Malawi to introduce targeted university scholarships -Minister

Malawi government has disclosed that it will rationalise loans and introduce targeted scholarships in the public universities to as cost-sharing to ensure that higher education is accessible by students from poor families.

Minister of   Education, Science and Technology Eunice Kazembe told Parliament in her statement on the situation of University of Malawi’s colleges, Chanco and Poly.

She said government if fully aware that there are many students who cannot afford the current levels of tuition and upkeep costs.

“As cost-sharing will be incorporated into funding strategies for higher education sector, it will be accompanied by targeted scholarships or loans,” Kazembe told Parliament.

 Kazembe: Government plans targeted university scholarships to meet goals of equity
Kazembe: Government plans targeted university scholarships to meet goals of equity

“Scholarships and other forms of financial aid will be targeted and rationalised to meet the goals of equity and efficiency,” she said.

According to Kazembe, who urged lawmaker to discuss and approve the Students Loans Bill, currently a student needs K1.2million per year.

The Minister told the House that almost 60 percent of students who entered the university come from private schools “where they were paying higher tuition fees that what they are paying at the university.”

She said government has set up a task force under the National Council of Higher Education to come up with strategies of ensuring that public universities are run efficiently and effectively.

Kazembe said the task force will also review the outsourcing of catering and other support services.

Currently, government sponsored students pay K55 000 (about US$173) and self-sponsored-students pay K250 000 (about US$786) annually as tuition, but Kazembe said, it costs almost K1.2 million (US$3144) or higher per year to offer education services to one student.

At the same time government sponsored students are paid K40 000 (US$126) per month towards their living expenses and K30 000 (US$94) for book and stationery allowance.

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