Lahja Nashuuta Windhoek-Public institutions of higher learning have been asked to find 20 percent of their budgetary needs from alternative sources, as government is only able to fund 80 percent of their budgets. The Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation Becky Ndjoze-Ojo made the call yesterday when opening the University of Science and Technology (NUST)’s academic year. “This has presented a challenge over the years and needs to be resolved. If we are to assist eligible Namibian students with financial assistance to access higher education, then more needs to be done, not only by the ministry [but] the universities as well,” she said. Ndjoze-Ojo also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to provide appropriate funding to public institutions and to support needy students despite the current financial and economic situation. “You need more fundable proposals for self-sustaining projects. When we were at the universities, we had professors that were mandated to write good project proposals that will attract local and international investors and donors. The funds raised through the projects would pay their salaries, and the rest went into the operational budget of the institution,” said Ndjoze-Ojo. She further said the high education ministry is in the process of finalising the formulation of the National Policy of Higher Education that will provide guidelines on how to overcome some of the challenges facing the higher education sector. NUST Vice-Chancellor Professor Tjama Tjivikua pinpointed the lack of a multi-purpose hall, where the university can hold meetings as well as other technologies, as the major challenges the university is faced with. “Currently the university uses a temporary tent for events such as official opening of the academic year. We are still engaging the government to give us appropriate funding to build the multi-purpose hall. We always tell government that, ‘give us resources and we will make this university great’. We want to move from good to great,” Tjivikua said. The government has been allocating a huge portion of the national budget to education. During the 2016/2017 financial year, N$3.6 billion was allocated to the universities, with N$926.036 million allocated to the University of Namibia (Unam) and N$533.578 million to NUST.
2018-02-01 09:24:59 7 months ago