NUDO MP Joseph Kauandenge has criticised the Ministry of Higher Education, Technology, and Innovation over the accreditation of law degrees.

Kauandenge is questioning UNAM's monopoly on offering law programmes and the implications for students studying law at other institutions.

In response to the queries in the National Assembly, the Minister of Higher Education, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Itah Kandjii-Murangi, clarified the regulations and accreditation processes for tertiary institutions and their programmes.

"What is worth noting is that higher education programmes at different tertiary institutions—for instance, any two universities may have the same descriptive title or caption but differ drastically in scope, content, depth, duration, as well as the number of credits that one gets at the end of the programme. It is always critical for students to establish if an institution they're interested in is properly registered and recognised by the National Council for Higher Education. Equally important is establishing if the academic programme one seeks to pursue is accredited by the National Qualifications Regulatory Body, which is the Namibia Qualifications Authority. The NQA credit programmes readily fall within the national qualification framework. The qualification to the end at the exit point of an accredited programme is usually known and determines the number of credits a student will obtain upon completion; therefore, upward progression through articulation becomes easier to plan as well as to negotiate."

Funding for students enrolled in programmes that are not accredited was also raised.

"These students are supported, many of them by NSFAF, which falls under your ministry. But how does NSFAF then support and give money to students at a college that you claim, at the end of their 3-year qualifications, cannot be admitted to UNAM for further studies for their LLB? How does that make any sense?"

The minister stated that it is an anomaly for students to receive funding while studying unaccredited programmes.

"With regards to the aspect of teaching law, we're saying, How come students are sponsored to do law at Triumphant College but they cannot proceed. This is where I indicated that, in fact, for every student, when NSFAF realises or discovers that a programme is not accredited by NQA, it does not fund it."

She stressed that students in such programmes may face challenges in furthering their education or accessing certain career opportunities.



Serafia Nadunya