Standard Bank has launched a four-year K120 million bursary programme to benefit five institutions of higher learning.
The universities being targeted include Chancellor College, The Malawi Polytechnic, Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must), Mzuzu University and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar).
The bank will give each university K30 million to meet tuition fees for six students from each university.
Minister of Education, Bright Msaka, who was Guest of Honour at the event, said the gesture will help ease financial problems faced by the beneficiaries.
He said other financial institutions should emulate what Standard Bank has done.
“Government cannot do everything alone hence the need to work with the private sector on these issues. However, students should work hard because if they don’t, they risk losing the support,” he said.
According to Standard Bank Head of Corporate and Investment Banking, Frank Chantaya, the University Academic Board along with management of the colleges will use rigorous performance criteria to select students.
“Benefiting students are those that are not able to pay tuition fees and meet other related cost such as lodging, food and books, among others,” Chantaya said.
He said Standard Bank decided to extend the support because it realises that education is a catalyst for economic growth.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Malawi, John Saka, hailed the project, saying the number of needy students continues to increase.
Since last year, Standard Bank has been running a Girl Mentorship Programme in coordination with The United Nations Children’s Fund. The programme is aimed at keeping girls in school.