The University of Namibia Southern Campus at Keetmanshoop in the //Kharas region is poised to optimise skills and qualifications among the local youth to enable them to participate in the mining industry.
Speaking at the official opening of the University of Namibia (Unam) Southern Campus lecture hall complex yesterday, vice president Nangolo Mbumba said the youth can only fully participate and economically benefit from the mining, oil and hydrogen industries’ value chain if they are skilled and have requisite know-how.
Mbumba said Unam relocated geoscience programmes from the main campus to the southern campus to complement efforts of the mining industry and afford students internship opportunities.
“One of the missions of the School of Geosciences is to train highly skilled geologists, who will take advantage of the mineral resources this country has in abundance. Therefore, the geosciences programmes offered at this campus will also attract international students outside the Southern African Development Community region.
“It is Unam’s vision to make the southern campus a centre of excellence in geosciences. Therefore, the collaboration forged with the mining industry (Skorpion Zinc and others) is highly commendable,” he said, thanking the mining sector for making available funding for student scholarships, laboratory equipment, and internship opportunities for Unam students at this campus.
Mbumba is the chancellor of the university. The campus, built at a cost of over N$93 million, will also offer courses in education, management sciences, and nursing.
“These fields of study will empower our citizens, particularly the youth, to meaningfully participate in the socio-economic development of our country. I, therefore, call upon our youth, particularly in the //Kharas region, to enrol for the qualifications offered,” he said.
Vice chancellor Kenneth Matengu said the new facility is a demonstration of the university’s resolve to increasing access to higher education and bring university education to the people.
Matengu added that the campus is already benefiting from partnerships with universities and research institutes from the United Kingdom, Germany and China.
“As a university, we recognise that the pursuit of higher education as a vital component of personal and societal development, as well as a key to opening the doors of economic emancipation.
“We also acknowledge that many individuals, especially those in rural areas, face significant barriers when seeking access to higher education. For this reason, we have established this new campus to provide an opportunity for those who wish to pursue their academic goals,” said Matengu.
//Kharas governor Aletha Frederick said there is a need to embrace the transformation of the education system since the outcome of the 2011 National Education Conference, which proposed the reviewing of the education system.
“This review is necessary to align our education system in such a way that it not only addresses the challenges faced by the country, but for education inputs and outcomes to be aligned to support the specific development needs of Namibia,” said Fredericks.