Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

Namibia: Jury Still Out On UNAM's Online Registration

The University of Namibia (UNAM) officially started its online registration process this year with senior students having the opportunity to register their subjects on the web.

Senior medical students were the first to have a whiff at UNAM's online registration system with their registration taking place from 14 to 18 January. According to Anna Hangula, a third-year medical student, the process was quite smooth. She explains to the Economist her experience registering: "The new registration process is online so one could opt to do it from their homes but its a safer bet doing it from campus in case one needs assistance.

"The system will allow you to register once your account has a credit of N$900 (This year's registration fee). That's the main part and everything else is straight forward. Just follow the instructions, print out your proof of registration and voila."

According to her, the main area that seems to be causing confusion is the payment to the finance department, however once a student is done with sorting out his or her own finances with campus, the process is quick and easy, she added.

Speaking to some of the students, the problem with the clearing of payments seems to be the main hustle. A bursary-holder tells his difficulties with the process: "Initially I had my doubts and unfortunately UNAM confirmed them. I tried to register online but there was an error message which stated I had not made my payments.

With the process taking its toll on the student, he decided to revert to the the usual manual registration process. According to the student, no sooner had he done this that he received a notice from UNAM. "I was surprised when two days after my attempt to register, I received a phone call from a representative on campus. They asked me to head to the main campus to sort out the discrepancy. The problem was quickly resolved and now am done with registration."

He however applauds UNAM for the initiative. He says the biggest noticeable improvement so far is the lack of queues as UNAM has dedicated a whole section on the main campus where students can register online with the help of some officials.

Last year's examination process has unfortunately put a damper on some students' registration process. According to a student from the Faculty of Humanities, some of the modules that she had passed appeared on the system as a fail. This hindered her and some of her colleagues from registering. A UNAM official explained that there seems to be hackers who try to sabotage the system on a yearly basis. The official, however says the process has been resolved and students need to see their respective examination officers to have the problem settled.

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