Ex-student sues Shareworld Open University over degree

Barely two weeks after the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) released names of unaccredited learning institutions in Malawi, an ex-student has sued Shareworld Open University for allegedly failing to award him a degree eight years after graduation.

Lawyer Kuleza Phokoso

Enock Mainje has dragged the institution, which is one of the unaccredited private universities in the country, to court through lawyer Kuleza Phokoso.

He is demanding that the university either gives him a bachelors degree in HIV and Aids management or pay compensation worth K45 million.

“We ask the institution to specifically perform the contract between itself and  our client by giving him his degree and should the contract be found void on grounds of public policy or statute namely the lack of accreditation of the university, compensation of up to K45 million,” said Phokoso.

The student is also claiming exemplary damages and ordinary damages for loss of use of his degree, loss of opportunities for further studies and loss of international and local job opportunities.

According to court documents of Civil Cause Number 354 of 2017, Mainje enrolled at the university as a Mature Entry student between 2008 and 2010.

He executed a contract with the university to train him in the said degree and paid US$7,000 (K7 million) as consideration.

Mainje was graduated in 2010 at a ceremony organized by the university at Bingu International Convention Center in Lilongwe.

Phokoso argues that in breach of the contract, the university did not give Mainje his degree and has not done so to date.

“The defendants only discharged part of the contract by teaching and graduating the claimant but have not given him his degree,” he said.

The documents further show that Mainje’s repeated reminders to the university to give him his degree have borne no fruit.

Mainje is seeking specific performance and wants the court to compel the university to give him his degree, damages for the losses he has suffered or alliteratively damages only, if it is found that the contract was void because the university was not accredited and the so called degree is worthless.

Shareworld Open University vice chancellor, Theodora Mapemba, said she was not aware of the issue.

This is not the first time students from a private university have dragged an institution to court over degrees and accreditation.

Earlier last year, there was a standoff between Blantyre International University (BIU) and its students who refused to attend classes until the university was accredited.

BIU is still on the list of unaccredited universities told to shut down, released on 27 January by NCHE.

In 2017, Malawi College of Accountancy students also took the institution to court to force it to get its degree programmess accredited. The college has since been accredited.

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masa masina
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masa masina

Chanco has been in existence much longer than NCHE. Most of the people working at NCHE are former graduates of Chanco. NCHE should be ACCREDITED to chanco not chanco ACCREDITED NCHE. Chanco is the yard stick of what a university should be.

Watematema Mutu
Guest

Colleagues, NCHE is right not to accredit some of these so called private universities! I visited the site of the university in question, alas, I was broken down to see the status of the facilities! Look at the parking areas, classroom space vis number of students being allowed to sit in them; level and quality of teaching and learning materials; teacher-pupil ratios; credentials of teaching members……. koma abale zovuta. My advice to NCHE is that dont compromise your strictness…. pajatu masiku ano kuti ma kickbacks and underhands!

CHIKULAMAYEMBE
Guest
CHIKULAMAYEMBE

EVEN THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI IS NOT ACCREDITED

Prof. Mweta
Guest
Prof. Mweta

Even NCHE itself is not accredited. What the hell are you talking about

Druid
Guest
Druid

Before we even start looking at the alleged contract, is the claim not statute barred already?

Tanana Banda
Guest
Tanana Banda

Are you a lawyer? Do you know that there Are exceptions to the statute of limitations such as acknowledgement of claim by the defendant? Think before you comment. Osaonetsa umbuli wanu

Druid
Guest
Druid

No, I am not a lawyer. But don’t make the foolish mistake of thinking that only lawyers know the law. That used to happen in medieval times … not the age of information in the 21st century. By the way, did you read my comment properly? It’s a question, you know, not a conclusion. Think before you expose yourself as a person of little knowledge.

BYSON
Guest
BYSON

DO YOU KNOW THAT CHANCELOR COLLEGE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MALAW IS NOT ACCREDITED BT NCHE? ALL DEGREES AWARDED AFTER NCHE WAS ESTALISHED ARE UNCREADITED.

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