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New bill will help fix NUL: Siverts

‘Mantoetse Maama

MASERU — National University of Lesotho (NUL) Vice-Chancellor Sharon Siverts says the university is pushing for new legislation that will help it meet its current needs and challenges.
Speaking at the university’s 36th graduation ceremony in Roma yesterday, Siverts said the new Bill had already been submitted to parliament for consideration.
If approved, the new law will give the university council autonomy to deal with various challenges at NUL as it seeks to improve standards and cut costs.
“The restructuring task ahead of us is not easy nor will the outcomes make everyone happy,” Siverts said.
“Restructuring puts a tremendous burden on each of us to step up to our responsibility to rebuild this university.
“It can bring about fallouts but it also allows for new opportunities to be more responsive to the needs of the country.”
Siverts said it was imperative for NUL to move with the times or it risk becoming a dinosaur.
She said the university is working towards ensuring that it equips students with entrepreneurial skills.
NUL will also boost its business and engineering programmes to produce graduates with skills relevant to the country’s needs.
“Needless to say we also need to work to become more self-sufficient,” Siverts said.
She said higher education worldwide is at a crossroads hence the need to keep up with the changing times.
“Changing education for a changing world requires institutions to focus on creating a radically different vision to survive the 21st century; to examine what it means to be a globally literate citizen.”
Siverts added that over the next few months the NUL management would be engaging in participatory dialogue with staff “to gain their views and contributions about how we can meet our financial challenges and how we can go about rebuilding the university.”
NUL chancellor, King Letsie III, noted that more than 50 percent of the 2 760 graduates this year were female.
“The number of graduands is well over 2 700 as compared to 2 500 last year. This is a substantial contribution to the human resources pool of our country and to the neighbouring ones who have sent their nationals to this university,” King Letsie III said.
“This is indeed a welcome development, which I hope is a genuine indication that we are well on our way towards achieving our goals of gender parity at all levels of society.”
The ceremony saw the university awarding certificates, diplomas and degrees to students from 20 programmes in seven faculties.

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