Poly negotiates transformation
This week, the Polytechnic of Namibia took the first tentative steps to become a fully-fledged university to be called the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).
This process is expected to be completed before the end of this year.
The pivotal event to mark the beginning of the formal transformation process, is this week’s consultation between the Polytechnic and the Law Reform and Development Commission(LRDC).
Mr Sakeus Shanghala, Chairperson of LRDC said that the consultation’s aim is to make sure that all stakeholders involved get the chance to make recommendations to the “Discussion Paper on the Transformation of the Polytechnic of Namibia into NUST”. This discussion report has been produced and published by LRDC on behalf of the Ministry of Education.
All stakeholders, as well as members of the public and students were invited to the consultation to give more input and to contribute through debate to determine what kind of institution is to be established and to scrutinise the NUST Bill
Mr Alfred Ilukena, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education said the new university will be able to help with development goals and fill the vacuum of getting more Namibians to study to acquire the skill they need to survive and become successful. The aims of the Polytechnic of Namibia are provided under section 4 of the Polytechnic of Namibia Act, 1994 but the Namibia University of Science and Technology Bill (NUST Bill) will replace these, listing a new set of operational parametres for the university. The Law Reform Commission identified stakeholders in the reform process, notably the International University of Management (IUM), Ministry of Education (MoE), Namibia College of Open Learning (Namcol), Namibia National Student Organisation (NaNSO), Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). These educational institutions helped with recommendations and input for drafting the NUST Bill. Ms Rachel Mundilo, Legal Officer at LRDC explained the NUST Bill briefly, how NUST should be structured and its aims. She stated that NUST shall have a Chancellor, a Council, a Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellors as may be appointed by the Council, a Senate, the academic and administrative staff and the students of NUST. Ms Mundilo also stated that there will be a Registrar who will assist in administration work, a Bursar who will be responsible for the financial administration and a Librarian who will be responsible for the administration of the University libraries. The new Bill states: The Polytechnic of Namibia Act, 1994 (Act No. 33 of 1994) is hereby repealed and it is now called the Namibia University of Science and Technology Act, 2014 and shall come into operation on a date to be determined by the Minster of Education by notice in the Gazette.” The NUST Bill, once finalised, will be introduced before Parliament by the Minister of Education.