A delegation from FH Aachen visited NUST last week to celebrate milestones that have been achieved through the 12-year partnership. The collaboration, specifically between the NUST Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DCEE) and the Department of Civil Engineering at FH Aachen, dates back to 2006 when the then Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, with support from the German government, conducted a needs assessment on engineering skills in Namibia.
The result of the study determined that there was a huge gap between the available skills and the existing demand, and it remains so to date at various levels. The new Minister of Works and Transport, Honourable John Mutorwa, spoke highly of the efforts between the two institutions. “Education in general and higher education in particular is increasingly becoming internationalised,” he said. Mutorwa added that: “National governments [everywhere] have obligations to render equitable quality and relevant education to their citizens.”
One of the highlights of the event was the official handover of an accreditation certificate – the ASIIN 5-year certificate of approval of our BEng (Civil) degree programme. “It is significant to note that NUST is the first African institution to qualify for the accreditation amongst ASIIN accredited degree programmes in credible universities worldwide. The award of the seal is based on learning outcomes-oriented subject standards, and complies with the European Qualifications Framework and the European Standards and Guidelines,” remarked Dr Tjama Tjivikua, the NUST Vice- Chancellor.
Professor Marcus Baumann, the President of FH Aachen, highlighted that to date 120 students from both institutions have benefited from the partnership through exchange programmes and many students have already graduated successfully. These graduates were placed in credible German civil engineering and consulting firms for their Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programmes. They have also managed through this partnership to study toward their Master’s degrees.
The occasion also witnessed Dr Tjivikua bestowing meritorious awards on Professors Thomas Krause and Stefan Plaum for their invaluable contributions in promoting international networking and raising the academic profile of NUST through the introduction of specialized courses in construction engineering and management, as well as project management. Funding amounting to over N$ 37 million was provided in various forms to the partnership during the cooperation period.