Dr Niikondo joined the Institution as a lecturer in the Faculty of Management Sciences, and gradually worked himself up to become the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic. Last month, he was appointed as the Acting Vice-Chancellor for a six-month period.
Thereafter the NUST Council is expected to make a permanent appointment.
When asked about his goals during his tenure, Dr Niikondo said: “I have plans to take this University to the people because I believe in the concept of a ‘people-centred development’. NUST needs to enhance its focus on the needs of local communities for the necessities of life. This means developing people’s skills through education and giving them a chance to use those skills in the local labour market.”
He however acknowledged that this is only practical if development is “taken to the people.”
He intends to take NUST to more regions for a “greater well-being for all,” he emphasised.
Currently, NUST has ten (10) regional centres across the country, where students study via distance learning. Dr Niikondo aims to ensure the services in these areas are improved significantly.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor has undoubtedly taken the driver’s seat at a time the world is plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic, and this consequently raises the bar. “This situation has severely jeopardised our teaching and learning activities on all spheres, but in line with what has been agreed to at the Online Implementation Committee meeting, deans and management, we have introduced online teaching and learning,” Dr Niikondo said confidently.
Furthermore, the academic staff underwent an in-depth two-week training in order to sharpen their skills on the University’s e-learning platform, using the Microsoft Teams application. The University continues to seek ways to improve remote learning, during and beyond the COVID-19.pandemic.