• February 18th, 2020

Unam requires N$1.6bn Govt subsidy

The University of Namibia (Unam) will require about N$1.6 billion in government subsidy to ensure its sustainability in terms of successfully running its operations for this next financial year.
Unam’s projected total running budget is about N$3 billion for the next financial year.
The government remains the main financier for higher education in Namibia.

Public universities are desperately in need of additional funding from the government to maintain their operations and continue to meet the high demand from the public. 
The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) last week announced they may discontinue some programmes due to a lack of funding, and Unam has been in a budget deficit since 2017 by almost N$500 million.

Unam spokesperson John Haufiku in an interview yesterday confirmed Unam requires at least a N$1.6 billion government subsidy to run the institution efficiently.
“This coincided closely with the figures that were recently produced by the revised funding formula developed by NCHE,” Haufiku noted.

However, he explained, this amount excludes capital projects and seed funding required to drive new and existing programmes that are of national importance.

In 2018, Unam received N$1.2 billion from the state but only received N$900 million in 2019.
Unam is mindful that in recent years, tough economic times have decreased funding, but the commitment from the government has remained the same.

Haufiku is of the view that Unam is hopeful that funding will increase as the country’s economic performance improves.
Equally, Haufiku said the university has cut costs to maintain the highest possible level of service to students.

He revealed the university is also planning various revenue-generating initiatives that will raise funds to help fund higher education.

Last week, acting vice chancellor Morné du Toit revealed the institution’s request for N$600 million has over the years been slashed to N$400 million due to government budget cuts. 
These budget cuts, he said, resulted in the university facing difficulties to execute its operational needs.
Out of the N$500 million budget allocated to NUST during the last financial year, approximately 70% went towards personnel expenditure.

This translates into NUST spending about N$350 million on salaries and related expenditures.
During the 2019/20 financial year, government allocated the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation N$3.1 billion and about N$9.4 billion over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), of which N$500 million is earmarked for NUST, N$911.9 million is for Unam, and N$1.1 billion for Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund  (NSFAF) in the budget year and N$3.4 billion over the MTEF.

The allocated amount of N$500 million to NUST meant there has been a budget reduction of about N$100 million, compared to the N$600 million that was allocated during the 2018/19 financial year. 
NUST relies heavily on its other revenue streams such as tuition, short courses and income from consultations to fund the 
- anakale@nepc.com.na

Albertina Nakale
2020-02-04 07:28:43 | 14 days ago

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