In general this study will contribute to the current debate on leadership and its impact on organisational transformation. Since the establishment of both UNAM and NUST, little has been done, according to NDP 2, 3 & 4 and HPP, to meet public and government expectations, taken into consideration the vast resources invested in these institutions. Namibia is one of three countries worldwide that spends the largest percentage of their national budget on education (Katjavivi, 2016).

The significance of this study lies in providing answers to why public institutions fail to live up to the expectations of the people of Namibia. In the foreword of Vision 2030, the Founding President of Namibia, stresses the importance of a high quality education and training system (Office of the President, 2004). This is very important to reduce the backlog in training and education that non-white Namibians received owing to colonialism and apartheid. This is an enormous challenge that cannot be solved in the short or medium term. These inequalities can only be addressed by various resources including time and a total change in awareness amongst the role players in the economy, particular those who are involved in education, in today’s knowledge societies where education contributes to the growth of national and individual income (Bray, 2007).

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Vision 2030 aims to transform Namibia to a knowledge-based society; therefore, a huge responsibility rests on the education system and public institutions of higher learning in particular. The quality output of institutions of higher learning can be regarded as an important indicator when assessing the overall health of a country’s economy. The backbone of any country’s development is education and health. Education, particularly higher learning, will create numerous opportunities for Namibians, the region and Africa at large.

The GRN can gain better insight of leadership required to deal with organisational transformation to accommodate the dynamic environment that public institutions of higher learning face. It can therefore make more informed decisions regarding funding, resources, policies and regulations concerning its public institutions of higher learning.

The councils of UNAM and NUST are the supreme boards here which should appoint executive management, monitor, assess and evaluate the day-to-day operations of the executive management at these institutions. This study can give the councils and the GRN more in-depth understanding on which leadership style(s) are required when recruiting executive and senior management.

Students (current and potential) as the most important stakeholders of institutions of higher learning can benefit from this study. If a conducive environment for higher learning and research is in place, the student, as a potential employee in the economy, can add to the much needed skills of the workforce and ensure that the much needed human capital is provided for knowledge production (Bray, 2007). This can contribute to the realisation of Vision 2030 which states that Namibians must be on the same level as their counterparts in the developed world. Namibia, the region and Africa generally can benefit if the missions and visions of these public institutions become a reality.

This study can benefit the academic and administrative/support staff if a supportive and conducive working environment is in place. As stated earlier, institutions of higher learning operate in a very dynamic environment and if strong leadership practices are in place it can enhance productivity, loyalty, effectiveness and efficiency. The outcome of this study can be useful in developing an appropriate leadership model that can guide leadership at public institutions of higher learning in Namibia, to ensure that Vision 2030 becomes a reality.