Brief: Vice-Chancellor, Tjama Tjivikua

The Polytechnic of Namibia has officially become the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). The announcement was made by the Honourable Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi, by Notice in the Government Gazette of 16 November 2015.

A happy Vice-Chancellor of the Namibia University of Science and Technology, Tjama Tjivikua, informed an auditorium packed to capacity by administrative and academic staff, students and visiting scholars from partner universities, that the Namibia University of Science and Technology Act, Act 7 of 2015 had come into operation with immediate effect on the above date.

The gazetting has shown that anything is possible and now it is essential that we move to the next stage. We must turn the page, Tjivikua told the assembly.

He extended his gratitude to the university community and all other NUST stakeholders who have contributed to the success of having the institution transformed to a university. This is a journey that started some two decades ago when I came on board and today, we celebrate a unique moment that sets the tone and pace for the future. All of us owe one another a debt of gratitude and compliments for having dedicated ourselves to this good cause and having developed this institution to what it is today.

In a brief interview after the meeting, Tjivikua described the achievement as only one step along a very long path. It has been a long rocky road; it was never smooth. We encountered a lot of opposition from within and outside the institution, but we knew that change is not easy for some people. In the process, we have learnt to do things better and we have learnt to make peace with the outcomes when we did not get what we wanted, and we also learnt to deal with victory.

We did everything possible to create a respectable university because we had a great vision. This dream lives on; we cannot become stagnant, because then we will become irrelevant, the Vice-Chancellor said. I'm satisfied that it has finally happened and I am fortunate to be in charge of the newest iniversity globally. We worked hard to take it to this level. It's about the future of this nation, creating new possibilities, not only for Namibians, but for others, for the world. It brings prosperity and prestige to the country. It brings credibility to our education system. It takes to the world and brings the world to Namibia; it is important to bring other academics and scholars to your country. We are taking Namibia to the next level.

Let us celebrate this victorious moment together, let us take this moment as a springboard for future growth and prosperity of this institution. You cannot have a prosperous nation with failing institutions - the two must go hand-inhand. Human Capital and institutions are the foundation stones of a nation, Tjivikua said. Quoting a popular idiom, he concluded:Nothing can stop a dream whose time has come!

Date: Friday, November 20, 2015