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by Paul Bacsich for Re.ViCa. Minor updates for VISCED by Nick Jeans from Sero

For entities in Malawi see Category:Malawi

Partners situated in Malawi


Malawi in a nutshell

Malawi, in full the Republic of Malawi (formerly Nyasaland) is in southern Africa. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast and Mozambique, which surrounds it on the east, south and west and is separated from Malawi by Lake Malawi (also Lake Nyasa).

The origin of the name Malawi is unclear; it is either derived from that of southern tribes, or from the "glitter of the sun rising across the lake" (as seen in its flag). Malawi is a densely populated country with a democratically-elected, presidential system of government.

Malawi education policy

Public spending on education was 6% of GDP in 2002/03. There are eight years of compulsory education starting at age six. The primary and secondary net enrolment ratios are 91% and 24%, respectively, and gross enrolment ratio for all levels combined 62% (2006). The pupil-teacher ratio for primary is 62:1 and for secondary 46:1. The school year starts in January.

Tertiary education is provided at the University of Malawi (including the College of Medicine, Bunda College of Agriculture and Malawi Polytechnic), Mzuzu University (since 1999) and University of Livingstonia (2003). Illiteracy among people aged 15-24 is 17% (2006).

Following the rapid increase in the number of tertiary education institutions, the government has tranferred responsibility for technical and vocational training from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training.

The government strategy for education highlights increasing access to educational opportunities for all Malawians at all levels of the system; raising the quality and relevance of education; reducing inequalities across social groups and regions, including offering bursaries to girls and women, children with special needs and those in rural communities, to improve the participation of such groups in formal education; and pursuing the principle that those in society who can afford it should contribute to the cost of education provision. (

Malawi education system

No entry yet.

Higher education

Universities in Malawi

There are four universities in Malawi:

  1. University of Malawi: with head offices in Zomba and colleges in Zomba, Blantyre, and Lilongwe. It has an Action Plan for E-Learning.
  2. Mzuzu University: located in Mzuzu - see also the Wikipedia entry
  3. University of Livingstonia: located in Rumphi on the Nyika Plateau - a church university
  4. Catholic University of Malawi: located in Chiradzulu District, Malawi

(Note that there is as yet no common scheme for naming their web sites.)

Additionally, there is an initiative, by government, to establish a Lilongwe University of Science and Technology.

Polytechnics in Malawi

Higher education reform

The Bologna Process

Administration and finance

Quality assurance

Malawi's HEIs in the information society

Towards the information society

Information society strategy

The following material is taken from Checkpoint e-Learning -

The Government of Malawi has recognized that the use of modern techniques of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is important and necessary for the acceleration of economic growth and development.

The Malawi government has developed a strategic document containing activities that should be achieved in the next five years. The document is known as Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (From Poverty to Prosperity 2006-2011).

The document has six priority areas, and these are:

  1. Agriculture and food security;
  2. Irrigation and water development;
  3. Transport infrastructure development;
  4. Energy generation and supply;
  5. Integrated rural development; and
  6. Prevention and management of nutrition disorders, HIV and AIDS.

Under Transport infrastructure development, sub-theme two, the document is looking at Information, Communication and Technology (ICT). Through this theme, the Government has laid down strategies. These include:

  • Developing a reliable, fast, adaptive, and robust national IT infrastructure. Through this strategy, the Government has networked all Government offices at the Capital Hill (a block of Ministry Headquarters). The network is known as Government Wide Area Network (GWAN).
  • Improving e-government systems. Through networking, some Government services have been improved, such as accounting services. The Government has also supplied computers to a number of Government offices. Then Civil Servants who were computer illiterate were trained on the use of computers through a Government department known as the Department of Information, Systems and Technology Management Services (DISTMS).
  • Developing and enhancing the IT industry. Through this strategy, the Government is supporting the development of an innovative local industry for the manufacture, assembling, repair, and maintenance of IT products for domestic and export markets.
  • Improved access to information technology by all communities. The Government intends to construct Internet and Communication cafes in the rural areas in order to ensure active participation of all Malawians, including women, youth, and people with disabilities in ICT in developing the information society.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, through the Republic of Taiwan, has a project known as e-schools. In this project, a number of schools were selected and ten computer sets were given to each. Unfortunately, due to a change of diplomatic ties, the Republic of Taiwan has terminated the project. The World Bank has also supplied computers to some schools they have constructed.

Areas where e-learning should be implemented

For African countries to develop, they need to implement e-learning from an early age so that skills match growth. The right level to introduce e-learning is upper primary school.

In Malawi, a number of international private primary schools have introduced eLearning. The benefits of acquiring eLearning skills at an early age are evident when these learners start university education. Students from the mentioned schools outdo their friends in the use of ICT gadgets.

A prior issue: Government efforts to overcome the shortage of electricity in rural areas

The lack of electricity in rural areas is a major obstacle to development in Malawi, like most African countries. The Malawi Government, with aid from the Republic of Taiwan, was installing solar panels in most rural schools and health centres. The project has not made a big impact because voltage generated by solar panels is not enough to meet school needs. Another problem is the management of the system. After installing the system, there is need to train officers in its proper management. Finally, considering the short life span of solar panels, training of officers has proved to be expensive.

The Government has embarked on a Rural Electrification Programme (REP) through which a number of rural areas, more specifically semi-urban (trading) centres will be electrified. However, this is a long-term project, and its impact is not significant considering that many primary and secondary schools are in rural areas.

Virtual Campuses in HE

Interesting Virtual Campus Initiatives

Interesting Programmes

Out of country provision

The University of Derby delivers its MSc in Strategic Management into Malawi - see

Re.ViCa Case-study


Lessons learnt

None so far.


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