Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera exhibited his finest eloquence on Friday as he lavished extensive admiration upon the Malawi University of Science and Technology.
In doing so, he unequivocally positioned this educational institution as the foremost in the country. The President substantiated his assertion with compelling justifications. As he bestowed accolades upon this university, the remarks also indirectly cast a shadow over other public universities, whether intentional or not.
These statements were made during a commencement address at the MUST Campus, situated in the tea cultivation region of Thyolo.
“A MUST degree is no ordinary credential because a MUST education is an education apart. As far as Malawi’s academia is concerned, MUST is a cut above the rest, a game-changing and pace-setting University, attested to by its recent ranking as one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s top 30 Universities,” thundered President Chakwera.
The President continued to state that MUST has accomplished lecturers in their own right who courageously think outside the box of conventional wisdom in their efforts to make the university globally competitive and also praised them for fully embracing in practice the Malawi 2063 mindset of self-reliance which he said many others in the country still only speak of in theory.
The MUST Chancellor, Chakwera, then set the institution apart from other public universities that are struggling to adapt to the 21st century expectations of progressive institutions of higher learning. However, MUST stands in stark contrast. Consider the following illustration:
“As President, I am regularly inundated by requests and appeals for more funding from public institutions, a signal that we have a long way to go in breaking the legacy of dependency that dominates the minds of many who have charge over our institutions, but I am proud to say that the lecturers and leadership of MUST are a rare and notable exception in this regard. They have taken decisive steps to make MUST a truly financially sustainable institution, primarily through the establishment of a self-replenishing endowment in collaboration with strategic partners in the private sector. In fact, MUST is the first public University to tell me that what they need from me as Chancellor is direction on how best to use the money they are generating, not the money itself, and all I could say was Wow! If this is the kind of leadership you have enjoyed as a student here at MUST, then you are privileged indeed.”
The President didn’t hold back when addressing certain burdensome aspects of public universities. Chakwera was blunt whilst extolling MUST for fulfilling its fundamental roles and even surpassing expectations, emphasizing that the university doesn’t just stop at the basics.
He noted that while teaching, learning, research, and outreach activities are integral to MUST, the institution also excels in innovation, cooperation, entrepreneurial endeavors, societal engagement, fairness, inclusivity, cultural advancement, rejuvenation, civic participation, and leadership development.
“In short, unlike some universities that produce highly skilled individuals who end up using their acquired skills to become adept at being scoundrels with no moral compass or lazy bosses with nothing new of value to add to progress, the programmes at MUST are concerned with the kind of citizen you will be, not just the kind of work you will do,” said Chakwera.
The other public Universities in Malawi are the LUANAR, MUBAS, KUHES, and Unima which has produced most public officials entangled in public funds looting and work ethics decomposition.