The Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) has broken the silence of the discrediting of five universities in the country by the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) saying there are a number of grave issues that need to be addressed.
In a statement dated November 21, 2016, and signed by CSEC Executive Director Benedicto Kondowe and Board Chairperson Julie Juma, said the revoking of licenses and stopping of selected programmes lives a lot to be desired as some of the universities have been in existence for over 15 years.
“The twin statements on withdrawal of registration of five universities and non-accreditation of study courses and programmes are unclear as they fall short of giving sensible and alternative guidance to students who were enrolled in the affected universities,” reads the statement in part.
Moreover, CSEC touches of the status of qualifications already obtained from the abandoned universities and programmes by students let alone what should happen to the graduates who have been recruited in government, statutory corporations, the private sector and in other countries beyond our territorial borders considering NCHE’s current stand.
CSEC also notes that government has not been proactive in discharging its regulatory role saying the crisis has not been a sudden one but rather gradual while the relevant authorities sat back and just watched it aggravating.
“We also find the condition of allowing higher education institutions to start operating before assessing them on meeting the standards towards registration as faulty and awkward. Our considered view is that such an arrangement compels students to enroll with these institutions before they qualify for registration and this makes students and parents get ripped off of their hard earned money as is the situation currently,” CSEC beamons.
CSEC recommends that government should expedite the harmonization of statutes for managing higher education institutions as they relate regulating the establishment of universities and quality and relevance of programmes on offer as well as admission of learners now that NCHE has come into existence.
“We continue to note and reiterate that the NCHE is restricted and limited in its mandate of regulating the establishment of higher education institutions particularly because public universities are operating under independent Acts of Parliament. Therefore, our higher education will continue to face unprecedented challenges unless government expedites the process of harmonizing the various statutes,” CSEC explains.
Following an assessment meeting two weeks ago in Salima, NCHE released a number of courses that have been accredited with conditions and some that have been rejected.
Institutions not accredited include State-owned Malawi College of Accountancy (MCA) and private universities such as African Bible College (ABC) in Lilongwe, Exploits University,
Skyway University, Blantyre International University (BIU), Columbia Commonwealth University and Africa University of Guidance, Counselling and Youth Development (AUGCYD).
The council has also accredited with conditions some programmes at the Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must)—one of the country’s four functional public universities, Catholic University of Malawi (Cunima), DMI St John the Baptist University, Nkhoma University and the College of Medicine (CoM)—a University of Malawi (Unima) constituent college.
NCHE is mandated to assess and accredit institutions of higher learning to promote continuous improvement and enhancement of the quality of higher education in the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :