Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe said he was delighted that Members of Parliament approved the bill that would allow government to borrow $50.9 million (about K20 billion) from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank to finance increasing access to higher education in Malawi.
Gondwe said the loan will support the design of high quality and relevant education programmes to be delivered through open and distance learning (ODL).
“The loan will facilitate the increase in enrolment and engendering of ODL programmes at Luanar, for example, as well as increasing intake with the aim of increasing access to employment-oriented people at Teveta, on the other hand,” Gondwe told the august House.
“At The Polytechnic, the funds will introduce a new programme in sciences and engineering as well as four mining programmes, four technician diploma in engineering programmes and nine engineering programmes at master’s level.”
Targeted beneficiary institutions include the University of Malawi (Unima) constituent colleges—Chancellor and The Polytechnic, the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar). Mzuzu University (Mzuni) and Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education Training Authority (Teveta) will also benefit.
According to Gondwe, The Polytechnic will get a lion’s share with $10 million allocated, Mzuni will have $9 million, Chancellor College $8 million while Luanar and Teveta will each get $5 million. The remainder is for administrative issues.
The K20 billion (US$48 661 800.5) loan is also expected to support expansion of infrastructure and facilities at the public colleges, development and revision of curricula, staff development, but also procurement of teaching and learning materials.
The loan will be repaid over 40 years inclusive of a 10-year grace period and has a 0.5 percent commitment charge and 0.75 service charge.