King speaks on NUL pro­grammes

Lesotho Times - - Jobs & Tenders - Billy Ntaote

KING Let­sie III has urged Na­tional Univer­sity of Le­sotho (NUL) staff to work hard to en­sure full ac­cred­i­ta­tion of all the in­sti­tu­tion’s pro­grammes.

The Coun­cil on Higher Education (CHE) has granted par­tial ac­cred­i­ta­tion to some of the univer­sity’s cour­ses while their eval­u­a­tion con­tin­ues.

His Majesty is the Chan­cel­lor of the NUL and made the re­mark dur­ing Mon­day’s open­ing of the univer­sity’s an­nual gen­eral coun­cil meet­ing.

“Chair­man of the Coun­cil, the ac­cred­i­ta­tion process for self-eval­u­a­tion has come at an op­por­tune time. I con­grat­u­late fac­ul­ties whose pro­grammes have al­ready been given par­tial ac­cred­i­ta­tion and urge staff and man­age­ment to work harder to en­sure full ac­cred­i­ta­tion in the near fu­ture,” he said.

The ac­cred­i­ta­tion process of­fered NUL an op­por­tu­nity to ex­am­ine its pro­grammes “with a crit­i­cal eye and re­view them in line with to­day’s life im­per­a­tives and chal­lenges, tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments, as well as the needs of the coun­try”, he added.

King Let­sie III also said he was aware of the steps NUL had taken to re­or­gan­ise its aca­demic struc­tures.

“Many univer­si­ties through­out the world have gone through this process to en­sure ef­fi­ciency and ef­fec­tive­ness for their op­er­a­tions. Again, we con­grat­u­late you, vice-chan­cel­lor, for your fore­sight and vi­sion, and wish you God­speed as you pur­sue th­ese chal­leng­ing en­deav­ours,” His Majesty said.

The King also said he had been in­formed a med­i­cal school was on the agenda of the univer­sity.

He pointed out that the strate­gic im­por­tance of the med­i­cal school could not be overem­pha­sised.

“How­ever, im­por­tant as it is, this mat­ter needs to be han­dled with great care, with an in-depth anal­y­sis of all re­lated is­sues be­ing con­ducted.

“You will agree with me that a med­i­cal school re­quires to be well-re­sourced so that it does not just start but also re­mains sus­tain­able for the na­tion to de­rive ben­e­fits from the fa­cil­ity in the long term,” said His Majesty.

He also noted the fi­nan­cial chal­lenges faced by the univer­sity, but also said NUL should em­bark on rev­enue-gen­er­at­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Madame Min­is­ter, while we ap­plaud the univer­sity’s achieve­ments, we are fully aware of the fi­nan­cial chal­lenges that it faces.

“We are mind­ful of the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion our coun­try faces, and the com­pet­ing de­mands for lim­ited re­sources from dif­fer­ent ed­u­ca­tional sec­tors and in­sti­tu­tions.

“That is why the univer­sity will al­ways re­main grate­ful for the fi­nan­cial sup­port it re­ceives from the govern­ment. How­ever, I have of­ten stated that in or­der to ad­dress the chal­lenges of lim­ited fi­nan­cial re­sources, the univer­sity should re­sort to rev­enue-gen­er­a­tion ac­tiv­i­ties of its own.

“The one re­source that univer­si­ties have in abun­dance is skilled hu­man cap­i­tal that the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors are con­stantly seek­ing to en­gage to car­ry­out con­sul­tancy work. A con­sul­tancy group of lec­tur­ers could be in a po­si­tion to of­fer com­pet­i­tive rates in the mar­ket to se­cure win­ning bids,” His Majesty said.

How­ever, the King warned such ini­tia­tives should not com­pro­mise the qual­ity of day-to­day aca­demic work and pro­grammes.

“Some of th­ese ven­tures are pur­sued in part­ner­ship with the pri­vate sec­tor, univer­sity staff and stu­dents, and this is, in­deed, a very pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment which we should all be proud of,” said King Let­sie III.

Speak­ing at the same event, Education and Train­ing Min­is­ter Dr Ma­hali Phamotse said her min­istry em­pha­sised ac­cess, qual­ity and rel­e­vance of higher education to the needs of Le­sotho.

The Min­is­ter com­mended the univer­sity for in­creas­ing its stu­dent in­take from 9139 in the 2014/2015 aca­demic year to 9 476 in 2015/2016.

Dr Phamotse said more cour­ses had been in­tro­duced par­tic­u­larly the re­sus­ci­tated post­grad­u­ate pro­grammes in al­most all the fac­ul­ties.

“At least four de­gree pro­grammes have been ac­cred­ited by the Coun­cil on Higher Education, namely BSC Ed, BA Eco­nom­ics, Bcom Ac­count­ing and Bach­e­lor of Phar­macy.

“How­ever, we still face a chal­lenge of rel­e­vance and qual­ity as­sur­ance in most pro­grammes as well as grad­u­ate de­mand and sup­ply sys­tems. We are not do­ing well at all, es­pe­cially in the pro­duc­tion and sup­ply of teach­ers, lawyers, so­cial work­ers and pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tors. We pro­duce far more than the na­tion de­mands in the mar­ket.

“The es­tab­lish­ment of sys­tems that ef­fect co­or­di­na­tion among ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions is long over­due for the pur­pose of tack­ling the prob­lem of over­pro­duc­tion of hu­man re­sources and du­pli­ca­tion of qual­i­fi­ca­tions,” said Dr Phamotse.

KING Let­sie III

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