THE University of Malawi (Unima) says insufficient funding has been the main factor dogging its growth over the years.

Speaking during the second congregation of the 2012/2013 graduation ceremony, University of Malawi Vice Chancellor Emmanuel Fabiano said Chancellor College is the worst hit of the colleges due to double streaming of intake which has exposed it to financial doldrums.

“One of the challenges to the effort our universities make to increase access has been the limited teaching and learning infrastructure, as well as poor condition of the existing infrastructure due to lack of regular rehabilitation, arising from insufficient funding over many years,” Fabiano said.

Fabiano, however, said Unima as well as Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) have made strides which are evident in the rolling out of programmes such as the open and distance learning which serve as a convenient expansion tool.

He said university graduates if utilised well are a meaningful tool for the country’s economic growth, urging the graduates to be hardworking, ethical and reliable professionals who have the nation’s development as a priority.

“We appreciate that both Unima and Luanar have a responsibility to contribute to the social-economic development of Malawi through the achievement of the objectives of the National Education Sector Plan (Nesp). One of the Sector Plan is to widen access to higher education by increasing the student enrollment. It is interesting to note that both Luanar and Chancellor College have plans to roll out e-learning and ODL programmes as one way of increasing access to education.

“On integrity, for instance, the university believes that actions by its staff, students and alumni shall be consistent with words that demonstrate honesty and ethical behaviour which address the needs of others, while being open and transparent about conflicts of interest,” he said.

A total of 411 candidates graduated, 336 of which were awarded bachelor’s degrees, 57 got masters degree, 18 received diplomas while one was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree. By Madalitso Musa

Picture : Emannuel Fabiano

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