The Malawi government will proceed to delink the University of Malawi (Unima) into three universities, a statement from the Office of the Vice President has said eventually pushing to the drain an argument from the Council of the University that the process was legally flawed.
In the statement signed by Vice President Saulos Chilima's spokesperson Pilirani Phiri says the position by the government to proceed with delinking was made on Thursday in Lilongwe at a meeting where Chilima met with the Council alongside the Minister of Justice Titus Mvalo and the Attorney General Dr Chikosa Silungwe, among other top government officials.
"Today's meeting was a follow up to the one held on 2nd February, 2021 which discussed the resolution made by the Council to review the process of delinking the University of Malawi.
"Prior to delivering its position today, there have been consultations within the government hierarchy to affirm its position to proceed with the delinking process," reads the statement.
The statement says this means that the "the Ministry of Education will proceed to gazette the commencement date for the 2019 Acts of Parliament in line with Section 74 of the Constitution."
The delinking of Unima is seen by a progressive process in increasing access to higher education and improving governance and operational efficiency in public universities in Malawi.
There was no immediate comment from professor Jack Wirima who chairs the council which passed resolution to suspend the delinking arguing that the decision was ultra vires in that the process was legally flawed.
It is expected that College of Medicine (COM) will merge with the Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) to form a standalone university while the Polytechnic has proposed to change to Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences and Chancellor College will be University of Malawi.
Education activists have been advocating for the restructuring of Unima describing it as significant in enhancing educational growth among them high standards of academic leadership, financial independence, strong and world-class research as well as world-class academia.
Unima council had previously endorsed the delinking of College of Medicine, Kamuzu College of Nursing and The Polytechnic from Unima.