The Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) on June 29, 2021 recorded history when it graduated its first cohort of students enrolled under the Open and Distance e-Learning (ODeL).
MUST, with support from USAID through the Strengthening Higher Education Access in Malawi Activity (SHEAMA), a project being implemented by the Arizona State University of the USA, rolled out ODeL short course in Certificate in Business Management and Entrepreneurship in February this year.
In between, the university advertised and rolled out five other programmes under the same arrangement.
Speaking during the certificate presentation to 32 successful students out of 46 who enrolled, MUST Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Jonathan Makuwira said MUST regards online-learning as one strategic way of opening up access to higher education to deserving students.
He said many students who leave high school are unable to enter into public universities due to limited bed space and sometimes fees.
“ODeL programs help us address this issue and as a university we are happy to play our role,” he said.
Professor Makuwira said enhancing access to higher education will positively contribute towards achieving the Malawi 2063 agenda which, he said, requires human capital development.
He therefore thanked USAID for its financial and technical support through SHEAMA, saying it has made a huge difference in the successful roll-out of ODeL programs at the university.
He also commended Reunion Insurance company and other industry partners for offering internship to some of the graduating students.
Speaking earlier, SHEAMA Chief of Party Dr Zikani Kaunda, called on the graduands to go out and make a difference in society.
He also advised them to consider the certificate as a stepping stone to greater things.
“Do not be intimidated by the world. Be ambitious and become what you want to become so that you can contribute to the development of our country,” he said.–MIJ