Poly transformation not affecting former students
The transformation of the Polytechnic of Namibia to the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) will not affect former students of the institutions.
According to Poly’s Rector, Prof. Tjama Tjivikua, because for all intents and purposes the institution has been operating as a university for some years now, and their [the students] qualifications will in no way be of lesser value than those obtained under the new name.
However, he said, the change in name and status of the institution will have profound and positive impact on those currently studying at the institution. “In the first instance those graduating from the institution in 2014 will do so with certificates from the Namibia University of Science and Technology. Although mainly an issue of perception, the name change has a wide range of benefits for those new graduates, including their “attractiveness” and “status of their qualifications”,” said Tjivikua. He said, the change to NUST, by virtue of the amendments to the Polytechnic Act, signifies a formal recognition of the status of the institution as a university. This will in no way detract from the value of any of the qualifications obtained from the Polytechnic. “On comparative basis, by some measure we have been rated amongst the 10th best university in Africa. We are recognised for our quality and output; hence the name change is in this regard merely a recognition of our achievements. This is long overdue and we thank the government for the recognition and welcome the future with open arms,” added The Rector. Vasti Nuule, a former student at Polytechnic of Namibia said the transformation of the Polytechnic of Namibia to The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) is a great move that has been long awaited for. However, as a former student she was planning on going back to enrol for a short course and had this to say:.“The phase out of diploma and certificate courses, which I believe was a preferred alternative for some students who did not wish to take on the longer degree courses, encourages me to look at options at other institutions.” Cabinet directed the Minister of Education to rename the Polytechnic of Namibia as University of Science and Technology, 2012 with conditions to keep the certificate and diploma courses for a period of not more than 5 years. “This is a process that involves many stakeholders and it depends on many factors. If the law is adopted by Parliament this year, then we shall start the new year with a new name. It is our sincerest wish that the new academic year (2014) will commence with a new name, failing of which we expect the goal to be realised early next year,” he said. Tjivikua also told The Economist that The Polytechnic community held extensive consultations and the Council approved the amendment Act or alternatively the Act for the University of Science and Technology in April 2013. “This we presented to the Law Reform and Development Commission (LRDC), which body needs to attend to the proposed law by, inter alia, consulting the stakeholders. Subsequently, the Commission should present the Bill to the Minister of Education and Cabinet before it is tabled before Parliament. Once Parliament passes the law, it signed into law by the President and gazetted. This is an elaborate process and we rely on the good offices of the LRDC, Cabinet and Parliament to finalise the process at their earliest convenience,” he said.