Malawi Universities torn to shreds


Local universities have been criticized for putting much emphasis on learning by heart while overlooking research activities.

The University of Malawi which is the country’s leading institution has been failing to make a mark at continental level, hence falling in the bottom half of Africa’s top 100 Universities.

It is said to be too theoretical, though the university blame the state of affairs on lack of resources to support practical activities.

Misses out as well.

According to BBC Africa, research conducted by United Kingdom’s Loughborough University establishes that most Universities in Southern African countries of Botswana, Malawi, and Namibia lack the capacity to fully bake their graduates by equipping them with both theoretical and practical skills.

“New research by the UK’s University of Loughborough says universities in Zambia, Malawi and Botswana lay too much emphasis on learning by heart. The researchers say African students need to be taught to think more critically and creatively, or there could be trouble for future generations,” reads the BBC post.

The research findings as pasted on BBC Africa have attracted a mixture of reactions with the majority agreeing with the findings. Some agree with the study but others question the research’s credibility arguing it was not thoroughly conducted leading to a hasty generalisation.

Malawi has four public universities; Mzuzu University (MZUNI), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources ( LUANAR), University of Malawi (UNIMA), and Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST).

Among the notable private universities in the country are religious affiliated Catholic University and Livingstonia University.

In an effort to raise enough financial resources for training students, the leading UNIMA resorted to fees hike. The University Council which made the proposal to the government said lack of adequate funding affect research activities among others. The proposal achieved its purpose as tuition fee was raised by 400 percent.

Local universities also have few postgraduate programmes forcing people to flock overseas for their master’s degrees. This is because the institutions are incapacitated both in terms of finances and materials which largely affects the equipping of students with vital skills.



  1. It starts with kindergarten, primarily school, secondary school and then college. No wonder even the leadership has the same mentality.

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