THE National University of Lesotho (NUL) has introduced a Master’s Degree Programme in Sustainable Energy to cater for the needs of Lesotho’s fledging industrial sector as well as enable Basotho to compete favourably on the international job market.
The degree will commence in August this year when NUL opens for the first semester of the 2018 academic year.
Sustainable energy and physics lecturer at NUL, Tšita Molapo, said the degree programme was introduced after the realisation that the short courses which the university has been offering since January 2016 were not enough to turn students into sustainable energy experts.
“The short courses took a week to complete and that is not enough time for anyone to be fully knowledgeable on sustainable energy issues,” Mr Molapo said, adding they would continue offering the short courses.
He said the degree programme had received widespread support from various stakeholders who had also pledged to back the establishment of a National Advisory Board on Sustainable Energy which will include representatives of civil society, the public and private sector as well as an international consortium of Southern African and European universities.
He said the programme which will take two years of full time study was crafted in close collaboration with the local and international energy stakeholders to ensure that it met the demands of Lesotho’s growing energy and industrial sector.
“The stakeholders’ involvement has been and will be a key factor for success of the programme and its graduates,” he said, adding that the deadline for applications is on 31 May 2018.
For his part, Global European programme representative, Niklas Hayek, said the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) supported NUL in the establishment of the Energy Research Centre and as well as the degree programme.
The decision to launch the research centre and the Masters programme was taken at the second Africa-EU Renewable Energy Research and Innovation Symposium that was held at the end of last month in Maseru.
“The RECP has provided technical and financial assistance in setting up the programme, centre, and in organising the conference,” Mr Hayek said adding that NUL was now equipped with an international MSc programme, highly qualified staff and a state of the art energy laboratory.
He said research, innovation and entrepreneurship were key areas that NUL was focusing on and these were in line with the RECP’s vision for sustainable energy development in Africa.
“Putting this plan into practice requires a solid skills base, innovation capacities and entrepreneurial spirit and NUL is well-placed to equip graduates with these competences,” he said.