University of Malawi (Unima) vice-chancellor Professor John Kalenga Saka said yesterday the country’s oldest public university plans to roll out open and distance education to create room for people qualified for tertiary education to achieve their dreams.
Saka unveiled the plans in Zomba during the fourth and last graduation for the 2014/15 students who successfully completed their studies in various constituent colleges of Unima and those from the Bunda Campus of the newly-established Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) that were admitted into the university when their institution was still a Unima constituent college.
He observed that each year about 16 000 students qualify for admission into Unima, but only 5 000 students are admitted due to limited infrastructure as well as inadequate teaching and learning resources the institution has.
The vice-chancellor expressed optimism that the open and distance education window will allow more Malawians to acquire tertiary education with ease as the current ‘face to face’ mode is limiting in the access and delivery of quality education.
Said Saka: “Our objective is to build the capacity of more Malawians in various courses we offer in our colleges for them to become productive human resources for the development of the country.”
He appealed to the graduates to demonstrate their knowledge to the country by creating jobs and venturing into other endeavours that will boost the economy of the country.
Vice-chancellor for Luanar, Professor George Kanyama Phiri, commended Unima for the well planned and professionally managed four-year transition for Bunda College, saying it has helped Luanar to successfully stand on its own.
He said: “We are starting our own congregations this year but the efforts that Unima has played on the development of our institution cannot be overemphasised.”
A total of 696 graduated during the congregation whereas seven of the graduands were awarded doctorate degrees.