Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pedro Teixeira (Editor-in-Chief), Jung Cheol Shin (Editor-in-Chief)

Higher Education Systems and Institutions, Malawi

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9553-1_459-1

Historical Background

Malawi, a landlocked country in Central Eastern Africa, shares a common border with Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia. The colonial state that became Malawi at independence in 1964 was initially colonized in 1891 as the British Central Africa Protectorate until 1907 when the territory was re-named Nyasaland Protectorate.

The colonial government was headed by a Governor who chaired an executive council and a legislature which included three nominees drawn from white farmers, traders, and missionaries. Government departments were set up under directors, but issues of primary and secondary education for Africans were left in the hands of missionaries until the late 1940s when a separate department of African education was introduced. Throughout the colonial period, there were no institutions of higher learning in the country. The few students who qualified from schools operated by missionaries sought tertiary education opportunities outside the country.

After the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Civil Society Education Coalition. 2017. Budget analysis of the 2017/18 national budget focusing on education sector. Lilongwe: CSEC Reports.Google Scholar
  2. Government of Malawi. 2017. Approved 2017–18 financial statement, budget document no. 3. Lilongwe: Government Print.Google Scholar
  3. Lamba, Isaac C. 2010. Contradictions is post-war education policy formulation and application in colonial Malawi 1945–1961. Zomba: Kachere Book No. 53.Google Scholar
  4. National Council for Higher Education. 2015. Registered higher education institutions and programmes, 23–24, 41–42. Blantyre: The Nation.Google Scholar
  5. Pachai, Bridgal. 1967. University education in Malawi. African Quarterly 6 (4): 343–351.Google Scholar
  6. UNESCO Institute of Statistics. 2017. http://uis.unesco.org/en/country/mw?theme=education-and-literacy. Accessed 10 Oct 2017.
  7. World Bank. 2010. The education system in Malawi, working paper no. 182, 147–179. Washington, DC: World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Formerly at University of MalawiZombaMalawi

Section editors and affiliations

  • Goolam Mohamedbhai
    • 1
  • Patricio Langa
    • 2
  1. 1.University of MauritiusMokaMauritius
  2. 2.Centre for Adult and Continuing EducationUniversity of the Western CapeCape TownSouth Africa