College of Medicine (CoM) says it is collaborating with highly ranking universities in the world to position itself for global recognition as it prepares to delink from the University of Malawi (Unima).
CoM Principal Mwapatsa Mipando said this on Monday in Blantyre during a signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between CoM and the University of Melbourne of Australia.
Mipando said CoM plans to become an institution of high ranking globally and is working on intensifying research through collaboration or joint research projects; exchange of academic staff; organisation of lectures and symposia; exchange of academic information or material; exchanges of administrative staff; governance and systems strengthening as well as student exchange with big universities such as Melbourne.
The two institutions are already working together in a $3million Bill and Melinda Gates funded clinical trial of the RV3-BB rotavirus vaccine in infants in Malawi and $1.8 million grant from Bill and Melinda Gates for research into anaemia treatment studies in pregnancy.
Their long-term collaborations dates back to 1996 particularly on malaria in pregnant women and their newborns, and on severe malaria in young children.
The University of Melbourne has also trained many Malawian health professionals through sponsorships, one of the beneficiaries being Dr Andrew Likaka, currently working in the Ministry Of Health’s newly established Quality Assurance Directorate.
“We want to learn from them while preserving our uniqueness. We recognize that research and exposure is vital in helping us grow,” said Mipando.
Deputy Dean in the department of pediatrics Professor Glenn Bowes spoke of the need for global engagement on issues of global health.
“Our graduates want to work around the world but for them to be global health practitioners they need to be familiar with global health problems. This partnership will help them achieve that in such a way that they will have firsthand experience of health problems in this country which are not there in Australia,” he said.
According to Times Higher Education World University rankings of 2016/2017, Melbourne University is ranked number one in Australia and 33 in the world.
It has been in existence for 130 years.