Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) is scheduled to open doors to its first intake next year following the completion and planned handover of the campus in December, Minister of Education said.
Eunice Kazembe told Parliament that this was why government wanted the Must bill passed during this meeting to pave way for the establishment of structures so that the university is opened in the 2013/14 academic year. The establishment of Must was announced in 2010 and that it would be constructed with funding from the government of China.
But after initially announcing that the university would be located in Mitundu near Bunda College of Agriculture, the late president Bingu wa Mutharika made the unpopular move of donating land near his Ndata farm for the university.
The bill excited the opposition bench especially the DPP who for some time have been happy that the PP government continues to implement programmes started by the previous regime.
But the bill irked MCP who claimed that they were tricked that the university would be located near Bunda College only for the government to make an about-turn. MCP spokesperson on education Alekeni Menyani said MPs were ‘blackmailed’ into passing the bill on the university.
“It should be put on record that the whole set up was shoddy and vexatious. But as MCP, life must go on,” he said.
Menyani went on to laud the establishment of faculties of fisheries and ecosystem, saying graduates of these disciplines would have the key to solving the depletion of chambo in Lake Malawi and deforestation.
Speaking about the establishment of Must, Kazembe said it would promote industrial growth through advancement and commercialisation of research as well as knowledge and dissemination.
The bill also establishes the council of the university, a governing body that provides for the appointment of the principal’s office, tenure of office of the council, and establishment of a senate. The bill also provides for the establishment of colleges, faculties, divisions, centres and institutes within the university.
“Science and technology are critical indicators of the future wellbeing of the country’s citizens and how well the country can compete on the global market place,” Kazembe said.
Ultimately Must would help increase intake in the country’s public universities which has a bed-space of 3000 students.