LUANAR Geared To Being Locally Relevant And Globally Competitive
As LUANAR aspires to be a world class university, LUANAR Vice Chancellor has emphasized on the need for the University to be relevant to the local needs as well as being globally competitive.
The Vice Chancellor was speaking this on Wednesday 11th April 2018 at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) when he presided over the University’s second congregation.
Professor George Kanyama Phiri said LUANAR can be locally relevant by equipping its graduates with the knowledge and entrepreneurial skills for agricultural production saying these would in turn assist farmers to acquire modern methods of agricultural production and make them food secure.
He said LUANAR should review its curricular so as to reflect the current realities such as climate change.
“The curricular should take cognizance of these current climatic changes which have negatively impacted agriculture worldwide and Malawi has not been spared. In response to these climatic changes the graduates should hone skills and practice climate smart agriculture,” said the Vice Chancellor.
The Vice Chancellor appealed to the commercial banks in the country to provide start-up capital to the new graduates so that they start farming as a business.
He urged the over 1000 graduands to take up farming as a career saying both farmers and the graduates need to be empowered with modern methods of practicing climate agriculture.
“LUANAR intends to support these farmers through providing relevant solutions to climate-change related problems. Thus, LUANAR is doing research and devising solutions that intensify farm production through the development of small-scale irrigation systems, crop diversification to improve food security, diversifying sources of household income, improving dietary intake and conserving natural resources,” said the Vice Chancellor.
Professor Kanyama Phiri went on to say that LUANAR will also work to remain locally relevant by taking the university to the people saying it has opened its City Campus in Lilongwe which has opened up opportunities for interested citizens who would not normally have entered the university to acquire university education as well as Open and Distance Learning programmes which have enabled citizens who are holding down jobs to attend university while remaining employed.
He added that as LUANAR strives to be globally competitive, it will do everything possible to raise its rankings among universities in the region and worldwide meaning that LUANAR will pay attention to those critical factors both at the international and local level.
“Further, the university will do everything possible to provide training that is comparable to world class universities. In fact, LUANAR is already doing this as exemplified by a good number of its graduates who are working in international organisations,” he said.
One of the graduands, Gracious Chimbalanga said he is ready to put into use the knowledge and skills which he gained while studying at LUANAR.
“The knowledge and expertise that I gained during my four-year study at LUANAR will not only benefit me but also benefit the nation at large,” said Chimbalanga.
Since its establishment, LUANAR’s student population has increased from about 2500 then to around 9000 and this year alone it has graduated close to 2000 students.