Study

Almost 5 000 graduate from UNAM

Summary

A total of 4 839 graduates were conferred their qualifications during a University of Namibia (UNAM) virtual graduation ceremony held on Wednesday.They include 2 020 graduates from the education faculty, 44 medical doctors and 16 PhD graduates.Speaking…

A total of 4 839 graduates were conferred their qualifications during a University of Namibia (UNAM) virtual graduation ceremony held on Wednesday.

They include 2 020 graduates from the education faculty, 44 medical doctors and 16 PhD graduates.

Speaking during the virtual ceremony, Vice President of Namibia and UNAM Chancellor, Dr Nangolo Mbumba highlighted that the high number of graduates from the Faculty of Education depicts enormous and continued interest in education.

Mbumba, however, pointed out that the smallest number of graduates emanating from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology calls for concern over the number of graduates from the various faculties.

“Our low output in engineering is cause for concern and needs urgent attention. This is particularly true in the context of the new Namibia, driven by Vision 2030, a time and place where Namibians will be industrial and not merely consumers of goods,” said Mbumba.

He also noted that the number of PhD and medical graduates is of critical importance to national development and access to health which remains a key national priority for Namibia especially under the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation, Dr Itah Kandji-Murangi said the current stage of Namibia’s development requires a critical mass of highly skilled and qualified people, particularly in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas.

“It is therefore pleasing to note that UNAM is graduating Doctoral graduates in specialised fields such as mechanical engineering. UNAM should align the development of expertise in various STEM areas to local niche areas of development, and in particular those of comparative and competitive advantage to Namibia,” she said.

The minister further lauded the Doctorate obtained in the area of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences with a study aimed to develop and introduce phytogenic diets made up of Aloe Vera and garlic extracts, which would promote growth, feed utilisation, health and increase resistance against stress in African catfish. She highlighted that it is important to have increased knowledge around the management and sustainable use of fish as an important natural resource.

Kandji-Murangi said having highly qualified graduates at PhD level will further boost Namibia’s research capacity, which is central to manufacturing and industrialisation.

“I further wish to stress that academia is not only about research and teaching, it is also about being responsible corporate and civic citizens. I am confident that all of them will contribute meaningfully to the socioeconomic development of Namibia and play a key role in the transformation from raw materials and semi-processed goods to an economy where knowledge is extensively applied to produce high quality,” she said.

Source: Namibia Press Agency