About the project

Malawi, a nation of 20 million in southeast Africa, has 80,000 secondary school graduates each year. Many of them have no access to higher education. Simultaneously, Malawi’s higher education system suffers from low levels of enrollment and technical capacity. University institutions and distance learning programs are not adequate for the needs of Malawi’s markets. The result is a nonequitable workforce that is unable to sustain Malawi’s economic growth.

With support from USAID, the Strengthening Higher Education Access in Malawi Activity is increasing Malawi’s skilled and employable workforce — particularly through opportunities for adolescent girls and young women, marginalized and vulnerable young men, persons with disabilities and other marginalized and vulnerable populations — by increasing capacity and fostering collaboration among five Malawian public universities.

Through partnership with these universities, SHEAMA is positioned to achieve three major objectives:

  • Increase equitable access to higher education, especially for vulnerable populations, including adolescent girls and young women and persons with disabilities.
  • Strengthen the capacity of Malawian universities to design, deliver and support educational programs including degrees, diplomas and short-term training at a distance.
  • Improve bridging to employment by linking education and training to labor market needs, and to improve the entrepreneurship and business skills of youth so that they are better able to contribute to the economic growth of the country.

Through a collaborative model for open, distance and e-learning, Malawian university partners are able to co-design and offer joint academic programs across a range of instructional and communication modalities, extending access to higher education throughout the country.

SHEAMA establishes a network of comprehensive, continuous support to ensure student success. Targeted financial assistance provides long- and short-term tuition scholarships for students otherwise unable to attend a university.

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A map of Malawi