By Davies Mweta, PhD, Executive Dean of the Malawi Institute of Technology
In pursuit of its vision and mission and the realisation of the importance of collaboration as one way of internationalising the university, the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) recently extended its collaborative arm to Kagoshima University of Japan.
A MUST management team comprising of Vice Chancellor Professor Address Malata, Deputy University Registrar Martha Sambani, Executive Dean of the Malawi Institute of Technology (MIT) at MUST Dr Davies Mweta and Head of the Industrial Research Centre at MUST Dr David Mkwambisi visited Kagoshima University between May 27 and 30, 2019 to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to operationalise the collaboration.
Hosted by Mun’delanji Vestergaad Sensei, the team visited and held talks with the faculties of Agriculture and Fisheries.
The MUST team also visited Kagoshima University’s Global Initiative Centre, Engineering Department and the library.
The team first met with the Dean and Heads of Department in the Faculty of Agriculture where areas of collaboration outlined in the signed MoU were discussed and agreed upon.
The team also visited the Centre for Fermentation Studies where the university conducts research on fermentation science and technology, brewing shochu (consumable spirit) from rice and different varieties of sweet potatoes.
The use of different varieties of sweet potatoes results in the production of shochu of different aroma.
During the visit, Dr Mkwambisi also presented a lecture on food security in Malawi to about 40 undergraduate students.
Titled ‘Feeding the Poor Nation in the Era of Climate Change’, the lecture highlighted the challenges Malawi is facing to achieve food security and strategies that can be address the same.
The team also visited the Faculty of Fisheries which will be hosting Dr Petros Chigwechokha, a member of staff from MUST, from August 2019.
The team was welcomed by Kazuhiro Shiozaki Sensei who gave a briefing about the Faculty of Fisheries, its programmes and research facilities. Of particular interest was the faculty’s work on food processing.
From the Faculty of Fisheries, the MUST team also visited the Kagoshima University Global Initiative Centre, which is responsible for students career support: exchange programmes, scholarships (local and international), and internships.
It also has a dedicated office for students with disabilities. The Centre has a director and managers responsible for each portfolio.
Apart from students support, the Centre is also responsible for managing partnerships with other universities.
Meanwhile, MUST will be hosting two students from the Kagoshima University under the MUST-Kagoshima partnership.
Kagoshima University had more than 1000 international students at the time of the visit.
The MUST team then toured the faculties of Engineering and Natural Sciences, and the Library.
It was interesting to learn of the wide range of engineering programmes on offer, laboratory infrastructure and library facilities.
Another exciting thing was that teaching in the university is practical-based as students are exposed to more laboratory work. Members of staff are also engaged in intensive research.