MUST’S THIRD CONGREGATION EXPOSES STUDENTS’ POTENTIAL
At a time when many employers are complaining about the quality of graduates, there was some good news coming from the Third Congregation of the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) held on June 29, 2022 at MUST campus in Thyolo.
During the event, MUST Vice Chancellor, Professor Address Malata singled out names of graduating students who had already made a mark out there through innovations, entrepreneurship, leadership and academic acumen.
These included innovators Ruth Mtuwa and Dumisani Namakhwa, entrepreneur Peter Ngwira and former student leader, Ephraim Ziwoya.
She said there are in fact many more others with similar traits who graduated on the day and others who had graduated during the first and second congregations.
“The feedback we are getting from employers is very positive. In fact, the majority of our students are getting jobs within the first few months after graduation due to their knowledge, skills, innovations and entrepreneurial grounding. This is why I want those graduating today to maintain this spirit,” said Professor Malata.
During the day, over 450 students were awarded Diploma, Bachelors and Master’s degrees in 19 different programmes.
The ceremony was presided over by the MUST Vice Chancellor, upon delegation by the Chancellor, His Excellency Dr Lazarus Mccarthy Chakwera.
Also in attendance was the Deputy Minister of Education, Honourable Monica Chang’anamuno, Acting Chairperson of the MUST Council, Dr Mathews Mtumbuka, and many other senior delegates.
Professor Malata also said she was delighted to release the graduates into the market.
“I am confident that they have acquired the right skills, knowledge and attitude to make a difference and also make Malawi an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation. We have exposed our students to entrepreneurial and innovative skills which will help in the socioeconomic development of the country and right now we have already started seeing the fruits” she said, urging the new graduands to mind their behaviour and conduct when out there.
“You will meet many others with the same qualification but what will distinguish you from them to earn opportunities is professionalism and integrity in everything you do.”
Earlier, NICO Holdings Plc Managing Director, Mr Vizenge Kumwenda, shared the same sentiments and encouraged the graduands to grab every opportunity they get and do it to their best ability.
“Create a track record that will speak for you wherever you go and make sure you upgrade yourself. Do not just stay after this degree. Master certain types of skills,” said Mr Kumwenda who was a motivational speaker on the day, especially to share his life secrets that have seen him succeed as a corporate executive and entrepreneur.
He advised the students to always remember that they have a responsibility to their communities, the organisation they will be working for and Malawi at large.
During the ceremony, Acting chairperson of MUST Council, Dr Mtumbuka described the event as a huge milestone because of the university’s growth and maturity in recent years.
“We are no longer the youngest public university in Malawi and the number of programmes have increased from three undergraduate and two postgraduate programmes in 2014 to 25 undergraduate programmes and 15 postgraduate programmes today,” he said.
Dr Mtumbuka also explained that apart from constructing an industrial park for commercialisation purposes, which is expected to open in August this year, MUST is also implementing a number of projects that will ensure financial sustainability of its operations.
“The University will venture into food and leather processing, production of ceramics and many more. The production of ceramic products such as mugs, ornaments, vases, and electric insulators has already begun,” he said.
Currently, MUST continues to partner with various organisations to increase the quality and access to higher education.
Among others, it has also rolled out Open Distance e-Learning (ODeL) platforms for some of its degree programmes and through its partnership with the Strengthening Higher Education Access in Malawi Activity (SHEAMA), it is offering ODeL short courses. All this is aimed at giving an opportunity to students who were never selected to public universities.