The Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must), which is situated at Ndata in Thyolo will be opened in the 2013/2014 financial year.

Making her statement on Monday in Parliament on the status of the university, Education Minister Eunice Kazembe said the government has made provisions for the university in the 2013/2014 budget.

“According to the budget documents, K1.1 billion has been allocated for the purchase of furniture and K530 million for operational costs of the university. Furthermore, we are in discussion with cooperating partners for technical and financial support. We are also in discussion with other private sector players to look at the possibility of Public Private Partnership arrangement in the establishment of the university,” she said.

She added the government would like to ensure that MUST is run as a modern institution under sustainable financial arrangements.

She said members of the university council who have been appointed will meet on Monday and Tuesday next week to discuss and agree on the required steps so that programmes at the university can start.

The minister said to facilitate the opening, a three-member team has been appointed on a secondment to work with the council to undertake the day-to-day operations of the university, pending recruitment of full-time staff.

Her statement was followed by a number of questions from MPs. MP for Chitipa North Nick Masebo asked the minister, if the government abandoned the quota system of admitting students to universities.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government had decided to establish MUST, as a way of getting rid of the quota system. In her response, Kazembe said the government cannot say it has created enough university spaces.

She said apart from the new space created at the MUST, the creation of Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources had not increased spaces as it was an already an existing college under the University of Malawi. She said ‘there is still need to apportion space at the university’. – By Macdonald Thom

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