Former University of Malawi (Unima) vice chancellor, Professor Brown Chimphamba, has called for higher education that addresses various socio-economic challenges the country is experiencing.
Chimphamba said the quality of higher education must be relevant to the people it is supposed to serve and if higher education is not of higher quality, nobody can benefit from it.
He said the idea of education is that it must help the community resolve challenges that such a community is facing.
Chimphamba, who served in various university portfolios for 34 years, said when leaders established Unima in 1965, they wanted to introduce a university that would help the country address various challenges that the country was experiencing and continues to experience to date.
“The leaders then thought that by introducing a university, the problems of poverty, ignorance, disease and even hunger and even whenever there was drought or floods, would be eliminated.
“That higher education is a tool because knowledge is what is required and by carrying out research, it is meant to find solutions which can help maintain the life of a community,” Chimphamba said.
He was speaking during an open lecture that the privately owned Unicaf University organised in Lilongwe on Wednesday night.
Without directly rating the country’s higher education, Chimphamba said all is not lost as the better utilisation of the National Council for Higher Education may help in ensuring quality and relevance of higher education.
The theme for the lecture was “why is quality the decisive factor in higher education?”
Rector for Unicaf University, Joseph Kuthemba Mwale, said the university chose the theme as it realises that despite being expensive, quality is precious.
“We want people in this country to appreciate quality. They should not spend money on something which is not worth it. Quality higher education is a key, it is a winner and we must not abandon the winning team. If quality education is the winner, then let’s stick to the winner,” Mwale said.
He said Unicaf is striving to provide higher education of international standards to Malawi, Africa and the world in general.
Chimphamba served as principal for Chancellor College for six years, Bunda College of Agriculture for nine years. The Polytechnic for two years apart from being the Unima Vice Chancellor for eight years.
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