Windhoek – A New Era investigation uncovered that a new university – Namibia University of Law and Professional Studies – is an unaccredited institution, as the Namibia Qualification Authority (NQA) has dismissed its legitimacy.
This came after an advert placed in The Namibian newspaper edition of January 9, 2017 called on students to hurry and register.
The advert seems to be well placed – when the Grade 12 Ordinary Level results were being released – to attract prospective learners and desperate parents to apply and spend their hard earned cash for a qualification that will not be recognized by the NQA.
They university claims to offer bachelor degree and masters programmes of science in early childhood development, public health, health and safety, environmental science, law in public administration, law in information, law in policing, law in information technology and telecommunication, law in international criminal justice, business administration, human resources management and art in social work, among other courses.
During the investigations this week, New Era found the university which allegedly came from Botswana has not been registered for accreditation by the NQA and is illegal in registering students for masters and bachelor degree courses.
It was also uncovered that between Monday and Tuesday they registered about five students.
When contacted for comment, the university’s coordinator in Namibia, Agreement Kagura, attempted to downplay the whole saga in that the university is in the process of getting accreditation, while the NQA says otherwise.
NQA spokesperson Catherine Shipushu said they became aware of the institution when its representatives visited its offices in December and again last week to enquire about the accreditation process.
“The institution has not submitted an application for accreditation by the NQA. The NQA has not received an application for accreditation from the Namibia University of Law and Professional Studies and therefore has no basis of making any kind of promises to the institution pertaining to accreditation. As far as we are concerned, this is an unaccredited institution whose programmes have not been quality assured and for as long as the status quo is maintained, any qualification obtained there will not be recognised by the NQA,” she remarked.
Kagura said they have registered students, but alleges they did not take their money as registration fees.
He said they are looking at mid-February for accreditation with a dream that lessons start in May.
“Our target is that on the 3rd of May, we will have orientation of our students and 8th of May, the lessons start.
Lessons start after all logistics of accreditation and registration is done,” he said.
Asked what guarantee does he have they will be registered by then, he said: “We are not a small institution, we are a big institution. As parents don’t be scared, we are here to stay, if you want to register, come reserve a place for your child without paying a cent,” he maintained.
He said they don’t want to take money from people and end up having headaches at the end of the day in paying refunds.
“We don’t want to put our name in disrepute. If one is prepared to fill in the application form, then they can go ahead without paying until we get accreditation. We are honest, we are professional and we had a series of meetings with NQA trying to see how systems of Botswana are similar to Namibia. What they want is what we are putting in place,” Kagura noted.
He said the institution is new in Namibia, but it has been in existence in Botswana for more than 15 years.
Shipushu said some of the factors that the NQA Council considers before granting accreditation are that the training provider’s legal status is current and substantiated through relevant documents and the name of the provider is not misleading nor duplicates an existing provider.
Asked what action will NQA take to ensure no students register with such an institution until it gets accreditation status, she said the power of choice lies in the hands of each individual.
However, she strongly advised the public not to enrol at unaccredited institutions, and also to be aware of bogus institutions that are fraudulently using the NQA’s name to lure students, saying these institutions’ programmes are not registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), hence their qualifications will be not recognised for any purpose by the NQA.
She urged prospective learners to first contact the NQA in order to verify the accreditation status of the institution before enrolment so that they can have peace of mind knowing they will obtain quality-assured qualifications which will be recognized either for employment or further studies.