There are approximately sixteen higher education institutions in Namibia. Three of these institutions are public, accounting for approximately 70% of enrolled students, with the rest being managed privately. The country’s public establishments are mostly funded by the state, with enrolment being subject to payment of fees for both home and international students. Language of instruction is English for most of the degrees.
Conditions for international students are subject to individual universities’ regulations, and to further requirements of residency. The country’s largest institution, the University of Namibia, accommodates around 30 000 students in total, with country-wide enrolments growing steadily for the past seven years. For more information please refer to http://www.mheti.gov.na/.
The Namibian educational system is strongly influenced by the South African educational tradition. It follows the ‘bachelor's master's doctorate system’: contrary to the UK, the length of Bachelor’s degree usually comprises four years. It is followed by a Master’s typically lasting one year, culminating in a Doctoral degree of two years. Some of the universities offer tuition exclusively by research, others by coursework and thesis.
Enrolment into Bachelor’s programs is conditional on possession of a Namibian Senior Secondary Certificate with a pass in five subjects with a total score of 25 points or more. International students may apply with recognized equivalent qualification such as A-levels or IB. To be accepted to a Master’s or Doctoral programmes, students must have a relevant Bachelor or Master’s degree respectively. An intermediate level of proficiency in English also required, as the language of instruction is English for most programmes.
In terms of financing the studies, public as well as private universities charge a fee for each semester of enrollment. While top performing and/or disadvantaged home-based students may be eligible for scholarships, loans or other financial support, for other students the fees vary depending on the country of origin. For home students, the tuition costs approximately £150 per semester; for Southern African Development Community students the fees are approximately £220; and for international tuition can be as high as £580 per semester. Various registration and ‘connectivity’ fees also apply.
Information for International Students
Prior entering Namibia, international students need to be in possession of a valid and approved Study Permit and Visa. The Study Permit documentation is administered by the university of one’s choice, and a processing fee of approximately £60 is commonly required. Upon registration students also need to submit provisional letter of enrolment, proofs of identity, residence, medical insurance, funding, previous education transcripts and medical and police clearances.
Living costs in Namibia have been estimated to be around 47% lower than in the UK, with rent being over 55% cheaper than in the UK. Regular meal in an inexpensive restaurant can cost around £5, with a one-bedroom apartment outside the centre costing approximately £220 per month. Similarly, one-way ticket for a local public transport can cost as little as p50.