Ever since Professor Samson Sajidu was appointed Vice Chancellor of the University of Malawi, stakeholders at the institution have been curious to know what plans he had in mind in order to take the university to greater heights. Some of his plans have been hinted at in various speeches, but the vision was yet to come. On 27th June, 2022, the Vice Chancellor invited all members of staff to a meeting at the Great Hall, where he took the opportunity to officially accept his appointment, and to share this vision.
Delivering his speech, the Vice Chancellor informed the gathering that he had devised his vision around the central theme of “Redirecting University of Malawi to its former glory: Reaping the fruits of reformation”. This was a deliberate move, given that he has taken the helm of the university following the delinking process. In his speech, he pointed out that it was his aim to ensure that UNIMA is well governed, promotes innovative teaching and learning, is research-driven, has a conducive learning and living environment, and adequate and motivated staff, and is financially stable. As a ‘reformed’ university, UNIMA operates under the vision of being “a quality driven University that leads in humanities, social sciences, science and technology for skills development for Malawi and humanity”, a goal that requires all stakeholders to work together.
The Vice Chancellor further pointed out that the strategic priorities of his office will be guided by the UNIMA Strategic Plan for 2022 to 2027. In line with this document, the priorities include increasing enrolment of students using various strategies including ODeL, constructing hostels for students through avenues such as PSIP and with private sector players, expanding teaching and learning space, improving the success rate of students and reducing student withdrawals, increasing the research profile of schools within UNIMA, enhancing resource mobilization initiatives, promoting international visibility, introducing a performance management system, strengthening quality assurance for teaching and learning programs, developing and reviewing policies and instruments, and reducing conflict escalation.
In closing his speech, he informed the gathering of the efforts of UNIMA management to work towards the improvement of staff welfare. He also pledged that Management would work to restore the sporting glory that UNIMA used to have, that the institution would exercise financial discipline, and that his office would maintain an open-door policy.