09 Jun 2015 19:40pm
WINDHOEK, 09 JUN (NAMPA) The Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) on Tuesday launched the University of Quality Exchange (Unique) project which focuses on academic co-operation with partner universities in Europe and elsewhere.
The PoN is the national centre of the project and the only partner institution on the African continent. Other organisations involved in the Unique project include Aston University (United Kingdom); (Biria Institute of Management Technology (India); Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (Mexico); University of Alicante (Spain); University of International Business and Economics (China); Voronezh State University (Russia); and the World University Service Graz (Austria).
At the launch, PoN Rector Tjama Tjivikua called on all institutions of higher learning to form part of this national centre.
The Polytechnic would hereby like to invite all our local universities to participate fully in all activities and actions to help achieve the goals and objectives of the national Unique centre, which will facilitate promotion of international collaboration and exchange, he stressed.
According to Tjivikua, a quality assurance system is particularly important in ensuring that the programmes and services the Polytechnic offers are relevant and responsive to the needs of learners, employers and other stakeholders, thus contributing to national development.
A PoN-led consortium of African and European universities received Euro 2.91 million (about N.dollars 32 million) in 2011 from the European Union (EU) to implement the Intra-African-Caribbean and Pacific (Intra-ACP) Academic Mobility Scheme Project. The project aims to increase access to quality education that will encourage and enable ACP students to undertake postgraduate studies. It also aims to promote student retention in these regions along with mobility of staff, while increasing the competitiveness and reputation of partner institutions.
Tjivikua added that the Polytechnic is still administering the funding for the project.
In a speech delivered on her behalf at the event, the Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation Itah Kandjii-Murangi noted that collaboration in higher education in particular enhances relevance and responsiveness to the needs of society and industry.
I therefore call upon our institutions of higher learning and industry to cooperate more than ever before in our quest for building the future we want to see, she stressed.
Kandjii-Murangi emphasised that partnerships and collaboration amongst universities both regionally and internationally provide grounds for quality programme development and joint research outputs that address the common challenges facing humanity.