The two institutions originally signed an agreement in 2002 which enabled 56 students from Germany to attend a Semester Abroad and Summer School programmes at NUST. Equally, several Namibian students participated in exchange programmes to Germany. In addition, several academics and administrators have been exchanged over that period.
This year, three NUST students from the Department of Mining and Process Engineering received scholarships to attend a two-week Summer School in Germany that focused on renewable energy themes. The new agreement will continue to address developmental issues that benefit from information exchange, staff and student collaboration and exchange, joint research and innovation.
Prof Gabriele Beibst, the President of EAH Jena University, welcomed the cooperation. “Both our universities have undergone a transformation recently, specifically pertaining to the change of names and this MoU has come at an opportune time,” Beibst said. The name change of EAH Jena University, previously known as FH Jena, was necessitated to clarify the competencies of the university in the areas of teaching and research.
Dr Tjama Tjivikua, the Vice-Chancellor of NUST, spoke highly of the relations between the two universities, highlighting the challenges that have been overcome through this MoU. “Most of our students come from disadvantaged communities and find it extremely difficult to raise financial resources on their own to enable them to participate in international exchange programmes. It is in this regard, that we highly appreciate the scholarships under the previous agreements which have enabled our students to spend time abroad,” Tjivikua remarked.
Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi, the Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, and Germany’s Wolfgang Tiefensee, the Thüringia State Minister for Economy, Science and Digital Society, were present at the signing of the MoU and complimented the partnership.