The University’s Professor John Lennon and Professor John Wilson are visiting Malawi to congratulate the first graduates of a GCU-developed programme to help boost the country’s emerging tourism industry.
They will conduct the graduation ceremony of seven members of the teaching faculty of the Malawi Institute of Tourism who have completed The Masters International Tourism Enterprise, designed by GCU for Malawi and other developing countries.
The Masters programme is part of a £370,000 Scottish Government’s International Development Fund supported project, which also saw the University’s Moffat Centre develop a state-of-the-art education and training facility at the institute that will help educate staff to lead the fledgling tourist industry in one of the world’s poorest countries.
The Moffat Centre has been working with the Malawi Institute of Tourism since 2007 and has helped develop a library, training kitchen and IT labs as well as upgraded its syllabus and developed a range of commercial short courses for industry.
Professor Lennon, Head of Department of Management, said: “The award of MSc in International Tourism for the seven part-time students and faculty of Malawi Institute of Tourism is a triumph of GCU’s access mission on a truly global scale. These students faced food and fuel shortages, power cuts and civil unrest, finally resulting in a change of president in the course of their studies. However, their tenacity and willingness to learn in adversity enabled them to complete their qualifications successfully. At a university level, staff have taught and supervised research in truly challenging circumstances, and triumphed.”
Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Government’s Minister for External Affairs and International Development, said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Government’s International Development Fund is supporting this worthy project and continuing to make a huge difference to the lives of people in Malawi. The work being done by Glasgow Caledonian University’s Moffat Centre to help build a stronger tourism sector in Malawi is a shining example of our commitment to help Malawians help themselves. Scotland is a good global citizen and we will continue to share resources, skills and expertise to help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.”
As well as donating 55 computers and books to the institute, Moffat Centre staff have raised money for a neighbouring orphanage Yamikani House.
The governments of Scotland and Malawi signed a co-operation agreement in 2005 to develop sustainable economic development in Malawi by stimulating enterprise through the exchange of skills and business expertise and exploring opportunities to develop tourism.