Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST)
The Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) was established by an Act of Parliament Number 31 of 2012 with the aim of promoting the development, adaptation, transfer and application of science, technology and innovation for macro- and micro-economic development of Malawi. Its vision is “a world class centre of science and technology education, research and entrepreneurship” which is being realised through the provision of a conducive environment for quality education, training, research, and entrepreneurship, and outreach activities.
The University enrolled its first cohort of students in April 2014 but was officially opened on October 24, 2014 by His Excellency the President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, who is also its first Chancellor. MUST has four operational schools: the Malawi Institute of Technology (MIT), Ndata School of Climate and Earth Sciences (NSCES), Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS), and Bingu School of Culture and Heritage (BISCH). These schools are headed by Executive Deans.
Established in 2014, the MIT is currently offering seven undergraduate and two postgraduate academic programmes in areas of Engineering, Computer and Information Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The NSCES is currently offering seven undergraduate programmes in earth science, climate science, sustainable energy and water resources. The BISCH was operationalised in 2017 and is offering three undergraduate programmes in sports science, African Musicology and Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practice.
The last school to be operationalised was the AMS which started its operations in 2018 and is currently offering three programmes at undergraduate level in medical imaging, immunology, and medical microbiology. The school also houses the university’s teaching hospital which will run a fully-fledged private clinic and act as a state-of-the-art diagnostics centre apart from carrying out research activities in the school, especially on non-communicable diseases. In total, the university has 20 undergraduate programmes and two postgraduate programmes. The student population has grown to around 2,000 from 120 in 2014.
Starting last year, MUST is now enrolling international students at undergraduate level and has implemented three entry points for all undergraduate students, namely generic, mature and those able to pay economic fees. While other universities took more than a decade to achieve these feats, MUST has demonstrated that despite the uncomplimentary tag of being the youngest and smallest public university in Malawi, it is ready toherald a new thinking in higher education by aligning itself to Malawi’s development aspirations. Some of these achievements have come so fast because of the university’s decision to work with established institutions of higher learning and research centres through collaborations. In so doing, MUST has been able to learn and act above its age and size.
Apart from academic schools, MUST also has a Directorate of Postgraduate Studies, Research and Outreach, which is responsible for research and outreach activities. Some outreach activities in the first two years of existence of the University included hosting the University open day in 2015 and the first ever national all-girls science camp in 2016. In terms of research, there have been numerous projects by staff and some students with most of them ending in publications of articles in renowned journals.
MUST is also working on various research projects, both on its own and with partners. It is also hosting a Technology and Innovation Support Centre (TISC) whose main objective is to assist researchers in Malawi to access information on prior art in different technological fields.
The University also boasts a research centre called the Industrial Research Centre (IRC), formerly known as the Malawi Industrial Research and Technology Development Centre (MRTDC) which has been involved in industrial research, technology development and transfer programmes for over 20 years with the aim of improving the quality of life for Malawians. Plans are underway to reposition the IRC to a Centre for Innovation and Industrial Research (CIIR) as the first centre of excellence at MUST. CIIR will drive science, technology and innovation focusing on food industry, renewable energy, natural fibre, essential oil and generating critical thinkers and innovators.See more