* To offer Bachelors of Arts in education; special needs education; herbal medicine as well as faculties of social science
* Set to be evaluated in May by National Council of Higher Education for accreditation process
A private Christian institution of higher learning, United Christian University (UCU), has been established by patriotic Malawians in response to a call for quality university education with a Christian perspective that is set to promote job creation and university industry linkages through research and innovation.
Founded in 2019 and finally registered with the Registrar General of Businesses and given a certificate, United Christian University is currently working on accreditation process and application with National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) — who will evaluate it this May.
It is currently located on the first floor of Christian Service Committee (CSC) Building, adjacent to Malawi National Library in Blantyre along the Zalewa Road and has already developed all its curricula to be available in June 2021.
They include the faculty of education in Bachelors of Arts in Education — English language; history; geography and science & mathematics.
It’s also has special programmes being featured — in special needs education and herbal medicine after conducting some research in higher education institution in Malawi.
Faculty of social science Bachelors are also on cultural anthropology; social work & administration; community development; development studies; political science and international relations.
Faculty of life science has Bachelors of science in herbal medicine; public health and community nutrition with faculty of commerce having Bachelor of commerce in entrepreneurship and banking & finance.
The founders are Davie Simengwa and Everlisto Msompha who have been processing paper work since 2019.
“We will start recruiting students in June this year,” Simengwa said. “We were motivated to establish this University to fill a niche in the market of tertiary education in Malawi which is to strengthen the linkage between universities industries through research and development activities.
“As such we noticed the gap in the market that could be filled with combined skills and a management as such providing us with an opportunity to start successful business in generic, open distance learning, online and weekend classes.
“We were motivated that higher education institutions are widely recognized as essential and innovations needed to drive their respective national economies.
“As in today’s world knowledge-based economies, research and development is seen as key to economic growth and competitiveness. Therefore, there is a need to create a strong interface between this educational sub sector and the productive sector that requires the skills and knowledge of graduates from universities and other higher educational institutions in their enterprises to increase productivity.”
Simengwa continued to say that in addition to producing work ready graduates for the job market, “universities also play a pivotal role in conducting research, consultancy and technological innovations that promote real and sustained economic growth and social development”.
He disclosed that the name is derived from the founders coming together as Christians from different inter denominations and that the key posts of the institution has been filled — which include the Chancellor who is Chief Mwaulambya of Chitipa District.
The Vice-Chancellor is Professor Samuel Safuli while other administrative posts will be filled in the month of May.
Currently, the University Council and Senate consist of Professor Nadin Patel; Professor Samuel Safuli; Eugene Njoloma; Maggie Mushani and the co-founders, Everlisto Msompha and Davie Simengwa.
Simengwa said after registering with the registrar general of businesses, they are allowed to start operating with some limitation while undergoing accreditation process with NCHE.
“We haven’t yet started rolling up programmes as we awaits NCHE to assess our curriculum and our governance systems but we hope to start in June this year.
“To be accredited by NCHE, an institution of higher learning has to meet some of the minimum standards of NCHE which includes ensuring that higher education institutions have high calibre members of staff and guiding principles.
“Others include governing policies and procedures; resources (financial resources, equipment and materials); physical facilities; water and sanitation; students support services and academic programmes.
“We will also be assessed on staff complement; support towards teaching and learning; admission and recruitment of students; academic assessment; specification and classification of qualifications; quality enhancement amongst others.
Tuition fees for all undergraduate programmes is at MK430,000 per semester, which includes medical, identity card and registration.
“We are currently working on establishing two research centres; namely centre for governance and international relations — that will be training diplomats and traditional chiefs in the country.
“Also, under development is the centre for herbal and traditional medicine that will be training herbalist, traditional healers and conduct massive research in herbal medicines.
“The institution has purchased a server that will be using it for the online platform that will enrol students across the country and beyond.
“We have already started receiving calls from across the country from students and parents who are interested to enrol with us on innovative learning platforms of open distance learning, online, weekend and generic.
“So far we have finalized all required paperwork and the NCHE will be invited in May to assess our institution and perhaps give us provisional accreditation.”
On its website, http://www.ucumw.com, United Christian University says its Vision is “To become a leading Christian based University for societal transformation and development”.
Its Mission is “To provide Christian-based quality affordable education, generate knowledge, promote innovation, research and community empowerment for transformation.
“Our mission is to become a leading Christian University for societal transformation and development that create a human resource equipped with knowledge and skills through a sustainable quality, innovative education programmes and services for the promotion of a development based society.
“This entails United Christian University is to promote development through training, research and provision of services to the public and private sector in an environmentally friendly manner.
Its programmes will be offered in three intakes — admissions/academic-programmes) of Easter (January); Trinity (May) and Advent (September) semesters.
“In line with our theme of offering ‘A Complete Education for A Complete Person’, our education integrates physical, social, emotional, and spiritual growth along with traditional academic learning.”
The University’s leadership is expected to manage different activities through boards and committees such as finance planning & development, human resources; student affairs audit & and procurement.
United Christian University is set to partner with other universities and organisations around the country and the world to benefit the students, lecturers, researchers and communities around it.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :