The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) has reportedly de-registered close to 1 800 students who did not make satisfactory academic progress and those who have exceeded the maximum study period.
The Student Representative Council (SRC) at NUST claims the institution has been unfair in de-registering some students and allowing others in similar predicaments to continue with their studies.
It is understood that some students have been with the institution for eight years, but have to date failed complete their courses of study.
SRC president at NUST, Oscar Mwandingi, brought the matter to the attention of the Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Dr Itah Kandji-Murangi and the Legal Assistance Centre in a letter where he said a great number of students have at most three subjects outstanding before obtaining their qualification and, therefore, asked that such students be given more time to complete their studies.
“At the moment the SRC has informed all affected students to continue attending classes as normal while seeking help. We are, therefore, requesting your intervention to help the concerned students to register and complete their studies,” Mwandingi wrote.
He explained that out of 1 792 students, who either did not meet satisfactory academic progress or have exceeded their maximum study period, only 389 of the students who registered this year were de-registered by NUST.
He said another 467 students, who fall in the same category, registered, but NUST did not de-register them, while the institution refused to register a further 936 applicants.
“All students that side-stepped the rules were supposed to be registered. It’s unfair to de-register some and leave others, who have also side-stepped the rules [to] register,” he wrote.
Mwandingi explained that although the rules are clear that a student shall not be permitted to re-register for the same qualification after exceeding the maximum period of study, the institution failed to apply the rules as from the year when they were passed and furthermore failed to inform the students that the rules would be applied in the 2016 academic year.
“This resulted in students affected by these rules thinking that they are unfairly treated by the institution,” Mwandingi explained.
He further said the new university permitted the students to register, knowing full well that they were not supposed to be registered for this academic year and then de-registered the students without informing them, as many only came to learn about this after the registration period.
“Moreover, the concerned students were required to appeal, but the appeal dates were not communicated to the students,” he wrote.
NUST requested the SRC to inform the concerned students to re-apply for the 2017 academic year, but Mwandingi said they are also aware that some courses will be phased out in 2017.
NUST director of communication and marketing Kaitira Kandjii told New Era that they are working on responses to the allegations made against the institution. “No student is locked out, as alleged. We will issue a statement to clarify the matter early this week,” Kandjii said.