Ma­hao on mission to re­vamp NUL

Lesotho Times - - News - Billy Ntaote

Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of le­sotho (NUL) Vice-chan­cel­lor (VC), Pro­fes­sor Nqosa Ma­hao, says he is on a mission to re­store the var­sity’s lost glory.

Pro­fes­sor Ma­hao was sworn-in as Nul’s ninth VC last Satur­day dur­ing a cer­e­mony held on cam­pus and at­tended by the uni­ver­sity’s Chan­cel­lor, King let­sie iii, and im­me­di­ately out­lined his vi­sion of en­sur­ing the col­lege re­claims its pride of place among the global com­mu­nity of in­sti­tu­tions of higher learn­ing.

the law Pro­fes­sor, who as­sumed of­fice on 20 Novem­ber 2014 — ex­actly 14 months af­ter the de­par­ture of the uni­ver­sity’s eighth VC, Sharon Siverts, fol­low­ing the amer­i­can’s two tur­bu­lent years at the helm of the in­sti­tu­tion — said Nul’s trans­for­ma­tion was pos­si­ble through rad­i­cal re­forms which recog­nised the crit­i­cal and com­ple­men­tary roles played by the stu­dents, staff, gov­ern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor.

ac­cord­ing to the vice-chan­cel­lor, there would be four pri­or­i­ties on his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s agenda in this drive to re­store Nul’s erst­while re­spect.

“top the agenda for this ad­min­is­tra­tiond­min­is­tra­tion is to in­sti­tu­tion­alise on­alise a stu­dent-cen­tred learningar­ning and ser­vice en­vi­ron­ment. on­ment. our stu­dents are not ot an in­con­ve­nience or nui­sance,ui­sance, but the rea­son all of f us are em­ployed by this in­sti­tu­tion,”itu­tion,” Pro­fes­sor Ma­hao said.

“the sec­ond agenda is to cre­ateeate bet­ter and ful­fill­ing lling work­ing con­di­tion­stions for all NUL em­ploy­ees, mploy­ees, be­cause our ur work­ers are the most ost valu­able re­sourceource the uni­ver­sity ty pos­sesses.

“thirdly, we need to re­vamp our aca­demic emic project for en­hancednhanced re­turn onn in­vest­ment by thehe stu­dents and ef­fec­tiv­ef­fec­tive re­sponse to na­tional so­cioe­co­nomic chal­lenges of our times. Fourthly, we need to sta­bilise and re­vamp the fi­nan­cial re­sources of our uni­ver­sity so that it has ad­e­quate ca­pac­ity to ser­vice its de­vel­op­men­tal needs.”

Pro­fes­sor Ma­hao also said his ad­min­is­tra­tion would give pri­or­ity to ex­tend­ing “tech­no­log­i­cal pro­vi­sion­ing” on cam­pus, re­duc­ing over­crowded classes through proper staffing and fairer dis­tri­bu­tion of work­loads which he high­lighted to be a pre­con­di­tion for qual­ity tu­ition.

He fur­ther said NUL should find ways of over­com­ing “chal­lenges” of poorly-equipped lab­o­ra­to­ries and lack of mod­ern­moder teach­ing aids.

Pro­fes­sor M Ma­hao also ap­plauded the pri­vate s sec­tor for play­ing a lead­ing role in en­sur­ing qual­ity ac­com­mo­da­tionac­com­mo­da­tio for the stu­dents, but pointed out gov­ern­ment and the uni­ver­sity it­self should not ab­solve them­selves­them­sel of this re­spon­si­bil­ity be­cause of this.

“in the com­ing­com years, we shall work to­ward­sto­ward pro­vid­ing on-cam­pus ac­com­mo­da­tionac­commo for not less than 50 per­cent of our stu­dents, as this is es­sen­tial for qual­ity learn­ing.

“im­prov­ing the qual­ity of cam­pus ing a steady de­velmod­ern sport­ing, cul­tural and recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties, shall also re­ceive our ur­gent at­ten­tion as an ad­min­is­tra­tion,” he said. the VC also re­vealed plans to dou­ble Nul’s enrolment which cur­rently stands at ap­prox­i­mately 10 000, while also in­tro­duc­ing dis­tance-learn­ing through its ap­pendage — the in­sti­tute of Ex­tra­Mu­ral Stud­ies (IEMS).

“IEMS in Maseru shall be charged with a re­newed man­date over­all life, in­clud- op­ment of of of­fer­ing cour­ses which are also avail­able at the Roma cam­pus. th­ese stud­ies would be of­fered on­line through an open and Dis­tance learn­ing (odl) plat­form.

“the op­ti­mal de­ploy­ment of tech­nol­ogy through odl will en­able our com­pa­tri­ots sit­ting at their com­put­ers, be it in Mokhot­long, Thaba-tseka, Se­monkong and in­deed else­where, to fully pur­sue their uni­ver­sity stud­ies, and more cheaply at that.

“We are al­ready mak­ing progress with the odl through sup­port from the Com­mon­wealth and Uni­ver­sity of South africa.”

Pro­fes­sor Ma­hao added NUL needed to “re-en­gi­neer” its cur­ricu­lum and “tilt it” to­wards “hard sciences” such as agri­cul­ture and en­gi­neer­ing.

“in our con­text, Nul’s trans­for­ma­tion would not have achieved its na­tional ob­jec­tives if it falls short of ar­rest­ing, in a sig­nif­i­cant way, much of the un­der­grad­u­ate train­ing le­sotho car­ries out be­yond its bor­ders.

“Cur­ricu­lum re-de­sign will be one of our prin­ci­pal aims to repa­tri­ate and lo­calise cur­rent ex­trater­ri­to­rial train­ing, to­gether with re­sources ex­panded on it which are a huge bur­den on the tax­payer.”

they are go­ing to read in the bibles, th­ese young­sters will be able to dis­tin­guish what is right and wrong and make wise choices for a bet­ter fu­ture,” Ms Nthunya, said a tlametlu stu­dent, tho­riso Moshe, said the bibles would be in­valu­able to their lives as they would help them stay on the straight and nar­row.

“as young peo­ple, we need guid­ance in our lives and i be­lieve with th­ese bibles, we are go­ing to be em­pow­ered spir­i­tu­ally. Some of our col­leagues were al­ready go­ing astray, so i be­lieve now that we have re­ceived th­ese holy books, we will be able to read the scrip­tures to­gether and learn to do things the right way,” Moshe said.

Pro­fes­sor Nqosa Ma­hao

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