NCHE, public varsities support Freddy affected students on applications

NCHE, public varsities support Freddy affected students on applications

By Bright Malenga 

The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) engaged public universities, including the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), to support students in districts affected by the Tropical Cyclone Freddy.

The support was on the public university selection application process which NCHE coordinates.

Speaking at Mitondo Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in Chikwawa last Friday, NCHE Director of Planning, Research and Development Dr Mangani Katundu said the intervention was aimed at helping students in camps who had challenges to apply for selection into public universities.

“We knew that Tropical Cyclone Freddy left some eligible students unable to apply for selection into public universities hence our efforts to help them fulfil their right to education. We engaged the public universities to allow these affected students to understand the programmes on offer and admission requirements,” Dr Katundu said.

He encouraged the affected students to apply for the programmes that respond to their ambitions while ensuring that they also meet their specific requirements.

“These public universities offer various programmes and it is up to you to apply for any programme of your choice. When applying, the portal will only show you programmes that you qualify for and please choose according to your points and subject combination since the selection process will be based on merit. You should then choose six programmes from the list and rank them,” Dr Katundu said.

In his presentation, Lovemore Afune, a lecturer at MUST, explained to the students about the university’s structure, programmes and their requirements for selection. The other public universities also did the same. 

“MUST has four schools, namely Malawi Institute of Technology, Ndata School of Climate and Earth Sciences, Bingu School of Culture and Heritage, and Academy of Medical Sciences. These schools have programmes with specific requirements,” Afune said.

Alexander Mpendama, headmaster for Mitondo CDSS hailed NCHE and the public universities for the initiative, saying it has accorded the affected students a second chance to apply for selection and join public universities.

Higher Education Students’ Loans and Grants Board (HESLGB), through its Communications Manager, Millie Kasunda, assured needy students of Government’s financial support once admitted into any of the universities.  

She advised the students that once selected, they should apply for the loans online once a call for applications is announced.

The World Bank, through Skills for a Vibrant Economy (SAVE) project, funded the initiative that targeted Chikwawa, Nsanje, Phalombe, Mulanje and Zomba districts. 

Teams in each district comprised members from NCHE, MUST, Kamuzu University of health Sciences (KUHES), Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and natural Resources (LUANAR, University of Malawi (UNIMA), Mzuzu University (MZUNI) and HESLGB.