* Expected to support the new exciting chapter of the re-established University of Malawi under VC Prof. Sajidu
* He played a huge role in the process towards the delinking of the University of Malawi
* He has international academic experience as a visiting lecturer at the Universities of Pretoria and Western Cape (RSA)
* As well as an external examiner at the University of the Western Cape and the University of Cape Town
By Duncan Mlanjira
After a competitive search process, the University of Malawi (UNIMA) Chancellor Dr. Lazarus Chakwera — President of the Republic — has approved the UNIMA Council’s choice of Dr. Sunduzwayo Madise as deputy Vice-Chancellor.
In a statement from acting Registrar, Mary Wasiri, Madise — who has a worth of academic experience and having held several managerial leadership and academic positions — is expected to support the “new exciting chapter of the re-established University of Malawi”.
Madise was also chairperson of Internal Transition Unit that saw through the development and review of the governance instruments for the re-established UNIMA.
The UNIMA Council says in the statement, that Madise holds a PhD in law from the University of Warwick, UK obtained in 2017; Post Graduate Award in teaching and learning in higher education also from University of Warwick (2015); Master of Laws (LLM) with distinction from the University of the Western Cape (RSA, 2011); Bachelor of Laws Honours (LLB Hons, 2009) and Bachelor of Science (BSc, 1991) — both obtained from UNIMA.
“Dr. Madise is an accomplished academic,” says the statement. “He is also a legal practitioner and has also been admitted to the Malawi Bar to practice law in the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, the High Court and all subordinate courts.
“Dr. Madise has international academic experience as a visiting lecturer at the University of Pretoria, RSA and the University of the Western Cape (RSA) as well as an external examiner at the University of the Western Cape and the University of Cape Town.”
He has been a member of Council of University of Malawi as Senate Representative as well as a University Senator and has also been a Dean of the Faculty of Law, Dean of Students, Deputy Head and Head of Practical Legal Studies at UNIMA.
“Dr. Madise has served in various portfolios including boards and a member of several professional organizations [and] is the current serving chairperson of Malawi National Council of Sports and Commissioner for the Human Rights Commission and has served as chairperson of a Taskforce on the legal Reform Establishment of City Police of Malawi.
“He has served vice-chairperson of Malawi Council for Legal Education (2019-2020) he is a Commonwealth Scholar, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK), a member of Society of Legal Scholars (UK) and a member of the Malawi Law Society.”
Madise is also lauded as an accomplished publisher with several publications and other academic related outputs to his name that earned him the status to be invited as a reviewer of articles in a number of international peer reviewed Journals and academic books.
“Dr. Madise will play a vital role in supporting the Vice-Chancellor [Prof. Samson Sajidu] in the implementation of our next Strategic Plan, covering the period from 2022-2027.
“A highly respected senior law academic, Dr. Madise will begin his new role with immediate effect since the DVC’s office had remained vacant for a while following the delinking process,” said the statement from Wasiri.
After being appointed as Vice-Chancellor in March, Prof. Sajidu said he has plans to implement an ambitious research strategy to enhance UNIMA’s research capacity, visibility and impact
He had told Maravi Express that despite its long history of having highly educated many Malawians since the 1960s who became elite professionals — contributing to the social and economic development of this country — the UNIMA is not rated among the top best higher institute of learning in Africa by, among others, research; teaching & outreach; lack of acknowledgement of its scholars’ research contributions and publications in some international major publications.
Some other challenges include limited research capacity; inadequate funding; lack of both local and international visibility; low access to higher education by most deserving Malawian youths; limited ICT capacity and rigid mindset and conflict escalations.
Prof. Sajidu acknowledged that these are challenges that UNIMA’s Vision seeks to sustainably address, which include strategies or plans that are in place aimed at increasing student enrollment in both its face-to-face and open distance e-learning (ODeL) programmes and enhancing resource mobilization and financial sustainability.
The Vision also seeks at improving students’ success during their studies and strengthening their employability skills as well as developing and implementing an ambitious research strategy.
The research strategy is to enhance UNIMA’s research capacity — its visibility, and impact; strengthening its outreach and engagement activities and improving its ICT capacity for enhanced efficiency in saving costs.
The ICT capacity is to make “use of data for seamless decision making; developing and integrating internationalisation in our mandates; reducing conflict escalations; and implementing a robust performance management system for mindset change”.
Pro Sajidu is a product of Kamuzu Academy from where he went on to study at Chancellor College in 1995 for his first degree — Bachelor of Science (BSc), majoring in Chemistry which he graduated with distinction in 1999.
He joined UNIMA as a lecturer in February 2002 after completing his MPhil at Cambridge University; got promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2006 and went on to become an Associate Professor in 2008 and finally I was promoted to Professor in 2016.
He has held several administrative responsibilities in addition to his academic promotions as he has held an acting position of Principal of Chancellor College (February 2021–September, 2021); as Chanco’s Vice-Principal (2015 to 2021) and Dean of the Faculty of Science from 2011 to 2014.
He has also been a Senate representative to the University Council (2013-2014); Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Science (2009); and Deputy Head of Chemistry Department (2004).
The two thus add a rich higher teaching and learning experience that indeed is expected to drive forward the new exciting chapter of the re-established University of Malawi.