Go8 DVCs研究会主席Doug McEachern芝加哥大学教授在宣布新的资金来源时说，该组织很高兴成为该计划的一部分。
Malawi’s new president, former law professor and education minister Peter Mutharika, has laid out his plans for tertiary education including the construction of five new universities, just a week after his election to the top job.
Mutharika, younger brother of Malawi’s former president Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in office in 2012 while grooming his sibling to run for president in this year’s polls, defeated former president Joyce Banda in elections held late last month.
Banda – who was vice-president in Bingu wa Mutharika’s government while Peter Mutharika was education minister – rose to power following the late president’s sudden death, in line with Malawi’s constitution.
But she lost the presidency in the 2014 election.
In his inaugural speech last week, Mutharika said the new Malawi University of Science and Technology, or MUST – his late brother’s brainchild – would receive attention.
He added that community colleges would also be opened during his time as president.
“Our education programme also includes rehabilitating and expanding existing universities, while building and opening five new universities in Mzimba, Nkhotakhota, Mangochi and Nsanje.
“And the forgotten MUST in Thyolo needs to properly open with high calibre, internationally recognised scholars as soon as we get settled,” said the law professor who worked at Washington University in the United States for nearly four decades.
Academic freedomDuring Peter Mutharika’s time as minister of education, science and technology, Malawi was plagued by academic freedom protests that lasted a year.
Meanwhile, he was moved to another portfolio – foreign affairs.
Before the education portfolio, he was justice minister.
His ministerial tenure was also marked by the murder of student activist Robert Chasowa.
When Chasowa was found dead, police concluded that he had committed suicide.
But a commission of enquiry set up by Banda concluded that the student had been assassinated.
Another controversy that has dogged Mutharika is the role he played in nearly plunging Malawi into a constitutional crisis following the death of his brother in 2012.
Although the constitution states that when a president dies in office, the vice-president must be the successor, Mutharika asked the military to take power – raising serious questions over his democratic credentials.
But in his inaugural speech, Mutharika said he would abide by the democratic system.
Despite having sought to muzzle lecturers, the new Malawian leader said he would promote critical dialogue.
BackgroundBorn in 1940, Mutharika received a law degree from the University of London in 1965.
He then received LLM and JSD degrees from Yale University in 1966 and 1969 respectively.
He taught at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Haile Selassie University in Ethiopia and Rutgers University in the United States.
He also taught at Makerere University and for nearly four decades at Washington University.
His three children work in the United States and Mutharika was a Green Card holder, which became an issue in the run-up to last month’s polls.
He only relinquished the Green Card and US permanent resident status in February this year.
The new president’s leadership skills were tested during the academic freedom protests, and his handling of the matter did not inspire confidence.
He failed to secure academic freedoms, reinstate lecturers or even forestall the closure of one public university.
His plan to build five universities sounds noble but faces obstacles because Malawi’s economy is in the doldrums.
The president admitted the country was in a tight spot in his acceptance speech.
“We have urgent work to do.
As I have said, our country is dying.
Organs of government departments are in a state of paralysis.
The veins of the economy in the private sector and business are paralysed.
The cost of living is no longer affordable,” said Mutharika.