Albertina Nakale WINDHOEK – In a bid to ensure graduates are employable in a selective and demanding job market, new University of Namibia (Unam) vice-chancellor Professor Kenneth Matengu yesterday said a six-person team has been assembled to review the operations and academic structure of the university. The exercise would help transform Unam’s curricula to ensure graduates leave with the skills needed in the job market. Matengu made the revelation yesterday at his inaugural address to staff and students. The ultimate aim is to have priority flagship academic programmes and an overall academic curriculum that trains specialists in specific fields, the youthful VC told congregants at his inauguration. “We must train for jobs of the future. So, expect that in the coming months several decisions will be made to review curriculums but also align the curriculum objectives to our institutional strategic plan. Our curriculum must be revised to respond in ways that best suit our mission and future developmental objectives of this country,” he said. The six-member team would re-examine the restructuring report and find the best way forward for the institution in the context of the current economic situation, but also taking into account global trends in structures and operations of academic institutions. The team is expected to complete its work by the end of August. Matengu was adamant of the need for Unam management to re-examine the relevance, quality, standards and cost-effectiveness of academic and administrative programmes the university currently offers. This, he says, will be done taking into account the World Economic Forum’s report titled “The Future of Jobs and Skills: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the fourth Industrial Revolution” in the context of his new vision. He explained these realignments would enable Unam to reinforce and capitalise on its internal strength, eliminate redundancies and maximise its opportunities and the limited resources. He shared his vision for Unam to be a sustainable international hub of higher education training, research and innovation by 2030. “We have less than 12 years to achieve this vision. This great vision shared by many becomes effective today. From today onwards everything we do must be aligned to this vision. I invite you to contribute to its achievement. It is my commitment to draw on our collective strength, intellect and courage to make this vision and its ensuing plans a reality,” he stressed. Although Matengu is mindful that resources needed for Unam to function optimally are rather limited and continue to diminish, he said his office will ensure that they fully implement and operationalise Inceptus. Inceptus is a commercial entity wholly owned by Unam. The purpose of the company is to serve as a trading body for the commercialisation of Unam intellectual property, assets and business ventures. This entity, he says, should significantly contribute to the financial sustainability of Unam and reduce dependence on the state.
New Era Reporter
2018-08-02 09:12:16 8 months ago