when it comes to education, much like in the rest of life. Simply enrolling at a higher education institution and paying large sums of money for a course does not guarantee a recognised qualification. The advice therefore is, do your due diligence and ensure that the academic institution of your choice, is recognised by the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA).
SBS Namibia is accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and recognised by the NQA in Namibia. All qualifications go through a stringent process that requires compliance to academic quality, institutional and professional standards.