ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION
3. Establishment of the Council
4. Composition of the Council
5. Tenure of office
6. Vacation of office of members
7. Filling of vacancies on the Council
8. Co-opted persons
9. Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson
11. Disclosure of interest
12. Meetings of the Council
13. Committees of the Council
14. Non-liability of members of the Council or of committees
FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE COUNCIL
15. Functions of the Counci1
16. Powers of the Council
MANAGEMENT OF THE COUNCIL
17. Appointment of Chief Executive Officer and other members of staff
18. Duties of the Chief Executive Officer
REGISTRATION OF PRIVATE HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
19. Registration of private higher education institutions
20. Provisional and final registration of private higher education institutions
21. Contents of Charter of private higher education institutions
22. Application for amendment of the Charter
23. Revocation of a Charter
PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
24. Establishment of higher education institutions
25. Declaration of a public higher education institution
26. Closure, merger and splitting of public higher education institutions
STANDARDS AND ACCREDITATION
27. Institutional quality assurance standards and evaluation of higher education institutions
28. Basis of accreditation
29. Effect of accreditation
30. Annual reports by higher education institutions
31. Funds, accounts and audit
32. Investment of surplus sums of money
33. Financial year of the Council
36. Transitional provisions
15 of 2011
An Act to regulate higher education; to provide for the establishment, functions and powers of the National Council for Higher Education; and to provide for matters incidental thereto
[23rd APRIL 2012]
This Act may be cited as the National Council for Higher Education Act.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“academic cycle” means a period within which to complete a programme of study;
“accreditation” means the process of recognizing higher education institution’s programmes in accordance with section 27;
“accreditation certificate” means a certificate issued under section 27;
“Chairperson” means the Chairperson of the Council and includes any person acting in that capacity;
“Charter” means a document granted by the Minister under section 20 describing the basis for establishment and legitimizing the existence of a private higher education institution;
“Chief Executive Officer” means the Chief Executive Officer of the Council appointed pursuant to section 17;
“Council” means the National Council for Higher Education established under section 3;
“foreign higher education institution” means a higher education institution registered outside Malawi;
“higher education” means all learning programmers leading to qualifications registered under the National Qualifications Framework but may not include vocational training by a vocational training centre under the Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education Act;
“higher education institution” means any institution that provides higher education and which is—
(a) established as a public higher education institution;
(b) registered as a private higher education institution under this Act; or
(c) an affiliate of a higher education institution;
“institutional quality assurance standards” means the standards referred to in section 27;
“member” means a member of the Council appointed as such under section 4;
“National Qualifications Framework” means a structured description which classifies and registers qualifications according to a set of national standards for levels of learning, obtained at different levels compatible with regional and international structures and standards;
“private higher education institution” means any institution registered or conditionally registered as a private higher education institution in terms of Part V;
“provisional registration certificate” means a certificate issued pursuant to section 20;
“public higher education institution” means any institution that provides higher education and which is established by the Government or under any law and is wholly or partially funded by the Government; and
“register” means a register kept and maintained in terms of section 20.
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION
There is hereby established a body to be known as the National Council for Higher Education (in this Act otherwise referred to as the “Council”) which shall be—
(a) a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal;
(b) capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name;
(c) capable of holding, purchasing or otherwise acquiring and disposing of any property, movable or immovable, for the purposes, or in the course, of carrying out its functions; and
(d) capable of doing and performing all such acts and things as bodies corporate may, by law, do and perform.
(1) The Council shall consist of—
(a) six persons appointed by the Minister on account of high professional standing, special knowledge, skills and expertise in matters of higher education:
Provided that such persons shall not be employees in the public service and two of whom shall be persons from the business community;
(b) the following ex officio members—
(i) the Secretary for Education or his designated representative;
(ii) the Secretary to the Treasury or his designated representative;
(iii) the Comptroller of Statutory Corporations or his designated representative;
(iv) the Secretary for Human Resource Management and Development or his designated representative;
(v) two Vice-Chancellors to represent public universities; and
(vi) one Vice-Chancellor to represent private universities.
(2) An ex officio member of the Council or any person employed in the public service shall not be eligible to be elected Chairperson of the Council but shall have a right to vote on any matter at a meeting of the Council.
(3) Members of the Council shall not, by virtue of their appointment to the Council, be deemed to be officers in the public service.
(4) The Minister shall publish in the Gazzette names of all members of the Council as first constituted, and every change in the membership of the Council.
(1) A member of the Council, other than an ex officio member, shall hold office for a period of three years from the date of appointment and shall be eligible for re-appointment at the expiry of that period:
Provided that non-ex officio members shall not be appointed for more than two consecutive terms of office.
(2) On the expiry of the period for which an appointed member of the Council has been appointed, he shall continue to hold office until he has been re-appointed or a successor has been appointed:
Provided that a member shall not continue to hold office in terms of this subsection for more than six months.
(3) When making any appointment after the expiry of the three years, the Minister shall have regard to the need to maintain a reasonable degree of continuity on the membership of the Council, so that at least half of the appointed members shall be re-appointed for the next term of office.
(1) The office of a member, other than an ex officio Member, shall become vacant—
(a) upon his death;
(b) if he has been absent from three consecutive meetings of the Council, of which he has had notice, without a reasonable cause;
(c) if he has been convicted of an offence without the option of a fine and sentenced to imprisonment for a period exceeding six months;
(d) if he becomes mentally or physically incapable of efficiently performing his duties as a member of the Council; and
(e) if he is adjudged bankrupt.
(2) A member may at any time resign his office by giving one month written notice to the Minister.
(1) A vacancy on the membership of the Council shall be filled by the appointment of a new member in accordance with the relevant provisions of section 4 under which the former member was appointed.
(2) A person appointed to fill the vacancy shall serve for the remainder of the term of office but no person shall be so appointed where the remainder of the term of office is a period of less than six months.
The Council may, at any time and for any period, invite any person and the Minister may, in like manner nominate any officer in the public service, to attend any meeting of the Council and take part in the deliberations of the Council, but such person or officer shall not be entitled to vote at any meeting.
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