The University of Malawi (Unima) delinking process is taking shape as recent updates reveal that the College of Medicine (COM) will merge with the Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) to form a standalone university while the Polytechnic has proposed to change to Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences and Chancellor College will be University of Malawi.
While confirming the development, chairperson of the task force overseeing the delinking process Mcphail Magwira, hinted that it might take up to two or three years for the whole delinking process to take effect considering the legal process that needs to be followed.
Magwira stated that the task force is currently in consultation with the affected colleges on the draft Bills and expects to finish the process by end of this month.
He said: “Once we are through we will submit the draft Bills to the Ministry of Education, which will then submit to the Ministry of Justice to present them to the Cabinet committee on legal affairs. Once they are satisfied they will refer them to the main Cabinet.
“Once Cabinet approves they will go to Parliament. Our expectation is that they should be ready before the next sitting of Parliament because this task force is temporary, it was supposed to be in place for six months but we faced financial challenges as we came in while the budget had already been passed but fortunately we have been given enough money to conclude our work.”
According to Magwira, after going through deliberations and passing of the Bill there is still going to be a lot that will be needed to be done.
“After all this is done, there will be a transitional period because there will be a need for councils to do recruitment, capacity building and make sure that all necessary structures for a new university are in place, this might take some years” added Magwira.
Education activists have been advocating for the restructuring of Unima describing it as significant in enhancing educational growth among them high standards of academic leadership, financial independence, strong and world-class research as well as world-class academia.
In August last year, the Unima council endorsed the delinking of College of Medicine, Kamuzu College of Nursing and The Polytechnic from Unima.
The move followed a nod President Peter Mutharika who is Unima chancellor, gave the council for the Unima delinking to begin.