Press release

University’s commitment to Malawi showcased at Scottish Parliament

Published on 19 January 2023

A long-term commitment to working in equitable partnership has the capability to enrich lives both in Scotland and Africa, the Scottish Parliament has heard.

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Professor Iain Gillespie, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee, said that the co-development of sustained academic connections between the two nations over the next decade could allow experts to address mutual challenges and further develop cultural ties.

Professor Gillespie − accompanied remotely by the Vice-Chancellors of all six public Malawian universities− was addressing members of Holyrood’s Cross-Party Group on Malawi, around the University’s Africa Initiative, and in particular the Blantyre Declaration - a shared commitment to co-develop research and cultural links with Malawi based on sustainable and equitable principles.

“Our commitment to sharing knowledge throughout the world is at the heart of our recently launched Africa initiative, a ten-year commitment that has already seen us establish new and exciting partnerships with six universities in Malawi,” said Professor Gillespie.

“The exchange of knowledge and the creation of exciting collaborations and opportunities through these relationships bring mutual benefit and are potentially transformative. We have just launched a new doctoral scheme, co-designed with partners to address shared priorities in areas of mutual strength, and look forward to bringing more initiatives online in the coming months.”

“Our own University strategy reinforces our commitment to social purpose through learning and teaching, research, and engagement and enterprise. Nothing demonstrates our dedication to these aims more than our work with our partners in Malawi.

“Issues such as climate change and healthcare delivery know no borders and the Blantyre Declaration will be the cornerstone of an equitable partnership agreement that demonstrates the shared commitment of all signatories to empower individuals both in Scotland and Malawi, to build a better future for us all.”

Notes to editors

The founding signatories to the Declaration include the University of Dundee, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malawi University of Business and Applied Science, Malawi University of Science and Technology, Muzuzu University and the University of Malawi, who have established a group to actively identify opportunities for collaboration.


Jonathan Watson

Senior Press Officer

+44 (0)1382 381489