Standard Bank deposits its annual 20m contribution into MUST Endowment Fund

* This is the third contribution from Standard Bank which brings the total investment to K60 million out of the pledged K80 million

* The MUST Endowment Fund was established in 2021 to assist needy students and enhance resource mobilization and so far has grown to K3.4 billion

By Duncan Mlanjira

Standard Bank Plc has deposited its K20 million annual contribution to the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) Endowment Fund in  fulfilment of the bank’s four-year commitment to the fund.


The MUST Endowment Fund was established in 2021 to assist needy students and enhance resource mobilization at the institution and so far has grown to K3.4 billion.

This is the third contribution from Standard Bank which brings the total investment to K60 million out of the pledged K80 million and at the cheque handover at the magnificent MUST campus at Goliati in Thyolo, Standard Bank’s Head of Business & Commercial Banking, Graham Chipande said the achievements of the fund resonate with the bank’s goal of improving access to higher education for youth of Malawi.

“We are really pleased to see the efforts that the fund is going to contribute towards equal access to education at the institution,” he said. “Furthermore, we have the confidence in the way the board is managing the fund as testified by its growth.”

Chipande commended MUST on their transparency in managing the funds so far and urged the institution to continue managing the fund with diligence to ensure that it is successful in the long run.

Graham Chipande

“As a partner of growth, we have appreciated MUST’s diligence in managing the Fund and ensuring that funds are accounted for. We believe in the potential this has in creating a revolving fund that will support students in the long term.”

He added that the Endowment Fund can be a catalyst for building national wealth through human capital development: “Standard Bank believes that investment in the human capital contributes positively to the overall growth of our nation.

“Therefore, the Fund we are disbursing today will help students to acquire the desired education at the same time improving education standards at MUST,” he said, adding that the funding aligns well with the bank’s purpose of driving collective national growth.

“As purpose driven-bank we believe that ‘Malawi is Our Home — We Drive Her Growth’ and as such we understand the impact of our contribution towards initiatives that are propelling our nation’s growth such as MUST’s Endowment Fund, and many others,” he said.

Recounting the successes of the Endowment Fund, MUST Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Address Malata said the fund has overperformed, saying: “This is a great year for our institution more especially for this Fund as we are going to assist over 100 students.

“The development emanates from the strides our endowment fund has registered which has seen a 59% growth,” she said while applauding Standard Bank for being an engaging partner in the process staying true to its annual contributions towards the fund.

“Let me thank Standard Bank for being a great part of this Fund. Since they partnered with us, every year they come to fulfill their commitment. The third year of the initiative marks the time when the fund becomes operational supporting students after it has accumulated interest over the past 3 years,” she said.


Through the Fund, MUST is contractually obligated by the donors to spend on it in accordance with their wishes and shall be giving regular updates of how the fund is growing and being utilised.

A donor can increase their gift in installments and the minimum value of gifts is K20 million for corporates and K5 million for individuals. Nonetheless, the University may accept lower amounts as a gift for the general pool and the donors shall receive annual reports.

The benefits of the trust is that the donation survives the life of the giver, thus creating true legacy and that an individual donor has the priviledge of naming their gift to a family member, a friend, a special faculty member or themselves.

The Fund was created having had the challenge that the funding from government is not enough to sustain the university’s services and took a leaf from foreign universities — especially from the USA where they weaned themselves from dependency on government subventions by establishing endowment funds.

Magnificent MUST campus at Goliati

Thus MUST decided to take a similar approach as a strategy for diversifying revenue streams after taking cognizance that universities in Malawi have received annual donations from individuals and corporates in support of tuition fees and living expenses for students.

But the annual donations from wellwishers had been well appreciated, it had no assurance of its sustainability and that it benefitted a few whilst the Endowment Fund is invested with financial institutions to yield interest to cater for its services.

The support from donors such as Standard Bank and the many others goes beyond the donors’ lifetime and the funds will continue to grow and beat inflation.

The MUST Vice-Chancellor maintains that students shouldn’t be allowed to withdraw because they cannot afford to pay their school fees as this is a loss of resources spent on such students by the university and a loss of human resource for the national agenda.