The demands for greater efficiency, quality and reductions in public budgets have meant that continually more countries are looking closely at the structure of their higher education systems, and this has often resulted in reforms. The objective of creating larger units has resulted in mergers or closures of institutions of higher education. Over the past few years, Namibia has been dedicated to incorporate colleges into the University of Namibia as part of the trend that is currently reflected in the global higher education market. The period within which higher education mergers have taken place on a large scale internationally overlaps with a phase characterized by an extremely rapid take-up of information technologies in higher education. This study analyses the experiences of staff and students from the incorporated Caprivi College of Education into the University of Namibia with reference to curriculum change.
This study has noted that scholars generally agree that incorporation is different from mergers and takeovers as experienced in the business context. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the experiences of staff and students regarding the incorporation of the Caprivi College of Education into the University of Namibia with reference to curriculum change. This is a qualitative study that used document analysis, structured interviews and group interviews with different members of the university community.
Purposive and convenience sampling techniques were used to determine the experiences of staff member and students regarding the incorporation of the Caprivi College of Education into the University of Namibia with reference to curriculum change. From the analysis of collected data, it was found that the overall experience of staff members and students showed that the incorporation brought about positive and negative changes to the curricula; chief among them was an upgrade of the previous qualification to an honours degree with a wider specialization area than before. However, challenges of weaker pedagogical skills in the curricula, heavy workloads and uncertainty were noted. Thus, this study concluded that the University of Namibia, especially the Katima Mulilo Campus, needs to make deliberate efforts towards improving the curricula of the Bachelor of Education degree if the incorporation is to be regarded as a success. Empirical results from this study could guide management in taking corrective action that can lead to the competitiveness of the Bachelor of Education Honours degree in future incorporation plans.