October 29, 2021   Registrar

The University of Malawi (UNIMA) was re-established after the 2019 Acts of Parliament which created three Universities from delinked constituent colleges of the federal University of Malawi. Chancellor College retained the name of University of Malawi. The University of Malawi cherishes the history of being the first University in the country, a champion of intellectual freedom and academic rigour, and boasts of the largest group of alumni in top leadership positions within Malawi and beyond.

The Ministry of Education gazetted 4th May 2021 to be the commencement date for Acts of Parliament Nos 18, 19 and 20 of 2019, that established the three new universities, namely: a reconstituted University of Malawi (UNIMA), the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS), and Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHES), respectively, through Government Notice Nos 27, 28, and 29 of 2021 published in the Malawi Gazette Supplement dated 26 April 2021.

The establishment of the new universities, previously under the federal UNIMA, effectively means that the University of Malawi is a standalone institution of higher learning. The delinking process was meant to create a more responsive UNIMA that aims to attain growth in its staff establishment and number of students so that they have access to higher education through the infrastructural expansion drive that UNIMA is currently undergoing.

As dust has settled on the delinking, all students selected under the federal UNIMA or before 4th May, 2021 will graduate as University of Malawi just like a similar process that Bunda College (currently Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources) underwent with its students.

While the UNIMA Act 18 of 2019 provides a Council as an overall governing body, the Act also creates academic and administrative offices that are completely different from the federal university. As an academy, the Act creates the academic offices for Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Librarian, Executive Deans and Heads of Departments. In terms administration, the Act creates offices of the Registrar, Director of Finance and Investments and Director of Students Affairs.

Unlike in the past where the university had faculties headed by dean, the Act provides for the creation of schools which will be headed by the Executive Deans and Executive Heads of Departments. The Act further stipulates that schools shall be managed by a board chaired by the Executive Dean with Heads being members among others. Furthermore, various offices have been tied to different time frames of competitive engagement with the Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Registrar and other being on a five- year renewable term while the Executive Deans and Heads on three-year renewable term subject to a satisfactory performance.

Currently, the University has created five schools: School of Arts, Communication and Design; School of Education; School of Humanities and Social Sciences; School of Law, Economics and Government; and School of Natural and Applied Sciences.


The creation schools has seen a reconfiguration of departments with others being detached from where they traditionally belonged in the federal university. The five schools have been created to stimulate growth and expansion of the university which will culminate into the offering of more responsive academic programmes, research, consultancies, internationalisation, resource mobilisation and various areas of collaborations. The pinnacle of this as the University envisions is to create more access to higher education for the local cadre of students and beyond.

Chancellor College Aerial View