As part of the transformed curriculum, the University of Namibia will be offering an attractive advanced subsidiary (AS) incentive package for new students in 2023.
In an interview with New Era, Unam assistant director for corporate engagement and international relations Shahid Dickson said AS matriculants or grade 12s of 2022 have a chance to benefit generously from the university upon enrolment.
“The AS learners who will enrol with Unam will be spoiled with choices to choose from, regardless of the programmes or disciplines. An enrolled AS student may choose to either pay no registration fees, get a housing priority or have a 10% tuition fee waiver,” Dickson informed prospective AS students.
The AS level was implemented for the first time in Namibia in 2021 as part of the third basic education change that started in 2012.
This follows the resolutions taken at the 2011 education conference, which include phasing out the Higher International General Certificate of Secondary Education (HIGCSE) in 2010. Out of the 5 007 learners who sat for the first AS examinations in 2021, the majority obtained grades A to C with the peak at C grade, and only 7.7% of learners are ungraded in all subjects.
Following the outcomes of the 2011 national education conference, the education ministry embarked on a comprehensive reform of basic education to respond to the challenges and needs of Namibian society.
Dickson said Unam equally carries the responsibility to respond to the national challenges in ways that would impact Namibian society.
The university, therefore, needed to reform basic education by transforming its curricula.
The curriculum transformation was preceded by a programme audit and viability exercise to come up with an informed and responsive curriculum.
According to him, the transformation of academic programmes also meant responding more accurately to the fourth and fifth industrial revolutions, the National Development Plans, as well as global imperatives, such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Additional to the transformation is the development of new academic programmes covering niche areas in response to the 21st century. In 2023, Unam will implement the new curricula while starting to phase out the old curricula. “Unam will offer only the new or transformed programmes in 2023 to new incoming first-year students. The old curricula will continue to be offered to the students currently enrolled, according to an approved phasing-out programme,” Dickson said. Additionally, the university has innovative ways of learning and teaching to complement the transformed programmes. The Unam curricula now allow for personalised learning pathways. This includes the embedded compulsory work integrated learning to enrich the student learning experience and further contribute to the learning success as well as graduate employability upon completion of the respective qualifications.
Further, Unam prides that all curricula were designed with a set of graduate attributes in mind. These include, amongst others, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, ethical leadership, conduct, compassion and diverseness, among many traits.
Asked how the transformed curriculum and new programmes will affect tuition fees for 2023, Dickson responded that while the new curricula require more resources, there has been significant consolidation of modules to prevent overlaps. “As a result, there will be little difference in the tuition fees of the new first year, as compared to the current first year,” he said.
In terms of degree programmes, the new curricula are a combination of integrated or composite honours qualifications at NQF level eight, with a duration of four years, while the university will also now offer bachelor degrees at NQF level seven, with a duration of three years.
For each of these three-year programmes, one-year honours programmes will be available to further specialise.
This provides students with flexible learning pathways, as they may choose to continue for the honours directly after completion of the undergraduate degree or return to specialise after some years in the world of work.