The High Court in Blantyre has adjourned a case in which Blantyre International University (BIU) Students Union obtained an injunction restraining both the university and the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) from interfering with accreditation of the university.
The case, which was supposed to be heard by Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda yesterday, has been adjourned to January 27 2017 as the students requested to have ample time to read affidavits that they were served with by the council earlier in the day.
According to court documents that The Nation has seen, the council did not accredit the institution and some of its programmes for their failure to meet standards following an accreditation assessment visit by the council conducted between May 23 and 26 last year.
The documents show that the assessment followed the institution’s interest to be accredited together with some of its programmes pursuant to Section 36 of the NCHE Act.
The council further argues that it had earlier invited the institution to a stakeholders’ meeting to discuss issues pertaining to set minimum standards with regard to the accreditation process.
A letter The Nation has seen addressed to the institution indicates that the meeting was supposed to take place on August 7 2015 at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre.
“As you are aware, the National Council for Higher Education is in the process of developing minimum standards for Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in Malawi. The National Council for Higher Education has organised a stakeholders meeting to discuss the draft minimum standards following consultative meetings which NCHE undertook with various universities. In this regard, NCHE is inviting the vice chancellor/principal and registrar or dean of your university to this important meeting,” reads part of the letter.
But the injunction dated December 28 2016, the student’s union obtained through their lawyer Yasin Domasi restricted the institution and the NCHE from unaccrediting some of the programmes on offer until the courts make a further order. n