7 February 2018

Malawi: Ex-Student Sues Shareworld Open University Over Degree

Barely two weeks after the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) released names of unaccredited learning institutions in Malawi, an ex-student has sued Shareworld Open University for allegedly failing to award him a degree eight years after graduation.

Enock Mainje has dragged the institution, which is one of the unaccredited private universities in the country, to court through lawyer Kuleza Phokoso.

He is demanding that the university either gives him a bachelors degree in HIV and Aids management or pay compensation worth K45 million.

"We ask the institution to specifically perform the contract between itself and our client by giving him his degree and should the contract be found void on grounds of public policy or statute namely the lack of accreditation of the university, compensation of up to K45 million," said Phokoso.

The student is also claiming exemplary damages and ordinary damages for loss of use of his degree, loss of opportunities for further studies and loss of international and local job opportunities.

According to court documents of Civil Cause Number 354 of 2017, Mainje enrolled at the university as a Mature Entry student between 2008 and 2010.

He executed a contract with the university to train him in the said degree and paid US$7,000 (K7 million) as consideration.

Mainje was graduated in 2010 at a ceremony organized by the university at Bingu International Convention Center in Lilongwe.

Phokoso argues that in breach of the contract, the university did not give Mainje his degree and has not done so to date.

"The defendants only discharged part of the contract by teaching and graduating the claimant but have not given him his degree," he said.

The documents further show that Mainje's repeated reminders to the university to give him his degree have borne no fruit.

Mainje is seeking specific performance and wants the court to compel the university to give him his degree, damages for the losses he has suffered or alliteratively damages only, if it is found that the contract was void because the university was not accredited and the so called degree is worthless.

Shareworld Open University vice chancellor, Theodora Mapemba, said she was not aware of the issue.

This is not the first time students from a private university have dragged an institution to court over degrees and accreditation.

Earlier last year, there was a standoff between Blantyre International University (BIU) and its students who refused to attend classes until the university was accredited.

BIU is still on the list of unaccredited universities told to shut down, released on 27 January by NCHE.

In 2017, Malawi College of Accountancy students also took the institution to court to force it to get its degree programmess accredited. The college has since been accredited.


CSOs Demand Resignation of Malawi's Anti-Graft Chief

Civil society organisations have come hard on graft busting body Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general, asking… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 Nyasa Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.