In a few short weeks, the 2019 academic year will kick off with registration at various institutions of higher learning.
During the past few days, the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) has observed with concern, a number of unaccredited institutions brazenly advertising their programmes for 2019. Of greater concern, we have noted that some are even fraudulently using the NQA name to lure unsuspecting learners to their institutions. The challenge posed by unaccredited institutions is that due to the fact that they are not quality assured, it is impossible to validate the quality of the educational programmes and thus the employability of graduates from those institutions. The continued existence of these unaccredited institutions contributes to increased flooding of the labour market with unemployable graduates.
In the interest of protecting the integrity of Namibian qualifications and to prevent people from being swindled into studying for fake qualifications, the NQA strongly advices all prospective learners to always study at accredited institutions by verifying their accreditation status prior to enrolment. It is important for the public to note that the NQA does not evaluate qualifications obtained at unaccredited institutions and such qualifications will not be recognised for any purpose, be it employment or further studies. Studying at an unaccredited institution is essentially a waste of precious time and money.
Newly accredited institutions
Following its meeting at the end of November 2018, the NQA Council has granted accreditation to two additional institutions. For a list of current and newly accredited institutions, learners are advised to consult the updated list of accredited Namibian institutions to ascertain any changes to the scopes of accreditation. The updated list is available to view and download on the NQA website (www.namqa.org).
Prospective learners are advised to verify the accreditation status of all institutions of higher learning operating in Namibia that have been found to have capacity to offer specified courses at the appropriate level of quality. It is critically important for learners to verify the accreditation status of both the institution and the specific course they would like to pursue. It has been noted that in some cases, institutions go beyond their specified accreditation scope by offering courses that have not been quality assured, a situation which bears critical consequences to learners because although the institution is accredited, any qualification that falls outside the scope of accreditation will not be recognised. Essentially, if an institution or course does not appear on this list, then it is not accredited.
The NQA provides a service to assist learners and funding institutions to verify the accreditation status of institutions in Namibia and anywhere else in the world. To make use of this service, simply visit the NQA website: www.namqa.org, complete the ‘Request for accreditation status of an institution form’ and email it to: email@example.com.
The list of accredited institutions will be distributed through the newspapers early next year and will also be made available at all regional council offices, schools and libraries countywide.
The NQA offices will be closed from 24 December 2018 and re-open on 02 January 2018.
About the Namibia Qualifications Authority:
The NQA was established by Act 29 of 1996 and has as its mandate to exercise and perform the statutory powers, duties and functions in line with the Namibia Qualifications Authority Act no. 29 of 1996, which include but are not limited to set up and administer a National Qualifications Framework, set up the occupational standards for any occupation, job, post or position in any career structure; accredit persons, institutions and organizations providing education and courses of instruction or training and advise any person, body, institution, organization or interest group on matters pertaining to qualifications and national standards for qualifications.
*Catherine Shipushu, CPRP Manager: Marketing and Communications
Namibia Qualifications Authority.