The Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) has to date accredited about 44 training providers countrywide.
Despite the fact that the number of accredited institutions in Namibia is on the increase, the NQA strongly cautions prospective learners not to fall into the trap of studying at unaccredited institutions at home or abroad.
NQA chief executive officer Franz Gertze on Tuesday sounded the warning when he handed certificates of accreditation to three institutions that were recently granted accreditation by the NQA Council. The three institutions are NamWater Human Resource Development Centre (HRDC), Welwitschia Health Training Centre and Kambaku Lodge and Safaris CC. Two other institutions, namely the Institute of Information Technology (IIT) and AIMS, were granted authority to expand their scope of programmes and sites (campuses).
“Studying at unaccredited institutions has very serious consequences for learners. Due to the fact that these institutions are not quality assured, it is impossible to validate the quality of qualifications and thus the employability of graduates from such institutions,” he warned.
Additionally, he said, these institutions’ qualifications are not registered in the NQA framework and therefore their qualifications will not be recognised by the NQA.
Essentially, he said, such qualifications obtained at unrecognised institutions in Namibia or elsewhere in the world are not recognised as legal and therefore hold little value.
Accreditation is confirmation by the NQA that an institution has the capacity to provide specified courses and assess the performance of persons enrolled in such courses.
In this regard, Gertze said, accreditation provides learners with the assurance that the institutions have the capacity to deliver courses at the appropriate standard and that the qualification will likely be recognised by employers and other training providers.
In granting accreditation, he noted, the NQA considers various requirements as per the provisions of the gazetted regulations for accreditation.
“These include requirements that the institution employs appropriately qualified staff, has designed relevant courses and study materials and provides appropriate facilities and resources for students,” he explained.
Furthermore, he said, the final decision is made after due consideration by the NQA Council which comprises high level representation by government, professional bodies, training providers and lobby groups.
Since many learners are about to apply for enrolment at various institutions, the NQA advises prospective learners to first contact the NQA to verify the status of the institution or programme or course before they enrol. In an effort to minimize the number of learners enrolling at unaccredited institutions, the NQA provides a free service to assist the public to verify the accreditation status of institutions and programmes in Namibia and anywhere else in the world.
NQA has a list of all accredited Namibian institutions on its website.
“If any person does not heed this advice and goes ahead and studies at an unaccredited institution, they will be doing so at their own risk because NQA will not be able to assist them after they have already graduated. In that case, they have essentially wasted time and money on a qualification that will not be recognized,” he cautioned.