Malawi University of Science and Technology to open this year

LILONGWE (Mana)- Minister of Education Science and Technology, Eunice Kazembe on Monday said the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) will open this year.

The Minister said this in Parliament when she was giving a ministerial statement on the current status of MUST during the 2013/2014 budget sitting.

“There has been sentiments raised in this House and in the media that this Government is not   supportive of MUST and that we do not have any plans to open this institution. I wish to assure the Malawi nation that such sentiments are not correct.” Kazembe said.

Kazembe added, “I am pleased to report that preparations for the opening of MUST are progressing very well and I wish to assure the nation that we are determined and committed to ensuring that the university starts functioning in the 2013/2014 academic year.”

She further said the 2013/2014 budget has made provisions for the university and said according to the budget documents K1.1 billion has been allocated for purchase of furniture and K530 million for operational costs for the university to start.

The Minister however said they are in discussion with a number of cooperating parterres for additional financial and technical support.

“We are also discussing with other private sector players to look at the possibility of Public Private Partnership arrangements in the running of this university,” Kazembe said.

The Minister said the curricula for the university covering a wide range of specialized undergraduate, doctorial and post-doctorial degree programmes in rare subjects are not offered by other universities in the country have been developed with the guidance of the Academic  Affairs Subcommittee of the Public Universities Committee.

She also said construction of state of the art physical structures which includes administration and office blocks, magnificent library, teaching hospital and students hostels have been completed and are due for handover to government shortly.

Kazembe added that in compliance with the MUST Act 2012, the members of the University Council have been appointed which will be the oversight of the institution’s policy, degree, financial and capital matters.

The council is expected to meet on 17 to 18 June this year to discuss and agree on the required steps so that programmes at the university can start this year as planned. But appropriate announcements would subsequently be made by the council on procedures for accepting the first intake of students and other matters relating to the opening of the university.

The Minister also told the House that to facilitate the opening of the university, three member team has been appointed on secondment to work alongside the University Council and to undertake day to day operations pending the recruitment of full-time staff.

MUST aims to assist Malawi achieve quantum leap in research, transmission and application of science and technology so as to bridge the gap between Africa and the industrialized world and to empower Malawi and other African countries to contribute positively to global growth and development.

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