Southern Business School Namibia a one-stop qualification shop

The new manager of academic and leadership development at Southern Business School Namibia, Albin Jacobs, talks about this private higher education institution.

Q: Are you enjoying the new challenge?
A: Yes, it is a great challenge. Southern Business School Namibia is a very ambitious institution, especially when it comes to achieving our goal towards making quality tertiary education accessible to more and more Namibians. We have just exceeded the 1 000 mark in terms of registered students in Namibia and expect to register many more in the near future.

Q: What exactly is the Southern Business School Namibia?
A: As a business school we are a private higher education institution provid­ing distance education, development programmes and short learning programmes.
We are accredited in South Africa and enjoy recognition by the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA) in Namibia. All qualifications go through a stringent process that requires compliance to academic quality, institutional and professional standards.
This means that students can be assured that they have a better chance of success when applying for a position or for that promotion they want.
Southern Business School Namibia provid­es students with interactive study material that guides students through their work. As an academic institution we are set up for distance learning. It is not simply a case of taking existing lectures and courses and sending them to students far afield or posting them online.
Distance learning is difficult at the best of times, especially in a country as vast and sparsely populated as Namibia. This is one of the many reasons why we struggle with education in this country.
At the same time we have to realise that government is not in a position to provide an opportunity for everyone to access tertiary education. Therefore, there is a system in place to ensure that public and private institutions provide tertiary education within a framework of quality that is assured through various government and industry bodies.Namibia has only two public tertiary education institutions, Polytechnic of Namibia and the University of Namibia (Unam). Private higher education providers like Southern Business School, IUM and Lingua International College are there to complement the efforts of government and fill the gaps that might be there in the demand for education at this level.

Q: How does it differ from the existing tertiary instutitions?
A: Southern Business School offers qualifications via distance mode, but that is not the unique part.
As a Namibian institution we believe that we have to make a difference to Namibia. It is of the utmost importance that our qualifications are relevant and appropriate for the Namibian environment.
For this reason our qualifications focus on areas that are highlighted as national priorities, such as logistics and transport, in line with NDP 4 and Vision 2030 goals.
We also offer programmes in project management to support the project based implementation of development and other projects in the country.
Through this approach we want to ensure that we contribute to the development of the skills pool and growth in Namibia.

Q: What type of qualifications do you offer?
A: As a business school our programmes have a specific focus.
Our approach is student-centred. Therefore, we offer qualifications with different exit levels. Students can start with a certificate and get a qualification at that level. Then they can do a diploma and exit if they want to. Finally they can come back and complete their bachelor's degree. This of course could be followed by their honours and even a master's degree. The rationale is that students can improve their employment situation with each level of qualification.
This also provides an opportunity for students who cannot afford their studies for two three years in a row.
They can exit and come back after a year or two to continue, once their financial situation has improved.
We are one of a few private higher education providers in Namibia that can provide a full academic programme from certificate to honours level. We want to build a lifelong relationship of learn­ing with our students. After all, we never stop learning.
Therefore, we reinforce these formal programmes with various short courses and management development programmes. This ensures that our students can upgrade themselves even after they have acquired their formal qualifications.
We also are in a position to assist those students who do not meet university entry requirements of the 25 points. They can enrol for a certificate in management and thereafter a diploma, a BBA or BPP degree or honours degree.
One of our core values is affordability, but also quality. People usually believe that these things do not go together. The proof is in the pudding. Our graduates are employed across all indust­ries and across all levels of employment.

Q: Are the qualifications accredited and recognised here and abroad?
A: All our programmes are accredited in South Africa and enjoy recognition in Namibia. As a higher education institution this is of the utmost importance.
Our clients include various government institutions and ministries and we even provide training programmes to Nipam. This would not be possible if we were not a recognised training provider. For more information visit: http://.sbs.ac.za or contact Albin Jacobs on 061 308 781 or at [email protected]

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