By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK The International University of Management (IUM) is one of the few institutions of higher learning that has a separate Faculty on HIV/AIDS, and the institution has made considerable progress on courses that are tailor-made to address the pandemic. The programme of HIV/AIDS Management being offered by IUM is viewed as a step towards addressing the growing challenge of HIV/AIDS in the country. Quite significantly, it also turns out that other countries such as Malawi are emulating the course programme so that it could be offered at their institutions. Speaking at the recent IUM graduation ceremony, Chairperson and Vice-Chancellor of IUM Dr David Namwandi said seeing that Africa is the worst hit when it comes to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, through research and having a faculty of this nature will go a long way in reversing the pandemic. “We are among the few national institutions in the front line of challenging the challenger – HIV/Aids,” he told the170 graduates last Saturday. Many students have enrolled for the HIV/AIDS Management course. Most of them come from as far as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola, Botswana, Kenya and Malawi. In view of this, the keynote speaker at the 5th graduation ceremony, Minister of Education Nangolo Mbumba, commended the fact that other institutions around the region and in the world are emulating IUM’s Faculty on HIV/AIDS. Besides HIV/AIDS Management, other postgraduate courses being offered at the university are in the fields of marketing management, travel and tourism, financial and computer management and business administration. Since it was founded in 1993, IUM has grown considerably. The university was inaugurated by Founding Father of the Nation Dr Sam Nujoma on October 26, 2002. As demand for a bigger campus increases, the number of students has grown from the previous 800 to 1100 in the current academic year. Due to the high demand, the institution has increased its various programmes from 17 to 31. With over 16 000 books it also has its own fully fledged library, while recently a new IUM branch opened its doors to students in Swakopmund, bringing the total number of campuses to four which includes Ongwediva, Walvis Bay and Windhoek. In other developments, a new governing council was also appointed, and financially there’s been a turnaround for the institution. “For the first time in four years, the university was able to register an operational profit of N$723 000. This dramatic turnaround was achieved through a deliberate prudent fiscal policy,” explained Dr Namwandi. Expenditures for the financial year 2005 decreased dramatically by 19,56 percent due to tighter fiscal policies which curtailed spending. It is projected that the year 2006/2007 will realise the stabalisation of the university’s Centre for Improved Institutional Performance (CIIP) whose mission is to help the organisation through improved institutional performance. “This centre strives to improve organisational performance by matching changes in the environment and bridging the gap between academia and the workplace,” concluded the vice-chancellor, adding that plans are also in place to establish an Alumni Association, which is expected to be operational before the end of the year.