Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) on Saturday held its first open day at its campus in Thyolo with a call for more females to apply for courses following observations that females are shunning the institution.
In his speech during the event, which also marked the first anniversary of the university, Must council chairperson Andrew Daudi said out of 466 students, only nine percent are females. This means only 42 females were admitted in two intakes.
Gender activist Emma Kaliya has described the gender situation as unjustifiable, intolerable, gross bias and stereotype against females.
She said: “I am shocked. Other colleges fail to admit a lot of students because of space, but this is a new university with all the space. How can they fail to balance gender in two intakes?”
But Daudi observed that most females do not apply for programmes at Must “as they seem to fear science courses”.
He said: “This is why we organised this event.”
The event was graced by Minister of Education, Science and Technology Emmanuel Fabiano and Chinese Ambassador Zhang Qingyang.
In his remarks, Fabiano challenged Must to stand by its mission to be an institution for science innovations. He said government has invested a lot in the institution and expectations are high.
Zhang, whose government funded the construction of Must, pledged continued support to the institution in its growth as it strives to be one of the best in Africa.
During the event, students from over 50 schools from across Malawi were oriented on the institution.