The University of Namibia says it will impose serious consequences for exam cheaters. Students involved in cheating will face expulsion and be de-registered from the university, vice-chancellor Kenneth Matengu warned this week.
“We will now review our policies and in future those found to be cheating in examinations will be de-registered and expelled from the university,” said Matengu, who was addressing students and staff during the official opening of the new academic year on Tuesday.
“If you cheat, you will be expelled and that is coming.”
The university suspended 30 students because of cheating last year. Matengu highlighted that the purpose of examinations is not merely to find out if one can pass. “This is a way of testing if you have attained certain skills and competencies and the reason why it is called cheating is that you haven’t attained those skills yet you want to pretend as if you are the one that has them,” he elaborated.
Namibian National Students Organisation (Nanso) president Simon Taapopi said the Unam regulations which allow for the suspension of students who contravene the rules and regulations were in all intents meant to deter students from engaging in illicit academic acts.
“Thus, the indefinite suspension of students who conduct themselves in illicit academic conducts goes against the rehabilitative intent, but consequently has a punitive effect. Moreover, given the history of the Namibian child’s deprivation from obtaining a higher education during the South African colonial regime, the emphasis is placed on ‘the articulation of national values’,” commented Taapopi.
During the official opening, Matengu also said the institution was moving closer to the implementation of the restructuring plan, which includes merging some faculties.
“Our faculties will be combined and reduced from eight to four with greater capabilities. This structure will make Unam more agile, efficient and flexible enough to respond to the rapidly changing external environment we find ourselves in,” explained Matengu.
He said there is no sector the university is not involved in. “We are an integral part of Namibia’s development. From law, agriculture, finance, science, medicine, humanities and many other fields, we have graduated and produced thought leaders for Namibia and the region.”
He urged students and staff to be versatile and smart. “Our vision of becoming a sustainable hub of excellence in teaching, research and innovation by 2030 must be pursued and achieved. We all must play our part. Deans and directors from 2021 will become members of the vice-chancellor’s management committee which means there will be less bureaucracy and enhanced decision-making platforms,” he said.