Unam academic year commences

Junior Kapofi
The University of Namibia (Unam) held its commencement ceremony last week at the university’s main campus in Windhoek. This year, the university registered 23 128 students, of which 4 500 are first-time students. This number is expected to increase as the senior students' registration is still ongoing.

Almost 70% of the total number of registered students are studying at the main campus, Rundu campus and Hifikepunye Pohamba campus, the vice-chancellor, professor Dr Kenneth Matengu, said.

“This marked an improvement on first-time enrolment compared to both 2021 and 2022,” he said.

In addition, he encouraged students to have a purpose-driven education, as it prepares you for not only a successful career, but also a meaningful life. “It equips you with the necessary skills to face challenges of the world and make a positive impact,” he added.

Matengu further emphasised that it is essential for the university to have a good reputation and academic excellence, hence the importance of hard work that should come from the students' side.

This includes a commitment to quality teaching, research and innovation. Furthermore, staff members play a critical role in maintaining this standard of excellence through a commitment to teaching, research and professional development, he said.

According to him, the university has been ranked amongst the top 800 universities in the world on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Unam is currently the only Namibian university on the rankings. This index assesses the quality of teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook.

Additionally, Unam researchers continue to partake in groundbreaking international research. The European Research Council (ERC) in 2022 awarded a synergy grant of 14 million Euro (about N$272 million) to a team of Dutch, British, Finnish and Namibian astronomers. The astronomers will build an African millimetre-wave radio telescope in Namibia and conduct research on black holes from different perspectives.

Unam student representative council (SRC) vice-president Pedro Muyoyeta said the current student leadership is ready to put into action what they promised during the SRC elections. He added that they will be working towards a solution for the large sums of money that most of the students owe the university. Furthermore, he emphasised that the SRC will not be radical student leaders protesting and shutting down the university.