President Arthur Peter Mutharika says his government will make radical changes to tertiary education among which is the introduction of levies to improve the sector.

Speaking at Chancellor College’s Great Hall during graduation of one of this year’s numerous congregations, the President reiterated the need for every credible university to value research among its many functions.

“We will introduce an education levy to fund research and infrastructure in higher education. Every college needs a vibrant directorate of research that can generate and utilize research funds intelligently. The quality of our University programs, our graduates and the solutions we seek are determined by the quality of research. The status and prestige of a university is made of the type and quality of research,” said he in a speech themed ‘A Purposeful University’.

He dwelt his speech on universities to stop counting on government subvention rather find innovative ways to stand independent. As a way of standardizing Malawi’s university sector with the rest of the world, government also plans to introduce a research centre which will connect to other global institutions.

“We will soon activate the Malawi Research and Education Network (MAREN). This means we will connect our public universities with the rest of the world, and access academic information beyond all boundaries. This will change the history and quality of research in Malawi. We will change the quality of our graduates and serve our society with better informed solutions,” he said.

On infrastructure, President Mutharika said government is doing all it can to make sure that all public universities have necessary infrastructure. He pointed out issues such as creating conducive learning environment for Special Needs Students, libraries and other infrastructure as crucial aspects to be looked into.

In that vein, the President promised his government’s involvement in the rebuilding and restocking of Mzuzu University library which was gutted by fire months ago. He also told the congregation that government will construct a purpose-built centre for Special Needs students and office blocks at The Polytechnic and Chancellor College.

During Wednesday’s graduation several prominent Malawians were conferred upon with honorary doctorate degrees. These include academics Professors Peter Mwanza and Brown Chimphamba and politician John Tembo.

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