The beginning of the education reform in Namibia had certain features that made it different from many other national reforms in Africa and beyond. Teacher education spearheaded the reform when the Basic Education Teacher Diploma (BETD) program was introduced in January 1993, less than three years after independence. Joel Samoff of Stanford University, who had a prominent role as an international consultant in the development of early policy documents for education in Namibia, has observed that it is unusual for teacher education to precede other elements of reform. Normally, educational reforms start with school curricula and textbooks, and teacher education is expected to follow often as an ill-defined afterthought. In addition, there was a deliberate attempt to keep the four teacher-education colleges independent of the university to break away from the traditional pattern in which the colleges are seen as "minors" to the university, and teacher education is perceived as an academic affair based on academic knowledge and hegemony. The dominant trend in the world today is to attempt to incorporate teacher education into university systems (Samoff 1998).