The University of Malawi Vice Chancellor Professor John D Kalenga Saka on Saturday said that the University is equally challenged to accomplish the National Education Sector plan that contains three strategic pillars which include resource mobilization, increase of access and quality and improvement of relevance.
He said as the largest University in the country there is need to expand access through Public Private Partnership Commission arrangement with support from government.
The vice Chancellor said the University is working on improving relevance and quality through study.
He added, this will ensure that all academics studies are reviewed consistent with the needs of society and Industry.
Said Kalenga Saka, “This will allow the University to introduce new programmes focusing on Post Graduates (PG) studies. PG will assist students to undertake research that will support country’s economy. Through PG studies, students can improve the content of PhD.”
He beamed the need to partner with “Sister Colleges” to enhance experience in both teaching and learning.
According to UNIMA Vice Chancellor, government can continue to subvert the University to diversify resource base.
However, gracing the occasion, the Malawi Leader Peter Mutharika said given both output and the role played in nation building , UNIMA deserve to be celebrated by all Malawians.
Mutharika further advised Malawians the need of being logical to redefine and rebrand in order to make the University relevant to the future.
He distanced the involvement of government into debate of whether to make make the Universities federal system or no.
He advised to decide, manage the decision and take responsibility of the destiny that inspires.
“Government cannot interfere in that debate because it respect academic integrity and autonomy to make your decisions it is open minded and receptive to informed change. The government is not afraid of bringing change to Malawi. You called for a transformation government, and here it is.”
“We are ready to brave the decisions this country has always shelved and deferred. The University has done a great service, and a great honour. The best is yet to come,” said Mutharika.
Reacting to Minimal infrastructure that pose problems and has consistently contributed to lack of access to the Universities, Kalenga Saka said through World Bank they are planning to produce modules that are improved. He added the modules will be accessed by those under distance learning through IT services.
“Learning does not whole depends on face to face teachings. Even if infrastructures were expanded twice there will be distance learning,” He explained.
The vision to establish the University of Malawi was mooted in 1964 by late Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda. The UNIMA provisional act was subsequently replaced with act of 1974 which was later amended into UNIMA act, 1998 of the laws of Malawi.
UNIMA at 50 falls under its six strategic core values which includes commitment, openness to diversity, responsiveness, integrity entrepreneuraship and professionalism.