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Lake Malawi
Lake Malawi, which is a key economic resource - fishing and tourism - for Malawi, stretches for hundreds of miles along its eastern border
Fisherman in Malawi

Internal News - 28 March 2007

Economics links with Malawi to boost technical capabilities

Economists from the University of Bath have almost completed the first year of a novel link with colleagues at Chancellor College, University of Malawi.

The link, mainly financed by the EU, is to increase the volume and depth of professional economics capacity in Malawi, by training young government economists, and increasing the teaching and research capabilities of the country's only economics department.

Last summer staff,students and librarians at Bath collected and sent out more than 200 modern textbooks to relieve an acute and chronic shortage of learning materials. The books, ranging from first year undergraduate to advanced postgraduate texts, are virtually unobtainable and unaffordable in Malawi; they increased the local economics bookstock by 20 per cent.

Last semester Bath welcomed four young economists from key Malawian ministries who took advanced economics courses as part of the MRes in Economics, under the direction of Dr Horst Feldmann and Dr Tim Hinks.

The students have recently returned to Malawi to finish their dissertations for their Malawian MAs. But they will still benefit from access to Bath's electronic journals, and advice from Dr Hinks.

The link has also included staff visits in both directions, and is developing PhD, research, and external examining contacts.

Bath's link co-ordinator Dr Colin Lawson said: "This is new type of international link for us, and I'm impressed with the commitment of colleagues, including librarians, the Accommodation Office, and Faculty staff; all of whom have helped make this a very successful first year."