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Faculty of Engineering hosts a workshop on higher education partnership for HEPSSA project

News   Harris Chimatiro   September 11, 2017
PIC: The Principal (seated centre) with workshop attendants
A team of Spoke Universities in Africa, in partnership with Royal Academy of Engineering under the Higher education Partnerships for the Sub-Saharan Africa (HEPSSA) project, organized a workshop held at The Malawi Polytechnic Main Lecture Theatre under the theme, ‘Addressing Engineering skills shortage in Malawi through University- Industry’.

The Universities, which include Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), DMI St John the Baptist University, Addis Ababa University (AAU), and Uganda Martyrs University converged at the Polytechnic which is the Hub of the spoke Universities in Malawi.

The Principal of the Polytechnic, Professor Grant Kululanga officially opened the workshop. In his speech, the Principal highlighted that the industry and the government have to work hand in hand to bring solution to the nation; a one-way treat will in no way give solutions. He therefore underscored for lectures in the Faculty of Engineering to learn from colleagues who have vast Industrial experiences. 

The attendees of the workshop benefited from different keynote speakers, Professor Kassahun Yimer Kebede from Adidis Ababa University, Sebastian Scott representing the Royal Academy of Engineering, Engineer Wilson Chirwa, Vice President of Malawi Institute of Engineers, Dr Kaunda, Faculty of Engineering, Dr Gamula, deputy Dean of Engineering, Dr Chinyama and Vincent Mbewe, a final year Mechanical Engineering student from the Polytechnic. These learned colleagues set the tone of the Workshop as they presented their different experiences on how to address Engineering skills shortage in Malawi through University-Industry collaboration.

 These different key speakers shared their vast experiences on how to address the shortage of Engineering skills in Malawi, Professor Kebede was the first to share his experiences on what the (AAU) is doing with the problem of Engineering skills shortage in Ethiopia. On the other hand, Dr Gamula presented on projects that the Faculty of Engineering is carrying out to address skills shortage. These projects involve Developing the curriculum of Engineering to be inline with what the Industry requires by engaging professional Engineers to train students on industrial experiences, attaching members of staff in the Faculty of Engineering to the Industry for a specified period of time to gain Industrial experiences and attaching Engineering students to different industries to get industrial experiences. During the workshop, Vincent Mbewe, a final year Mechanical Engineering student who went for an attachment at Illovo, was given a chance to present what he experienced.

Higher education Partnerships for the Sub-Saharan Africa (HEPSSA) with support from Royal Academy of Engineering, is a project that addresses skills shortages and enhances the role of engineering in driving the economic development of Malawi and other countries in the sub Saharan Africa region through University-Industry collaborations. In addition, it enhances networking and collaboration between universities in this consortium.

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