UNIVERSITY OF LIVINGSTONIA
A Brief History of The University of Livingstonia
The Synod of Livingstonia, under the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), has experienced rapid expansion since the establishment of Livingstonia Mission by Dr. Robert Laws in 1875. The station was founded in honor of Dr. David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary, educator and physician who opened up Africa by exposing slave trade and imploring others to bring Christianity, commerce and civilization to this undeveloped land.
Dr. Laws felt education through university level was essential to develop a self-sufficient Malawian population with high moral and ethical values. Leaders were needed for the country. Higher education began at Livingstonia in 1895 consisting of teacher and ministerial preparation classes. In the 1920s, a Christian College at Livingstonia helped to train leaders for the future. Unfortunately, Dr. Law’s retirement in 1927 brought a more conservative view, and establishing Livingstonia University was not seen as a priority at that time..
From Livingstonia Mission, more than 500 primary schools and five large secondary schools have been established in Northern Malawi. Working with the government, the CCAP currently responds to approximately 40% of the educational needs of the country. The Synod of Livingstonia is highly respected for its achievements in education and commitment to advancing Malawi.
Widespread interest motivated Synod officials to formally launch the University of Livingstonia using a decentralized education model. Five constituent colleges at two locations now serve over 500 students.
The university headquarters is located at Livingstonia along with Livingstonia Technical College and the College of Education which opened 27 August 2003. Ekwendeni houses three colleges including the College of Commerce, Ekwendeni College of Nursing and the Livingstonia Theological College.
The Synod believes that a church university founded on Christian values provides exceptional education for young people of Malawi. The university offers within the country continuity in education to qualified students who come from church or secular secondary schools. The institution will sustain spiritual, moral and social values important to the Malawian society and will boost the ability of Malawi to train leaders for future development of Malawi’s economic base.
University of Livingstonia,
The following core values will provide the foundation for operation at the university:
Open Door Policy
Broad Based Representation for Planning
University of Livingstonia Commission
Ex-officio Commission Members – CCAP Synod of Livingstonia
Rev. M. C. E. Munthali Moderator
Rev. M. M. Banda Moderator Elect
Rev. H .K. Mvula Immediate Past Moderator
Rev. H. Matiya Nkhoma General Secretary
Rev. Ted A.G. Mwambila Deputy General Secretary
Mr. Macmin Mulaga Acting Education Secretary
Rev. B. A. R. Mwakasungula Parish Minister & Head of Station at Livingstonia
Mr. H.C. Nthakomwa General Treasurer
University of Livingstonia Administrative Staff
Dr. Henry P. Kirk Vice Chancellor;
retired president Centralia College, Washington
Mrs. Jenny Sheldon Kirk Director, Unversity Relations; retired administrator with 25+ years in
Dr. Augustine W.C. Msiska Currently
advisor; University Librarian effective October 2003 upon
Mr. Eliezer Kalumbi Principal, College of Education; Lecturer, Mzuzu University
Mr. P.J. Khonje Principal, College of Commerce
Mr. Joseph S.C. Longwe Principal, Livingstonia Technical College
Reverend Dr. D.S. Mwakanandi Principal, College of Theology
Mr. Flemmings F. Nkhandwe Principal Tutor, School of Nursing
University of Livingstonia Links Around the World
Reverend Ronald Rice Associate, International Institute for Christian Studies, Seattle
Dr. Steve Stargardter President, City University, Bellevue Washington, USA
Dr. Jim Walton President, Centralia College, Centralia, Washington, USA
Dr. Jack White President, Geneva College, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
It is Important to Further Develop the University of Livingstonia:
Additional higher education programs will enable Malawians to participate in the development of their country and its economy. Education is the gift of a lifetime that can be used to provide a better environment for future generations.
Priority Needs and Projects
Please note: The costs of items listed are estimates. It is implicit, unless specifically requested otherwise by donors, that any cost savings incurred in relation to any purchase or project will be retained for maintenance, repair, or replacement.
