By Anna Ingwafa
The University of Namibia Northern Campus held a two-day strategic workshop in Ondangwa that ended on Friday.
Opening the workshop, Chairperson of Unam Council Professor Philemon Amaambo explained that the workshop was to discuss the responsibility of Unam Northern Campus, how it fits within the strategic objectives of the university and how the branch is planning to carry forward the university motto of “Education Service and Development”.
“Of course you cannot do this alone, as you need to meet the expectations of the stakeholders. Hence, it is very important for the university leaders and staff to carefully listen to the input, the comments and questions your stakeholders will pose to you and see how they can be incorporated into the university plan,” said Amaambo.
The university at its establishment in 1992 was tasked with a pivotal responsibility of training human resources as Namibia transforms into an industrialized nation.
“Hence, the university council has been supportive of the development of the Northern Campus in upgrading of its infrastructure, the expansion of programmes and increasing access to higher education.”
Although the campus developed through a close interaction with the community and the development of community programmes, there is a need to reorient the programmess to be more academic, according to the professor.
Professor Amaambo applauded the growing visibility of the university in the north-central regions in terms of distance learning and its decision to establish an engineering faculty in Ongwediva, as a great milestone for the society.
Moreover, there is a need to expand programmes.
“There is a need to develop new programmes especially in priority areas such as science, health, engineering and technology. Business skills in these regions need to be strengthened through formal commercial programmes.
This is the only way to achieve the national goal of Vision 2030 and the attainment of the NDP3 objectives,” he said.
He called on the community to support the institution in different ways because it is facing many challenges such as housing for students and opening up businesses for training of students and internships.
The University of Namibia’s third five-year strategic plan (2006-2010) was developed and launched last year. Strategic goals of the university include improving teaching, research and community service through consultancy advisory services and extension support, to diversify sources, improve infrastructure and to strengthen governance, management and welfare.