This number for administration and support staff excludes the executive management and part-time staff. The executive management consists of seven members, namely the Vice-chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellor: Academic Affairs, Pro-Vice-Chancellor: Innovation and Research and Development and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor: Administration and Finance, the Bursar, the Registrar and the Chief Librarian. Over the years, UNAM has expanded the number of faculties to eight, namely the Faculties of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Economics and Management Sciences; Education; Engineering and Information Technology; Humanities and Social Sciences; Science; Law; and Health Sciences (University of Namibia, 2017). UNAM offers 44 doctoral degrees, 59 master degrees (University of Namibia, 2017), 58 under-graduate degrees, 27 diplomas, six post graduate degrees and three certificate across the eight faculties (University of Namibia, 2017). Five of the faculties are hosted on the Main Campus in Windhoek. The Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources is located at Neudamm outside Windhoek, Engineering and Information Technology is located in Ongwediva in the north of Namibia and the School of Medicine and School of Pharmacy in the Faculty of Health Sciences are located in the grounds of the Windhoek Central Hospital in Windhoek. UNAM has 12 campuses and seven regional centres’ across Namibia (University of Namibia, 2017).
Over the years UNAM has expanded its faculties by adding schools to its faculties. In 1999 UNAM joined with the First National Bank (FNB) Foundation and entered into a partnership agreement with the Maastricht School of Management in The Netherlands to offer an Executive Master in Business Administration (MBA) at the Namibian Business School (NBS) at UNAM. NBS was established as an independent unit at UNAM has been established 1999 in response to the needs of the Namibian market. This partnership was formed because of the demand for executive management training in the Namibian market. First National Bank (FNB) Foundation had the vision and commitment to financially support the programme. This commitment is still ongoing. FNB is one of the founders of the NBS in collaboration with the Bank of Namibia (BoN), Namibia Diamond Corporation (Namdeb Diamond Corporation (Pty) Limited), the Ohlthaver and List Group of Companies and UNAM. The NBS was officially launched on 30 October 2008. NBS is registered at the High Court of Namibia and its executive management is vested in a Board of Trustees. The vision of NBS (Namibian Business School, 2016) is to distinguish the school as a world-class institution. NBS as an African institution at the cutting edge of management education, research, consulting and related services. The mission of NBS is (www.nbs.edu.na) to deliver world-class management education in an African context, to carry out world-class research from an African perspective and to provide world-class consulting in Namibia, Africa and beyond. To uphold its vision and mission, NBS strives to maintain the following values explicitly: integrity, creativity and excellence (Namibia Business School, 2016). The academic operations fall under the jurisdiction of the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences and NBS offers the following programmes, namely a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, a MBA in Finance, a MBA in Management Strategy and a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) (Namibia Business School, 2016).
In June 2008, after five years of intensive dialogue, groundwork and the establishment of partnerships with various stakeholders, the School of Medicine was established. The curriculum was finalised and approved in 2009 and in 2010, the first 55 students were registered. In 1992, the Department of Nursing was set up and became the School of Nursing in 2010. In 2011, the School of Pharmacy was established. The School of Medicine, School of Nursing and School of Pharmacy fall under the Faculty of Heath Sciences. In 2016, the first medical doctors graduated from UNAM’s Medical School. The School of Medicine’s projection is to establish degree programmes for Dentistry, Medical Laboratory and Rehabilitation Science as from 2011 and postgraduate training from 2015 onwards (University of Namibia, 2017).
UNAM’s Senate approved the School of Veterinary Medicine at UNAM in September 2015. The School offers two-degree courses and a Diploma course in Animal Health. Veterinary Medicine School falls under the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources (University of Namibia, 2017).
In 2007, the first military academic programme, a Master of Arts in Security and Strategic Studies was launched at UNAM and hosted by the Faculty of Economics and Management Science. In 2011 the Ministry of Defence in Namibia approached UNAM for the establishment of the Bachelor of Science in Military Science (Honours). The Faculty of Science was requested to develop the curriculum for the programme which led to the establishment of the Department of Military Science. The curriculum for the following programmes (Army, Aeronautical, and Nautical) was approved by Senate in August 2013 and the Department of Military Science was established in January 2014. In 2014 the Senate approved the transformation of the Department of Military Science into a School of Military Science under the Faculty of Science (University of Namibia, 2017).
