Higher education stakeholders meet in Windhoek

26 Nov 2013 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 26 NOV (NAMPA) - The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) on Tuesday discussed the implementation of recommendations which emanated from a comprehensive review and reform of higher education in Namibia with a number of stakeholders.
A one-day consultative stakeholders’ workshop was held in the capital in order for input to be provided into a draft implementation plan.
Officially opening the workshop, Education Minister David Namwandi said Cabinet commissioned a comprehensive and holistic review and reform of the entire higher education system in order to determine whether the higher education system in Namibia, in its current form, contributes and will adequately contribute to the achievement of Vision 2030.
The review was subsequently undertaken and a number of its recommendations were approved by Cabinet at the end of last year.
Namwandi noted that the review confirmed many of the challenges that Namibia is perceived to face, such as a skills deficit, weak links between higher education and the private and business sector, and the unpreparedness of Grade 12 school leavers for further studies, amongst other things.
“One of the Cabinet directives to me, as the Minister of Education, was to engage technical assistance with required knowledge and skills in the governance of higher education to spearhead the implementation process,” he noted.
He said the first activity identified was the development of a costed implementation plan for the higher education reform in Namibia.
This implementation plan, with detailed time lines, was also to contain monitoring and evaluation guidelines to assess the impact and achievement of the implementation process.
“The costed implementation plan is very crucial. We need to start working on the implementation of some of the recommendations of the report with immediate effect,” the Education Minister noted.
He went on to say some of the recommendations such as the Public Higher Education Institutions Free Policy, the Higher Education Management Information System and the transformation of the Polytechnic of Namibia into a university of science and technology, are already underway.
Namwandi called on the participants to address the recommendations in a systematic fashion, noting that the challenge is to tackle the correct steps at the correct time and dedicate the correct level of attention to each Cabinet directive.
He urged the participants to come up with input with strong guidelines and manageable, yet challenging, time lines, and to assign responsibilities to the different role players.