WINDHOEK, Mar. 5 – Media statements about Namibian students being left hanging by education
institutions both locally and internationally are very troubling. Every day
diligent students of all ages enrol in private higher education institutions
that advertise across all mediums and are very visible on social media,
promising qualifications and ultimately success.
The lack of places at the established tertiary institutions make prospective
students easy and vulnerable targets. Private Higher Education Institutions
are there to complement the efforts by government to provide a Higher
Education System that would develop the required skills in the Namibian
economy. The challenge arises when Private Higher Education providers
operate without accreditation or recognition from the NQA.
With fewer than 40% of Grade 12 students getting the necessary results to
qualify for entrance to tertiary education. A huge number of prospective
students are looking for other options. It is at this point where Private
Higher Education Institutions must pick up the baton. This is the point
where Private Higher Education Institutions must fill the gaps in the
system, by complementing the opportunities created by government. Many of
the Private Higher Education Institutions do just that. They provide a
service that provides an alternative route on the journey of higher
education and lifelong learning to many Namibians.
Many of them serve as a bridge between secondary education and tertiary
education. However, the students’ pursuit of a recognised degree often goes
up in smoke as some of the Private Higher Education Institutions operate
without accreditation or recognition from the Namibian Qualifications
Authority (NQA). This is a major problem as Namibians determined to get an
education get duped into paying fees for qualifications that have no value
and no standing with prospective employers. It is heart wrenching to tell
a student that the qualification that took three years to complete,
sometimes under the most challenging of circumstances, is worth nothing.
It is for this reason that SBS Namibia ensures that all its qualifications
are accredited and recognised. SBS ensures that all its qualifications are
recognised by the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA). I firmly believe
that Private Higher Education Institutions must be committed in supporting
the NQA in the promotion of quality education and training in Namibia
through the development and management of a comprehensive National
Qualifications Framework (NQF).
Albin Jacobs, Director of the Southern Business School of Namibia further
explains; “Education is vital for a nation and its youth. It opens doors
that were closed before and provides a country with the academic and
intellectual foundation to move forward.” SBS Namibia prides itself in
offering its students the reward of an accredited and recognised
qualification after the hard work and sacrifice students have invested in
attaining their qualifications.
In Namibia, like in other African nations the youth are always called to
action, with education as the battle cry. Hard work, dedication and
commitment are hailed as the bastions of achieving the dream of being a
graduate from an accredited and recognised institution. As so often,
youngsters and aspiring professionals need to heed the saying ‘buyer beware’
when it comes to education, much like in the rest of life. Simply enrolling
at a higher education institution and paying large sums of money for a
course does not guarantee a recognised qualification. The advice therefore
is, do your due diligence and ensure that the academic institution of your
choice, is recognised by the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA).
SBS Namibia is accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority
(SAQA) and recognised by the NQA in Namibia. All qualifications go through a
stringent process that requires compliance to academic quality,
institutional and professional standards. – Albin Jacobs, Director of the Southern Business School of Namibia