President Peter Mutharika has approved the unbundling of the University of Malawi (Unima), according to impeccable sources.
The decision follows close to six months of heated debate on the matter.
Although several reliable sources in government have confirmed the development, Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Nicholas Dausi, has dismissed the assertions.
The development will, however, mean that constituent colleges of the Unima: The Polytechnic, Chancellor College, College of Medicine and Kamuzu College of Nursing, will be autonomous universities after a due process of law.
But some quarters have said government could have consulted many people on the issue.
Commenting on the development Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) Executive Director, Benedicto Kondowe, has described this as a positive thing which will require all concerned people to have a substantive decision with sober minds.
“Although it is a good development, we suggest that a special commission should be instituted to lead any substantive discussions on the same. The focus now should be to analyse strengths and weaknesses of the constituent colleges with a view to determine the kind of structures each college would require,” Kondowe said.
He added: “Some quarters might oppose the development but change is inevitable. I urge all concerned people to put their interest on Malawians.”
When the debate started, Kondowe said unbundling Unima was the “best way to go”.
He said the plans may address several concerns including funding to Unima constituent colleges which will become separate universities if the plans materialise and that suspicions of politicising Unima Central Office might be dealt with.
Plans to unbundle the Unima have been met with resistance from a number of stakeholders, after the Public Service Reforms Commission raised the issue.
Some officials within the rank and file of Unima argued that if it materialises, the arrangement would be costly as each of the four colleges would need its own vice-chancellor and council, among other things.
Mutharika publicly talked about the issue three years ago when Unima commemorated its 50th anniversary where he promised that he would not frustrate views of those seeking that their constituent colleges should break away from Unima.
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