Land surveyors measure land and create legal descriptions necessary to transfer ownership of land. The resettlement effort in Namibia will move families onto land they own and can farm. When land is owned, it can also be used as collateral for bank loans to buy seed, fertilizer, cows and goats. A recent report estimated there to be only 20 registered land surveyors in all of Namibia. This scarcity of land surveyors is a serious impediment to the subdivision of land necessary for people to acquire ownership of individual parcels and resettle their families.
The scholarship program sponsors students in the undergraduate program in land surveying at The Polytechnic University in Windhoek, Namibia. The selection process is designed to identify candidates with academic potential but special financial need. Some of those who complete the undergraduate program may be selected to attend the University of Florida and pursue a graduate degree. The Scholarship Program pays the cost of tuition, academic fees, lodging, food and certain other expenses. Those who graduate from the program will be trained and ready to help the national resettlement effort. Related educational activities are also sponsored, such as a survey instructor exchange program between the Polytechnic of Namibia and the University of Florida.
Prior to 1980 there were no institutions of higher education in Namibia and students who could attend universities went to South Africa or other countries. The Polytechnic of Namibia in Windhoek was established in 1994 and is one of two institutions of higher education in Namibia.
The University of Florida in Gainesville was founded in 1905 as a public school for white males and opened its admissions to African-American students in 1958. It now has over 48,000 students and is ranked as the fourth largest university in the United States with 21 colleges offering hundreds of undergraduate and graduate degrees.
The Polytechnic of Namibia and the University of Florida offer a variety of applied science and technology degrees in areas critical to the resettlement effort, such as land surveying, land use planning and land management and registration.
Scholarships for Namibia, Inc. is the non-profit organization that administers the scholarship program.