Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) on Thursday graduated 1 670 students in their various fields of study with a concern that Malawi’s shrunken job market would not absorb them.
Four of the graduating students were awarded with doctorate degrees, 25 got masters degrees and the rest received first degrees, diplomas and certificates.
This was the third congregation and 6th graduation for Luanar, which was delinked from the University of Malawi (Unima) six years ago as Bunda College of Agriculture to become a stand-alone university merging with Natural Resources College (NRC), whose campus was where the congregation was held.
Luanar Vice-chancellor Professor George Kanyama Phiri said the university is making significant contribution to capacity building in various fields of agriculture and natural resources.
“This means Luanar, as an institution of higher learning, is becoming increasingly relevant to the society,” he told the cheerful congregation.
Professor Kanyama Phiri urged the graduands to make meaningful contribution to the building of the Malawi nation through what he described as good professional conduct.
“I ask you to carry the Luanar flag wherever you go, act responsibly and represent the institution in a mature and responsible manner,” he advised.
Kanyama Phiri disclosed that the number of students being admitted into Luanar has risen to 1,000 per year and currently, there are about 10,000 students at Luanar’s Bunda and NRC campuses and the number includes those that are doing Open and Distance learning (ODL).
With the 1,673 students having completed their studies this year, the biggest worry for Professor Kanyama Phiri and the Chairman of the Council for Luanar, Professor James Seyani, is whether these graduands will find jobs.
Malawi is flooded with town monger graduates because of lack of employment opportunities.
However, professor Seyani was optimistic that most of these graduates will excel, emphasizing that they are the highly qualified personnel who will contribute to the production of agriculture in Malawi.
“Innovation and entrepreneurship are what we largely expect out of these graduates. Most of them should be able to start their own companies because we taught them how to go about nursing and incubating new enterprises,” Professor Seyani said.
Arnold Makhwila, who has been awarded with a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy, concurred with Professor Seyani, saying he would use the skills he has gained to start his own company.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :