About 1 400 Namibian students are currently enrolled at Stellenbosch University, arguably one of South Africa’s oldest and highly regarded universities.
Visiting rector and vice chancellor of Stellenbosch Wim de Villiers said the Namibian student legion was among the highest among international students at the university.
De Villiers yesterday paid a courtesy call on Windhoek mayor Job Amupanda, who is also a former product of the South African university.
The professor emphasised that the institution has more than 32 000 students that are studying towards under and postgraduate programmes, of which 4 5o0 are international students, including 1 400 Namibians.
“We are very excited about the Namibians that have chosen to pursue their studies at the university. Namibian students are very disciplined and hard working. That is why I decided to pay a courtesy call to one of the university’s alumnus Amupanda who has been phenomenal successful by leading Namibia’s biggest city,” he said.
De Villiers said one of the University of Stellenbosch’s strengths was the ability to solve complex issues through research and deliver evidence-based solutions, which the university can extend to the City of Windhoek through existing relationships with local universities.
On his part, Amupanda reflected on the broader development challenges faced by the City, including income inequities, acute housing shortage and lack of sustainable central government funding.
He noted the City places a high premium on the critical role that institutions of learning have to play in improving municipal service delivery and overall national development, being reservoirs of scientific research.
The mayor said that it was on this premise that the Windhoek municipal council wants to introduce a piece of knowledge and evidence-based decision-making process at the City.
He noted that it was in this context that the City enjoys good relations with local universities through agreements signed with the University of Namibia and Namibia University of Science and Technology, respectively.
The mayor added that as a learning city, Windhoek would seek to pursue collaborative opportunities through tripartite relations with the Stellenbosch municipality and Stellenbosch University and to learn from each other.
Amupanda further noted that areas of collaboration would include renewable energy, urban agriculture and international relations.
“The delegation came here because we wanted to discuss the areas of cooperation because the university recently signed an agreement on several cooperation such as water, review international policy, we spoke about rural and urban agriculture and renewable energy,” said Amupanda.