Higher education minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi assured that although a lot needs to be done to improve student funding, the government’s unwavering commitment towards educating the Namibian child remains a priority.
She said this at Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) graduation, which saw more than 2 400 students being conferred various degrees.
She added that many of the graduates are beneficiaries of the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), a fund that uplifts the lives of thousands of students annually.
“The country is experiencing a workforce and skills shortage in several critical sectors. NUST has proven to be at the forefront of responding to the Namibian economy’s human capital demands,” stated Kandjii-Murangi.
The 2019 Namibian Labour Market Outlook Report states that there is a clear necessity for individuals in the sectors of accounting, computer professionals, architecture, engineering and journalism.
The vice chancellor of NUST, Erold Naomab, said the occasion marks an end to a turbulent journey for graduates, adding the occasion carries significant national interest and impact.
“The qualifications awarded reflect the emergence of the future of jobs as the fourth industrial revolution-ready generation leaps into the future. The fourth industrial revolution will generate great benefits and big challenges in equal measures,” stated Naomab.
He added that Namibia is well on course to advance the human-centric convergence of virtual and physical environments, and the emergence of society 5.0 to unlock the future potential of jobs and the creation of employment.
“This is illustrated by more than 120 Computing and Informatics graduates, more than 180 graduates in various engineering degrees, and more than 240 graduates in Health and Applied Sciences,” he detailed.
About 35% of the graduates are in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, signifying continuous growth in this respect.
Naomab said graduation is also particularly significant to the institution’s mandate as a technological university because it illustrates that research, science, and technology and innovation continue to take the centre stage.
About 60% of the 91 master’s degrees have been conferred in the STEM fields for the 2020 academic year.