1. University Vehicles
The university and its administrative
offices will be located on the Khondowe Plateau at Livingstonia in Northern
Malawi. Because of the difficult access by public transportation and limited
assistance available through Synod resources, the university has an urgent need
of two vehicles:
Estimated cost: $15,000 USD
Both vehicles would bear the emblem or advertising of the donor if desired.
2. Food Services
Roxburgh Hall is being renovated by 3 Rotary Clubs and Westminster Presbyterian Church from Lewis County, Washington state, U.S.A., to accommodate the dining facility needs of the university. This will provide adequate eating and meeting space for 80 students. Minimal furnishings and equipment have been purchased to provide service for 40 students. Additional equipment and supplies are needed immediately including tables, chairs, kitchen and serving utensils, stove, refrigerator and freezer. Construction of a cold room and bathing facilities for cooks is also needed.
Estimated cost: $25,000 USD
3. University House
The historic University House provides living space for visiting faculty and university administrative staff. Restoration and furnishing of this facility will support the instructional program and provide an attractive setting for faculty and staff.
Estimated cost: $15,000 USD
4. Office and Recreational Equipment
The university has little resources and start-up expenses have been considerable. There is an immediate need for a high volume photocopying machine that can produce collated 2-sided copies to support the instruction program and meet office needs. A new computer that accepts both 3.5” disks and CDs is preferred to interface with current equipment available through the Synod. At least 2 laptop computers that have CD read and write capability are needed to support the administrative staff needs. Two printers are needed; one a color desk jet and the other a black and white laser printer for volume printing. Photocopier and printer ink cartridges are expensive and are needed.
In addition, leisure equipment is needed for student recreation and relaxation. Two color televisions and two VCRs are required; one for each hostel so that students can watch the news and view curriculum related video tapes. It is imperative that students be provided recreational equipment such as soccer and volley balls, Christian videos or movies, chess sets, and other leisure equipment to keep them occupied in positive, character building activities when not in class or studying.
Estimated cost: $30,000 USD
5. Student Scholarships and Endowment for Scholarships
Ample opportunities exist to assist
with financing the education of bright, but impoverished students.
Gifts of endowment for scholarships are desperately needed. Any amount of endowment money that can be set aside to generate income to be used for scholarships will be extremely helpful in easing the burden of already stretched families that want a better future for their children.
Estimated cost: Individual scholarship for 2003 – 2004 = $2,000 USD
Endowment Donation – Any amount will be gratefully received
6. Endowed or Sponsored Faculty Positions
The plan for development of the University of Livingstonia includes hiring full-time faculty, using adjunct faculty from inside Malawi, inviting faculty from abroad, and offering faculty exchanges. There are several ways donors can participate. Endowment can be set aside to cover the cost of a faculty salary or a donor might wish to sponsor a position within the university – e.g. The Robert Laws Professor of English. In addition, donors may want to help bring faculty to Malawi or send Malawian lecturers to other countries as part of an exchange. These costs will vary, but can be arranged.
Estimated cost: $ 25,000 – Sponsor full-time faculty for one year
$ 10,000 – transportation and incidental expenses for faculty exchange
$200,000 – one time contribution to endow a named faculty position
Endowment Donation – Any amount will be gratefully received
7. Student Dormitories
As a residential campus, student dormitories are essential. To begin, the university is borrowing existing living space from the Synod and refurbishing it as needed. In order to grow, the university needs 2 dormitories for that will house 80 students each.
The concept would be a building containing sets of two rooms that would house 2 – 4 students each with a shared bath separating the 2 rooms. Community shower facilities would be available at either end of the dormitory. One dormitory would house women and the other would house men.
Estimated cost: $150,000 USD each dormitory or $300.000 USD total
8. Classroom Facilities
To begin, the university is borrowing space from the Livingstonia Technical College and the Livingstonia Secondary School. Generously, the college has provided 2 classrooms with desks for use and a small office. The secondary school has provided a large multi-purpose room for the university. No desks are available for this teaching facility, but an adjoining room has been offered for office space.
An existing block building containing four (4) large classrooms can be refurbished, furnished, and brought up to modern standards for instruction. One room can be remodeled for faculty office space.
In addition, future need will include a new classroom block to accommodate 6 furnished classrooms, an equipped media center, and furnished faculty office and lounge.
Estimated cost: $40,000 USD for existing classroom block; $ 210,000 for new classroom block
Total: $250,000 USD
9. University Library
At the heart of any university is its library. Phase I will provide funding for basic library facilities and resources including study and research facilities, reference books, student and faculty textbooks, video and electronic support and library equipment. An in-depth proposal is available on request.
Estimated cost: $100,000 USD
10. Upgrade Infrastructure for Electrical, Water and Accessibility to the Plateau
Existing infrastructure at the plateau is minimally adequate. Upgrading is imperative.
a) Power outages on the plateau interrupt office and classroom equipment and the ability of university students to use computers and access the internet. An existing functional generator must be renovated and connected so that it can provide continual electricity when the Malawi grid fails. At one time, this generator provided all of the electricity for the plateau. It is large enough to supply sufficient electricity for existing facilities and area growth.
Estimated cost: $10,000
b) The water source for the plateau is natural springs. The catchment area is open and contamination and/or blockage, while infrequent, can occur. This system was built by Dr. Laws in the early 1900s. A covered pipeline from the source is needed to ensure sanitary and safe delivery of water to the plateau. A series of holding tanks and appropriate pipe lines would help provide a constant water supply when water shortages, low pressure during high usage times, or difficulties arise. At the same time, efforts will be made through the local community leaders to preserve the catchment area.
Estimated cost: $50,000
Two stretches of road service Livingstonia. Many people on the plateau and in the Phoka area are limited in their ability to market their crops and goods or to purchase goods from the lakeshore because items cannot be conveniently transported up or down especially during the rainy season.
c) One rises from Rumphi Boma slowly up to the plateau. Recent flooding has washed away 2 bridges. For a period of time, access from this side was impossible. Repair work is being done and the road is passable by 4 wheel drive. During the rainy season, this road becomes very muddy and slippery and sometimes is impassable.
Estimated cost: $75,000
d) The historic road to the east of the area is called Gorodi. This engineering feat was accomplished by hand in 1905 under the leadership of James Gauld. One author of that era describes the road rising “nobly from the lake with a series of 24 devils elbows.”* Today, the road is passable with 4 wheel drive, several of the hairpin turns have been lost to erosion or landslides. While an adventure, this road is in serious need of repair. A plan has recently been developed that documents the condition of the road, breaks down repair work into manageable projects, and provides a training manual for local workers. The extensive repairs are possible, and a plan for yearly maintenance is needed.
Estimated cost: $100,000 USD – $20,000 received from Raven Trust in Scotland; work has begun.
e) The conditions of roads on the plateau range from decent to barely passable. A plan for continual maintenance is needed and adequate equipment is desired for grading and repair. A used, small tractor/grader would be ideal for most work. A stone crusher to make gravel for road surfacing is also needed.
Estimated cost: $28,000 USD – tractor
$10,000 USD – stone crusher
Total cost: $38,000 USD
11. Faculty and Administrative Staff Housing
As soon as possible, housing will be needed for use by full-time faculty and administrative staff. Modest single-family dwellings with 2 to 4 bedrooms will be adequate. Basic furniture and equipment will be needed for each house. If houses are unoccupied for a period of time, they will be used as income-producing rentals.
Estimated cost per unit: $30,000 USD; Ten (10) units needed: $300,000
12. Robert Laws Museum at Stone House – Library Archives and Cultural Center
Malawians have treasured for years memorabilia, artifacts and personal belongings of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Laws. Currently, two rooms at one end of Stone House are used to house the Robert Laws Museum. Unfortunately, proper archival or preservation practices have not been employed. Many of the artifacts are deteriorating under the African sun and will be lost forever if action is not taken.
It is the desire of the university to create a proper library archive to preserve and store important records of the history of Livingstonia and Malawi. In addition, the university would like to create an interpretive cultural center to help preserve not only artifacts, but regional cultural practices including stories, music, dances, crafts and customs.
Included would be a small demonstration village so that visitors can learn about Malawian culture and young Malawians can continue to learn of their heritage from elders. The collection of oral histories from local families involved in the development of the area will be crucial to the preservation of this important piece of Malawian history.
The Ministry of Antiquities has been approached informally about this idea and is very interested in exploring the feasibility. It is anticipated that Malawians would come forward to join in this effort. Several prominent families from the area may be approached to assist.
Estimated cost: $250,000 USD
13. University Center Complex
As the university grows, adequate multi-purpose and food service facilities will be needed for students, faculty, and staff. The University Center will be comprised of meeting and conference rooms, recreational areas, lounge and study facilities, university administrative offices, computer center, and bookstore. A cafeteria style dining hall would be useful to serve students, faculty, and anyone visiting the campus. The bookstore would provide ready access to textbooks, school supplies, and a small selection of personal items. A small auditorium where cultural activities and entertainment would take place would be included.
Estimated cost: $500,000 USD
14. Guest and Visitor Accommodations
a) Stone House, a national monument and the residence of Dr. and Mrs. Laws for 26 years, has been used as a hostel for tourists and for visitor accommodations. In July 2002, the Ivybridge Rotary Club from Devon, U.K. did an extensive renovation of Stone House, the culmination of a year long project that involved raising £50,000, purchasing many materials, shipping materials and equipment in a container to Malawi, and a 6-week work party in Malawi to accomplish the task. Their work has made a tremendous difference, and Malawians have been inspired to keep the facility clean and in good repair. The Ivybridge Rotary plans to send a second work party and more supplies in 2004.
Officials from the Department of Antiquities of Malawi and a contingent from the Royal Norwegian Embassy recently visited the plateau with the specific idea in mind of surveying national monument structures and planning renovations and repairs. Their report is forthcoming.
In the meantime, structural work needs to be completed on Stone House to make it seismically strong. Additional repairs and updates to the kitchen and expansion of bathroom facilities (e.g. currently there are three commodes and three showers to serve a full house of 40 visitors) need to be done to comfortably accommodate and serve the stream of tourists and visitors to the area. With the establishment of the university, parents, sponsors and university visitors will be utilizing this facility on a regular basis. It should be kept in decent repair and presentable/suitable order to be attractive for repeat visitation.
Estimated cost: $80,000 USD
b) Partially constructed Hostel and Multi-purpose Room
A sizeable structure has been designed and partially built near the church and manse on the plateau. The hostel contains 6 rooms that will accommodate up to 20 visitors, and minimal bathroom and shower facilities are included. The structure contains a central gathering area for guests and a small kitchen facility. Attached to the living space is a large (estimated 1800 square feet) multi-purpose room that is intended to be used for conferences and other large meetings. The walls are up, window frames in, and partial flooring and roofing have been done. This structure needs to be finished and furnished. It will be an asset not only for the university, but for the plateau in accommodating visitors and conference guests.
Estimated cost: $30,000 USD
Total Projects Estimates: $2,133,000 plus scholarship and endowment donations
Appropriate Donor Recognition
Recognition commensurate with donor desires and in relation to gifts given will be provided as appropriate. It is our desire to recognize those who generously contribute not only to thank them, but to provide inspiration for others to follow. We thank everyone for their interest and appreciate their contributions small and large, monetary, in-kind or prayer.
For further information, please see our contact page.
*Morrison, J. H. Streams in the Desert, George H. Doran Company, New York, 1917.
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