Windhoek — The University of Namibia (Unam) is working towards implementing a Memorandum of Agreement with the Ministry of Defence that will see Unam offering new military science degree programmes. This was revealed by Unam Vice-Chancellor (VC) Professor Lazarus Hangula during the start of the 2013 academic year yesterday.
Prof Hangula said such an agreement would provide an opportunity for people in the military to obtain higher qualifications in various areas of national security.
This year, Unam's intake for new students stands at 17 058 compared to last year's figure of 16 819. Prof Hangula explained that the increase in student numbers puts a strain on the university's resources and facilities. He also announced that the school of medicine would start working towards the introduction of new degree programmes starting with dentistry, whose planned first intake is in 2014.
"Also our Faculty of Agriculture is introducing an important programme of wildlife and conservation at our Katima Mulilo campus, while the fisheries department is relocating from Windhoek to Henties Bay campus at the coast," Hangula said yesterday.
The Rundu campus has started with a Bachelor of Business Administration programme, whereas the Oshakati campus will embark on a training programme in bookkeeping for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Unam is also in the process of appointing a coordinating director for its Keetmanshoop campus. Hangula warned students, especially newcomers, that university life is not about competition.
"You left that in high school. The name of this new game is collaboration and teamwork. Share whatever knowledge you have freely with others. In turn, they will share whatever knowledge they have with you. In the end you will all become stronger and better students," he urged.
He also warned against plagiarism, saying that with developments in information technology, it is not difficult to catch those who try to pass other people's work off as their own. "I know that some of you may be coming to town for the first time. It is not easy to adapt to the culture of city life and the freedom away from the watchful eyes of parents and guardians. You will discover that it is more difficult to manage your own independence, but I urge you to choose the right company," he advised. He also warned that students should be selective when it comes to choosing whom to associate with, saying: "Friends can either make or break you."
"If you went through high school without dabbling in drugs, I assure you it is too late to start now. Drugs can damage your health."
Hangula said although HIV/AIDS prevalence in Namibia is declining, students should not behave in a manner that will expose them to the virus, which can interfere with their studies and life in general.
The university has also invested in ensuring that there is Internet connectivity in every part of the institution.
For the first time, Unam also introduced online registration, which comes as a big relief for both staff and students, making the long queues experienced in the past, history. Government allocated N$190 million to Unam in the last financial year for various projects to strengthen its academic core.