The Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Dr Itah Kandjii- Murangi, who addressed this last Graduation Ceremony of the Polytechnic of Namibia, congratulated the graduates and reminded them to be thankful to those who had sacrificed for them to obtain their qualifications, and appealed to them to join the fight against poverty. “The youth of this country, especially you the graduates, must bring their ingenuity, innovation and idealism to contribute to building a stronger and inclusive Namibia. You must bring your bountiful energy to ensure that we succeed in these endeavours because failure is simply not an option,” Kandjii-Murangi said.
She congratulated the Poly on its transformation to a university and said the nation is proud of this achievement. She urged the entire nation to support the growth of the new technological university. “We must work hard to ensure that the new university becomes an important pillar for applied sciences, applied research, innovation, technology transfer and entrepreneurship,” the Minister said.
The nation would like to see the new university become a centre of knowledge creation as well as a centre of management, scientific and technological innovations development, which will contribute to Namibia’s national competitiveness, both in the private and public sectors, she elaborated.
“The awarding of the new status has equally realised the expectations of the nation whom we cannot disappoint. Your contribution to human capital development in the country has not gone unnoticed,” the Minister said.
Evelyn Breuer, Chairperson of the Poly Council, enumerated the institution’s achievements and provided some brief highlights, of which the Poly’s transformation to the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) was its biggest achievement. She said: “The rigorous process has helped to reshape and refine our thoughts about what we wanted to achieve!”
In addition to the physical expansion of the Poly, attention has also been directed towards the introduction of new academic programmes. Several new undergraduate and graduate programmes were introduced.
The Poly also launched its permanent radio station, NUST FM, which was fast becoming popular and aims to make the City aware of the vibrant Poly community, Breuer announced
The Rector of the Poly, Tjama Tjivikua, said a good education was the most important thing that the majority of people in the world want according to the United Nations My World Survey. In this respect, he was confident that the graduates, employers and partner institutions of the Poly could be proud of the quality of education provided by the Poly as an institution.
“Also, this need for a good education shows us that people in general think or know that all the other factors of life can be fixed or improved with a good education or by well-educated persons. This evidence is entrenched in well-educated societies where knowledge is the driver of economies and new possibilities,” Tjivikua said.
He added that empowering individuals with a good education will enable them to fend for themselves, because life on the educational fringe is one of the major problems confronting countries.
Elize Fahl, Chairperson of the Namibia Employers Federation, described the Poly’s change of status to a university as a magnificent achievement and a development which gives Namibia hope for the future. She said the Poly should become a leading innovative entrepreneurial institution.
“From a business perspective, a university is a centre for knowledge creation and diffusion that can be leveraged to generate future economic growth,” Fahl said. According to her, it is necessary for the Poly to become entrepreneurial by strengthening relations with and establishing itself as a desirable partner for the business sector and Government.
“In this way the university will be able to respond faster and better to changes in the environment and produce practical, business-oriented knowledge, deal with the reality and complexity of the business world and contribute to society’s development. This is what employers know the Poly to stand for and I have no doubt that the new university will excel with our support,” she said.