UNIMA signs MoU with MUST

The University of Malawi remains attractive as an institution of higher learning, not only to prospective students in the region, but also to other institutions of higher learning seeking to establish relationships. This is indicated by the avalanche of requests from various regional and international universities seeking partnerships. The latest of these relationships has been established with Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), a public university in Mbarara City, Uganda.

Established in 1989, MUST is one of the 10 public universities in Uganda, and is well-known for its cutting-edge research and community outreach programmes using various innovations and technologies for the provision of community solutions.

The new relationship between the University of Malawi and Mbarara University of Science and Technology culminated into the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 19th April, 2023, establishing a cooperation which aims to foster advancement in teaching, research and community engagement.

It is agreed that the UNIMA and MUST will work together to promote the following: Student exchange; Faculty and staff exchanges; Exchange of materials, documents and equipment; Collaborative research in any field of interest common to both universities; Creation and offering of joint-programs and Collaboration in the organization of conferences,” reads part of the agreement.

The signing ceremony took place at MUST’s newly built campus at Mbarara City. Representing UNIMA was the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Samson Sajidu, accompanied by the Executive Dean of Natural and Applied Sciences, Professor Cosmo Ngongondo; the Acting Deputy Registrar, Mr Alfred Iteta Banda; and Mr Lazarous Zaipa from the Finance Section. Upon signing the agreement, UNIMA’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sajidu, observed that the MoU augurs well with UNIMA’s strategic direction in which internationalization prominently features as a key deliverable in the university’s 2022-2027 Strategic Plan.

The Vice-Chancellor explained that UNIMA stands to benefit significantly from the partnership particularly through the exchange of expertise in developing technologies and innovations through the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Agro-Food Processing Systems in the School of Natural and Applied Sciences. MUST already developed a similar facility, called the Pharm-Bio Technology and Traditional Medicine Centre.

Said Professor Sajidu: “Although Cyclone Freddy has caused massive devastation in Malawi, the current situation presents opportunities for research to inform the nature of innovations and solutions that communities need. Therefore, this is an exciting moment of partnership which will see our two universities jointly collaborate in research.”

Taking his turn to speak, the Vice-Chancellor of Mbarara University, Professor Celestino Ubua, emphasized the need for the two universities to engage in joint research projects.

We cannot assume that we know everything. Therefore, this partnership underscores our great expectation to jointly apply for grants, among other research opportunities,” he said.

He implored the two universities to explore academic opportunities both in Malawi and Uganda now that the partnership agreement has been signed.

One does not need a visa to either visit Malawi or Uganda, which makes it easier to explore academic exchange and other prospects,” he emphasized.

During the visit, the UNIMA delegation was also taken on a tour of the campus, which includes a campus store that displays products ready for market distribution or for certification by Uganda Bureau of Standards (UBS). The group also visited a production lab used for producing and testing various products. Students and staff also work on various joint projects in the lab.

The reciprocal visit to Mbarara University follows a recent visit to University of Malawi by Professor Celestino Ubua.