Mzuzu University Chancellor, His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, says the University’s journey should teach everyone that small beginnings can turn into happy endings if there is a coordinated effort to pursue a shared vision with passion, endurance, commitment, excellence, and consistency.

Speaking on Wednesday when he presided over MZUNI’s 25th Congregation and launched Silver Jubilee, President Chakwera said he would like to see the University reach milestones that are even higher and greater.

“The journey of Mzuzu University’s transformation is far from over. As Government, we want to see this institution reach milestones that are even higher and greater.

That is why I am committed to providing this University with the necessary financial, technical and moral support to operate. We are determined to see this University become a world class centre of academic excellence,” he said.  

The Chancellor said if everyone thought of the past 25 years as a small beginning, the dream is that MZUNI should become an institution of world acclaim in the next 25, 50, or 100 years.  

“It is because of this dream of progress towards a better future that my administration is funding the construction of the new library and auditorium,” he said.   Dr. Chakwera said while the Government was supporting the growth of the University, partnerships are a catalyst to propel Universities into the future.

“I want to encourage the leadership of this University to make the most of these partnerships. Those who govern this university must take the initiative in leveraging partnerships to take this university into the future.   Of particular interest to me is the need for our Universities to be more aggressive and innovative in securing partnerships with the private sector because this is key to achieving the kind of financial sustainability and academic independence necessary for making our Universities developmentally relevant and globally competitive,” he said.  

The Chancellor reminded the graduands that university education is not a harvest but a seed.  

“It is a seed of our faith in your God-given talents, that you will use them to serve others. It is a seed of our hopes in your future, that you will make the future happen and not wait for the future to happen to you. It is a seed of our joy in your success, that you will never accept failure as your fate, but merely as a learning opportunity to grow your ideas, improve your efforts, and become more resilient. Above all, it is a seed of our love for Malawi, for we believe that your education makes you a better citizen, which in turn makes our country better and stronger,” he said.  

Speaking on Thursday, on the second day of 25th Congregation, Vice-Chancellor Professor Wales Singini reflected on the Chancellor’s advice to the graduands.

“You must utilise the knowledge and skills that you have gained. Education and skills development must therefore, be a catalyst for creating a world of innovators, entrepreneurs, employers and not for prestige the job,” he said.  

Quoting Nora Ephron, who was an American journalist, writer, and filmmaker, Professor Singini said: “Your education is merely just a dry run. Just a run through, it is not the final cut rather, it is a preparation to the life that you can lead,” adding that the world can be a little messy but graduands must embrace the mess and turn that into opportunities.  

Professor Singini said as the University is implementing the 2021-2030 Strategic Plan, which is directly aligned to MW2063 and MIP-1, the focus is transformation in the areas of financial sustainability, academic affairs, research, innovation and technology development, and commercialisation.  

“We are working closely with Mzuzu University Alumni Association which has defined important strategies to support efficient delivery of services at the University. Take your space in the association and become a great ambassador of your Alma Mater and be part of the solutions,” he said.  

Professor Singini thanked the Government of Malawi for supporting the University’s growth and the University Council for the eminent responsibility of guiding policy direction at the University.  

This year’s congregation coincided with MZUNI’s Silver Jubilee under the theme MZUNI@25: Serving the Malawi We Want. Before presiding over the graduation ceremony on Wednesday, the Chancellor inspected the University’s new library, which is under construction, and appreciated the University’s history and achievements which were displayed at MZUNI’s Luwinga Campus.

During the 25th Congregation, 2,022 students graduated from the Faculties of Education; Science, Technology and Innovation; Health Sciences; Environmental Sciences; Social Sciences and Humanities; Tourism, Hospitality and Management and, Education. The University has grown from one Faculty of Education in 1997 to six Faculties.

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