UNAM’s Centre for External Studies (CES) was established to ensure greater access to higher education and equity for students with various educational backgrounds. (https://www.unam.edu.na). Today distance learning is offered though the Centre for Open, Distance and e-Learning (CODeL). CODeL was established in 2016 through an amalgamation between CES and the Centre for eLearning and interactive Multimedia (CeLIM) (https://www.unam.edu.na). The programmes for distance higher learning are offered through its regional/ satellite centres in seven towns throughout Namibia (University of Namibia, 2017).
In 2010, the four Namibian Teachers Training Colleges merged with the Faculty of Education at UNAM. These colleges were those at Windhoek, Ongwediva, Caprivi and Rundu. These colleges offered a three-year Basic Education Teaching Diploma (BETD) as well as specialised training in arts and human movement education. In 2010, the merger were welcomed, reported it was long overdue (Magadza, 2010). The merger, however, led to a shortage of teachers because the three year BETD programme was phased out in 2012 and a new four year compulsory Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree was introduced at UNAM. The entry requirements at UNAM for the degree programmes are higher (25 credit points in grade 12 final examination for the best five subjects including English ((University of Namibia, 2017).) than the previous colleges of education in Namibia. The higher admission requirements of UNAM when compared to the colleges, could have contributed to the lower number of students accepted for the B.Ed programme. This ultimately led to a shortage of teachers in the country (Tjihenuna, 2016).
The main criticism levelled against this merger was that a greater responsibility was placed on the Faculty of Education at UNAM with regard to monitoring and evaluation owing to the increase in staff members and students coming from the four teachers training colleges. However, the merger provided challenges and opportunities for all the stakeholders. The reason for the merger of colleges is that it did not have more than 40 teaching staff with Master’s degrees, while only three teaching staff possessed doctoral degrees, which violated the international standards of a staff member holding at least a Master’s degree to be able to teach at tertiary level (Magadza, 2010).
According to Magadza (2010), this shortage of doctoral qualifications by staff members had a negative impact on the quality of teachers being trained at these colleges. The benefits for the stakeholders were the harmonisation of approaches, strategies and curricula. Joining a university offers many benefits to the staff of the colleges, including staff development and opportunities to join a larger academic community. Students who are training to be teachers stand to benefit the most from the merger because they will obtain more prestigious university qualifications and will graduate with a B.Ed degree. Teachers who are in the possession of basic education teacher diplomas can upgrade their qualifications at UNAM. Students at the campuses of the previous Teacher Training Colleges will also be able to access the more advanced resources of UNAM.
Another concern raised during the consultative meetings between the stakeholders was whether the merger of the four Teachers Training Colleges with UNAM was for the benefit of academic staff or for the benefit of the students at these Teachers-Training Colleges. The first challenge was to co-ordinate the institutional cultures and administrative systems of the colleges with that of UNAM. A second challenge was to deal with uncertainties among college academics who feared that their careers might be at risk. Another challenge raised was how to incorporate the student leadership and governance issues of the colleges and UNAM and how the various SRCs’ of the various colleges would be incorporated into the larger student leadership structure of UNAM. The move resulted in many potential teacher students not meeting the entry requirements because of the stricter UNAM admission requirements. Many argue that this has contributed to the current teacher shortage in Namibia.
Tjihenuna (2016), reported that the Dean of Education at UNAM stated that since the merger, the number of lecturing staff with Master’s degrees had increased to 98 while those holding doctorate holders were then 10. This number keeps increasing every year owing to the strict policy of UNAM which requires that all former college teaching staff must meet minimum qualification requirements within a reasonable time. The Dean added that UNAM in conjunction with other stakeholders such as the Namibia Institute for Education Development (NIED) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation have developed a Diploma in Junior Primary Education in response to an official request from the Minister of Education to the Vice Chancellor of UNAM that was implemented in 2015 (Tjihenuna, 2016).