Transformation of Higher Education Systems Key to Malawi’s Economic Growth

The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with Michigan State University (MSU) and funded by USAID, has launched a groundbreaking project aimed at transforming higher education systems in Malawi. The Transforming Higher Education Systems (THES) Project was officially launched during a 2-day workshop in Lilongwe, from 26th to 28th July 2023, bringing together experts from 10 public and private universities and seven system-level partners, including government agencies and private sector organizations. The project focuses on innovative approaches to harnessing the potential of Malawi’s youth through relevant higher education interventions.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Honourable Nancy Chaola Mdooko, MP, highlighted the importance of the THES Project in leading the sub-sector’s transformation process to improve operations, relevance, and governance of higher education institutions. She emphasized that empowering the youth of Malawi and promoting their critical thinking and skills development were essential for the country’s rapid transformation and development.

The US Ambassador to Malawi, His Excellency David Young, reaffirmed the US Government’s commitment to supporting Malawi’s development efforts, particularly in the education sector. He praised the collaboration between the US Government, the Government of Malawi, USAID, MSU, and the Ministry of Education in supporting the higher education sub-sector, with a focus on increasing access to post-secondary education for students with special needs and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

The THES Project aims to address 13 Grand Challenges outlined in MW2063 and MIP-1 (2021-2030), supporting Malawi’s vision for a knowledge-based economy. It seeks to strengthen higher education systems, increase research and innovation outputs, and improve access, retention, and learning outcomes for students from marginalized groups.

The Project consists of two key components: Systems-Level Initiatives aimed at systemic change through improved policies and practices, and the Change Champions Program, which will implement innovations at the classroom and institutional levels.

Dr. Levis Eneya, Director of Higher Education in the Ministry of Education, highlighted that the Project would enhance the quality and relevance of academic courses and research activities to meet the needs of employers, future employees, and entrepreneurs. It would also focus on increasing student engagement, learning, and completion in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) and other disciplines.

The launch of the THES Project was celebrated with the signing of a Declaration of Transformation by representatives from various educational institutions and organizations, signifying their commitment to the Project’s objectives.

The THES Project will play a crucial role in shaping Malawi’s higher education landscape, empowering its youth, and contributing to the country’s economic growth and development.

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