Polytechnic officially opens 2014 academic year

05 Feb 2014 20:20pm
WINDHOEK, 05 FEB (NAMPA) - The Minister of Education has urged the Namibian nation to embrace the transformation of the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) into the University of Science and Technology in September this year.
“The enthusiasm I am feeling or observed since it was announced that the Polytechnic shall finally be renamed and obtain full university status is great,” said Namwandi while speaking during the official opening of PoN's 2014 academic year in the capital on Wednesday.
He said that through its transformation, the PoN will intensify the training of Namibian people in order for them to face the challenges of rapid modernisation, competition and globalisation.
It is obvious that quality education shall determine the country's skills level, standard of living and quality of human capital, he noted.
“It is the expectation of our government that this institution, being science and technological oriented, instills in students’ minds that innovation and acquisition/creation of new knowledge and technologies is the way to go,” said the minister.
As a nation, Namibians must be able to effectively leverage on technology, and inculcate a culture of innovation and competitiveness throughout the country, he appealed.
“Therefore, the university is tasked to respond to this challenge with vigour and determination while it should realign itself and stump its vision on the economic, social and political landscape of our country,” said Namwandi.
On his part, PoN Rector Tjama Tjivikua said his institution has identified all elements which will have to change in its transition process.
These, he noted, include the fields of study, programme and qualification mix, student enrolment distribution, staff qualification profiles, research focus, infrastructure/facilities, and systems and practices which will drive these processes.
However, he indicated an effective communication and change management strategy will need to be placed to provide a platform for driving the culture of change.
He explained that in the midst of the transformation of the institution, the PoN this year adopted the theme: “Universities as transformation agents to Economics”.
Meanwhile, the PoN received over 20 000 applications for study from the 2013 class of Grade 12s, but could only admit 4 000.