University of Malawi’s (UNIMA) constituent college Chancellor College has withdrawn a record 116 students on poor performance grounds after failing to satisfy university standards.
The withdrawal of the students comes two weeks after another Malawian university the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, formerly Bunda College of Agriculture under the UNIMA, also announced the withdrawal of 200 students for similar reasons.
Chancellor College Registrar Lloyd Kambwiri confirmed the number but could not state whether the number is the biggest in the college’s history and why this has happened.
Kambwiri said the college is currently investigating the reasons.
“I can say in recent year that is the highest number but I am not sure whether this is the highest since the college was opened. We do not want to speculate the reasons of the poor performance as we need to do a thorough research first,” he said.
But one of the lecturers at the college said among the reasons were that some of the students come to the college from “very poor learning background which makes it difficult for them to cope with the pressure of university studies.”
“Most of the students have difficulties to communicate in English. I really don’t know what is happening in our secondary schools. In certain cases you have students who can speak very good English but when it comes to writing, its unbelievable,” said the lecturer.
He added that the problem gets worse by the fact that there are too many students for the college’s lecturer capacity making it difficult for closer attention to the academic needs of individual students.
In some instances, according to concerned lecturers, the college has more than 200 students sitting in a single class.
The students/lecturer ratio problem is also compounded by lack of adequate teaching materials and infrastructure at the college.