Nust marine engineering students seek over N$3 millionWindhoek ∙ Enzo Amuele
A group of 16 students in a marine engineering degree programme at the University of Science and Technology (NUST) in partnership with a Finnish university are left stranded due to a lack of funding for them to complete their studies for 24 months in Finland.
This programme was designed through the Maribilis project in 2015 and commenced in 2019, in partnership with the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK).
The project was funded by the Finnish government to the tune of N$11 million and aims to satisfy a wider spectrum of maritime education and training needs in Namibia.
This programme aims to improve maritime education in Namibia by providing quality education and equipping graduates to compete in the global labour market.
According to one of the students, Nust had approached the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) for funding in 2019 but no agreement was reached.
The students were supposed to leave in January but could not do so as there were no funds available, although SAMK had reduced the price to accommodate the 16 students.
The student said the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) and Nust had signed an agreement to provide funding for the students. According to him, the funding could only cover eight students.
In a document seen by The Zone, a total of 302 140 euros (N$53 67931) was allocated for developing higher education competencies in the field of maritime engineering, fisheries and logistics in Namibia.
The students are now pleading with private companies, the government and the public to assist them financially.
In another document, it is stated that N$3 665 962 is needed to accommodate all 16 students for 24 months.