Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba says that for the University of Namibia (Unam) campus to expand and meet students’ demands it will need no less than N$60 million to fund the construction or expansion of classrooms, the library and its other learning facilities.
Pohamba made the remarks in his statement delivered at the graduation ceremony at Unam Rundu campus last Thursday, when 231 students graduated with bachelor, honours and master’s degrees, diplomas and post-graduate diplomas and tertiary certificates.
“I have been informed that this campus needs a bigger library and more computer laboratories to cater for the growing number of students. More classrooms and lecture halls are also needed. In this context, it is vital to intensify efforts and promote private-public partnerships (PPPs),” noted Pohamba, who is the outgoing chancellor for Unam.
“Yes, it is a daunting task because resources are never enough. I am informed that this campus alone requires approximately N$60 million,” said the former head of state.
While Unam’s budget is inadequate to address all the identified needs at once, he was grateful for the allocation provided by the government though he also noted Unam like other state-owned enterprises (SOEs) needs to become more innovative and shift towards own-financing.
“This is a strategic imperative for Unam as the university has a high, if not the highest, concentration of knowledge than any other organisation in the country. The critical point is to do more with less and to optimally utilise the resources allocated. I am glad that in many ways positive results are visible,” he said.
Rundu campus has an overall student population of 2 495 students of whom 1 804 study on a full-time basis, 413 are on distance and 175 are on the In-Service Teacher [INSET] Education Diploma in Junior Primary programme. First year full-time students, in all faculties, make up 37 percent (712) of the Rundu campus population, with second years at 27 percent (524), third years at 18 percent (345) and fourth years at 17 percent (326).
The campus hostel accommodates 280 students out of 1 804 full-time students.
Pohamba advised the governors of the two regions (Kavango East and West) that a regional campus such as Rundu cannot exist in isolation from the priorities and activities of regional authorities.
“There should have to be symbiotic relationships between the campus and development initiatives in the regions,” he said.