Further and Higher Education Forum

UK time 11:00 – 12:30 Malawi time 13:00 – 14:30
Location Glasgow City Chambers & Zoom

Zikomo to all who attended the Further and Higher Education forum, both in person and online, on 14 December at Glasgow City Chambers. We are grateful to Glasgow Lord Provost, Jacqueline Mclaren and her team for accommodating us; sorry that Cllr McLaren was unwell and appreciated her really supportive letter, which was read to the meeting. We also appreciated the support of the Deputy High Commissioner, Justice Agnes Patemba and colleagues from the Mission in London who contributed to the meeting.

Chair, Dr Yonah Matemba, PhD, FHEA, FRSA, opened by asking the SMP’s Communications and Engagement lead, Natasha about her experiences when she first came to Scotland to undertake a Master’s degree and then turned to each of the Malawian students present: Bosco, Emmanuel, Elita, Tawonga and Peter to hear from them. Whilst the strong support of Supervisors was highlighted, there was a common theme of culture shock, isolation and understandable lack of familiarity with systems in Scotland.

It was agreed that the SMP would explore working together with the Malawi Scotland Partnership (MaSP) and the International Offices of Scottish Universities to create more of a pipeline of support, potentially starting in Malawi with Malawian Alumnae of Scottish institutions sharing thoughts on what to expect. The SMP would offer a warm welcome at this side as well as signposting to the Association of Malawians in Scotland and other positive links with Malawi.

Dr Matemba also invited the Malawian students and others present to reflect upon what they could bring to the SMP’s FEHE Forum and reminded all to keep Private as well as Public Universities in Malawi in mind for potential partnership.

The Forum also agreed to revisit the issue of the downgrading of Malawian degrees internationally by Ecctis (formerly NARIC) who advise on comparisons of international qualifications against UK and other nations’ qualification framework levels. Dr Matemba has written on this topic here.


Live Recording available here.

Chat Log available here.

Letter from The Rt Hon The Lord Provos t of Glasgow Councillor Jacqueline McLaren

Crisis? What Crisis? Malawian Degrees and International Comparability by Dr Yonah Matemba