University of Namibia

THE UNIVERSITY began in August 1992. Namibia’s President, Dr Sam Nujoma (who was also the founding Chancellor of the university) stated his vision for the institution, describing it as ‘a centre of higher learning served by dedicated men and women of quality, and producing graduates to uplift the standards of living of the Namibian people’.

Seven faculties deliver the university’s diverse academic programmes: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Economics and Management Science, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, Law, Medical and Health Sciences, and the Faculty of Science. To reach into the far corners of a big country, the university (with its main campus in Windhoek) has developed three satellite-campuses and eight regional centres. The main satellite is at Oshakati in the heavily populated north. Close to the northern campus is the Ogongo Agricultural Campus (which houses the university’s Department of Crop Science); while the Neudamm Agricultural Campus, some 40 kilometres from Windhoek, serves the central highland region. All these facilities are staffed by 340 academic and research staff, 42 percent of which are female, and 28 percent of whom have doctoral degrees.

Since about half the Namibian population depends for its livelihood on subsistence agriculture, the university focus on agricultural studies is appropriate. Namibia is also the only country in the world specifically to address conservation and natural resource issues in its Constitution. Here, too, the university’s emphasis on issues relating to the protection and management of natural resources indicates an institution at least partially in tune with the national development agenda.

Regional and international collaboration is also high on the University of Namibia’s priorities. Relationships with several South African universities exist, as with other SADC higher education institutions in Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi. Linkages have also been established with
universities in the USA, Canada, Israel, Germany, Finland and Norway.

Facts and Figures  at a Glance1

The University of Namibia is predominantly a contact institution, with 33% of the total number of students receiving distance-based tuition. Many of the students who attend the university are studying on a full-time basis. There are 5,824 full-time students compared to 435 students who are studying part-time. Although the vast majority of the students enrolled at the University are Namibian nationals, the University does cater for a number of foreign students. A total of 909 students from other countries attend the institution, 700 of whom are from countries within the SADC Region and 209 from other countries.

Table 1: University of Namibia - Summary of Enrolment Numbers (Actual data, 2007)


Number of students enrolled per level of study

Major Field of Study

Total Number of Students (Headcount)

Under- graduate degree/ diploma Post-graduate degree/ diploma Masters Degree Doctoral Degree Other qualifications (short courses, certificates etc.)
Science, Engineering & Technology 903 869 0 32 1 1
Business, Management & Law 2,382 1,864 37 88 0 393
Humanities and Social Sciences 1,928 1,527 39 60 11  291
Health Sciences 775 63 21 25 8 658
Agricultural and Natural Resources 205 201 0 2 2  0
UNAM Foundation Programme 66 0 0 0 0 66
Centre for External Studies 2,119 881 93 0 0 1,145
TOTALS 8,378 5,405 190 207 22 2,554

Source: University of Namibia questionnaire response

Table 2: University of Namibia - Academic and Research staff (Actual data, 2007)

Major Field Of Study

Total Number (headcount)

Science, Engineering & Technology 116
Business, Management & Law 42
Humanities and Social Sciences 117
Health Sciences 38
Other (Centre for External Studies and Library) 27

Source: University of Namibia questionnaire response

[1] All data presented in this section is headcount data.