President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera was on Thursday inaugurated as the 6th Chancellor of the University of Malawi (UNIMA) since Founder President late Dr Kamuzu Banda.
Accepting the call, the Malawi leader challenged the UNIMA Council to “take back the University to years where quality of graduates mattered more than the qualifications”.
The President said: “It takes a truly educated individual not to waste a crisis such as COVID-19, but to try to find a lasting solution.”
Turning to the graduating students, the Malawi leader challenged them to regard themselves “as job creators not job seekers”.
The President belonged to the inaugural cohort of UNIMA’s Chancellor College having entered it in 1973.
Speaking earlier, UNIMA Vice Chancellor Professor Alfred Mtenje bemoaned the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the education sector.
He said the pandemic had it’s positive side as it pushed the universities to their creative ends, by designing a number of home grown innovative solutions.
About 460 students graduated with certificates, diplomas and degrees from UNIMA’s constituent colleges of Chancellor College, Kamuzu College of Nursing, College of Medicine
(CoM) and the Polytechnic.
But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the graduating students held no parade as has been the tradition.
Instead of the parading exercise, names of students for a particular programme were read and when the last name was mentioned, they all stood up and the drum was beaten marking their initiation into the UNIMA alumni.
The inauguration came barely a fortnight after the President was also installed as Chancellor of Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR).