The United States Government, represented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Mission in Malawi, is publishing this Request for Information (RFI) in order to provide US and Malawi-based academia, industry, and other stakeholders the opportunity to review, comment,
suggest, and input into the development of two potential USAID/Malawi activities that will involve partnerships between US and Malawian Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
The two potential activities will focus on: 1) expanding degree opportunities in Malawi; and 2) strengthening Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in Higher Education.
Areas of particular interest to USAID/Malawi include, but are not limited to: A: Transforming and strengthening Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) (Systemic reform): What barriers do Malawian Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) face that inhibit their ability to achieve their visions? (Systemic reform): What systemic reforms/improvements would you suggest for Malawian HEIs to undertake in order to strengthen their organizational effectiveness and increase their ability to contribute to the socio-economic development of Malawi? In what ways can Malawian HEIs be supported to successfully undertake and sustainably implement these improvements? (Systemic reform): What immediate benefits do you identify for Malawian HEIs to partner with U. S. Universities? What benefits do you identify for U. S. Universities to partner with Malawian HEIs? B: Aligning higher education with market (including public sector) needs for sustainable economic growth (Course relevance): Which academic disciplines or areas of study (both degree programs and short courses) are critical for Malawi’s socio-economic transformation and improved service delivery but currently are not adequately provided for by Malawi’s HEIs? (STEM capacity): How can Malawian HEIs be supported to successfully design and deliver cutting-edge Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses, and ensure more women and other disadvantaged groups get into STEM programs and succeed? (HEI-industry collaboration): What opportunities exist for Malawian HEIs to foster collaborative relationships with industry, both public and private sector entities, to enrich the educational experience of their graduates? C: Increasing access and equity in higher education (Cost of obtaining university qualification): Given the changing landscape of higher education, what business models would you suggest for Malawian HEIs to adopt in order to uniquely provide access to a quality education to students and deliver that value in ways that decrease price premiums and enhance access, particularly for students graduating from Community Day Secondary Schools? (Inequities in access): Given the existing inequities (e.g., gender, wealth, geographic proximity to HEIs, physical capacity of HEIs for enrollment, technology capability, utility access) in accessing and participating in higher education in Malawi, what innovative strategies would you recommend to address barriers on both the demand and supply sides that exacerbate inequities?