SMP Higher and Further Education (HEFE) Forum

Our Higher and Further Education (HEFE) Forum took place on August 25th, at Edinburgh City Chambers.

Our Higher and Further Education (HEFE) Forum took place on August 25th, at Edinburgh City Chambers. Please click on the links to see the Agenda and Minutes. Detailed presentations are available on request.

The meeting included discussions on:

Tuition fee rises in Malawi.

  • Two speakers gave an update on tuition fee rises, Lindsay Graham from the Soko Fund, a small Scottish charity that works to secure university education for women in Malawi, and Colin Reilly, SMP Board Member, who is currently carrying out PhD research in Malawi.
  • The rise in tuition fees has sparked protests at the universities and resulted in students withdrawing from their studies.
  • The group discussed a paper provided by Benedicto Kondowe, Executive Director of Civil Society Education Coalition in Lilongwe. The paper considers two potential ways forward: i) strengthening corporate social responsibility and ring-fencing it for education, ii) private sponsorship.

Mzuzu fire update:

  • Norman Wagstaffe, University of Strathclyde, gave an update on the Mzuzu University library, which was destroyed by a fire in December 2015, along with 45,000 library books.
  • The University coordinated the shipment of equipment and books from the university and other donors out to Mzuzu.
  • A new library building is required, at a cost of several million pounds.
  • The focus needs to be on funding for short-term loan books.

Support for visiting Malawian students:

  • Johanna Holtan,Program Manager of the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at Edinburgh University, told attendees about the program, which provides talented young people who are living in poverty, with access to quality education.
  • At the University of Edinburgh, the programme will last for 7 years and support 200 African students who are committed to giving back to their communities.
  • Scholarship applications open on 4th October 2016 and close 30th November, 2016.

Malawi Student Societies:

  • Kathryn Chipperfield summarised the Malawi Student Society concept note, which has been circulated to university members.
  • The aim of establishing Malawi Societies is to engage with student-age Scots, both those that were involved with Malawi at school and those yet to form a link.
  • Students from several universities have shown interest in a Malawi Society, in particular Glasgow, St Andrew's and Queen Margaret.

DFID SPHEIR Consortium update:

  • A consultation meeting on SPHEIR took place at Kamuzu College of Nursing in Lilongwe on August 3rd, 2016.
  • A consortium bid is still at the early stages of development.
  • The next call for SPHEIR proposals will open in October 2016.

If you are interested in finding out more about the HEFE forum, please get in touch with Kathy (kathy(at)

HEFE Photo