Lilongwe: President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika on Friday advised Universities across the country to prioritize research activities if they are to play a part in the development of the country.
Addressing the congregation during the graduation ceremony of Mzuzu University students at the Bingu Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe, Mutharika who is also the Chancellor of the University of Malawi said government was committed to supporting all research activities that would bring about new innovations.
For universities to compete at international level they need to be innovative enough to bring something new on the table and that is what the country is looking for, he said.
He said this year’s budget allocation to education is a demonstration of government’s commitment to uplifting the country’s education system.
The allocation for student’s loan facility has been raised from K4billion to K8billion which reflects 100 percent increase so that needier students should access education, assured Mutharika.
Mutharika therefore called upon the graduates to repay their loans for other students to benefit.
He said government is committed to ensuring that Malawians access high quality and relevant education, adding that government would establish new public universities to increase university intake.
He revealed that Mombera university in Mzimba is making good progress as government is finalising efforts to identify a contractor for the project and construction work for the road that will lead to the university has commenced.
Aside from the research issue Mutharika advised the graduates to apply what they learned practically observing that education without its supporting actions was vain.
We need educated people that not only rest on their knowledge but people who will be bold enough to change things in the country and help in its development, Mutharika said.
He added: The University is the highest place of learning and you will always be expected to be the best. Therefore, go and be the best in whatever you choose to do.
He said Malawi needs labour force that is educated and the country’s education system must be good enough to instil relevant skills.
Chairman of Council for Mzuzu University, Dr. Fred Harawa commended government’s effort in developing tertiary education in the country.
He said so far government with its development partners is constructing different structures at Mzuzu University that will help enhance the education system.
Harawa however, lobbied for the speedy construction of the library at the university saying the one that they had was gutted down by fire in 2017.
The University currently operates without a formal library and this has a negative impact on the academic life of the students, he said.
On the graduation day Mzuzu University graduated 1,185 students and the President awarded K100,000 each to 15 students who graduated with first class degrees.
Mzuzu University opened its doors in 1999 with only 60 students currently the University enrols 5264 students in 37 programmes, which highlights a 900 percent increase.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA