WINDHOEK, 02 AUG – It is time for universities to rethink how they generate revenue instead of depending solely on state funding, the University of Namibia’s (UNAM) new Vice Chancellor, Kenneth Matengu has said.
He made the remark during the opening of the Association of African Universities (AAU) and UNAM’s fourth resource mobilisation workshop at a resort outside Windhoek on Tuesday.
Matengu said studies have shown that diversification of income in universities is a major priority.
He said the current economic downturn and budget cuts instituted across the board have left many institutions to compete for meagre available resources.
Therefore, the onus is now upon the institutions to have mechanisms and structures that will enable them to garner resources from elsewhere, he added.
“Institutions of higher learning globally are going back to the drawing board to re-examine how they function. To re-examine how they run their businesses and to also rethink how they operate and the sources they gain resources from,” said Matengu.
At the same gathering, Professor Rosemond Boohene from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana said resources can also be mobilised for the visually impaired and those living with disabilities.
“One of the ways is to see if we can develop their entrepreneurial skills. We are trying to build their ICT skills,” Boohene said.
The objective of the four-day workshop is to share knowledge on how to mobilise resources for universities.
It is introducing the 69 participants to the concept of resource mobilisation, discussing the various types of resources and how to align institutions’ strategic plan to its resource mobilisation effort.
Among other things, the workshop is also introducing participants to international grants and teaching them how to come up with grant proposals.
University representatives at the workshop will in addition discuss the importance of corporate partnerships and how to develop them, according to the official programme.
It is being attended by representatives from Namibia, Ghana, Nigeria and Mozambique.
The AAU’s objectives include promoting interchange, contact and cooperation among universities and other institutions of higher education in Africa.
The association was founded in 1967, and has grown from 34 members to over 360 member universities on the continent.