| Associate Prof Nancy Chitera The Vice Principal | University of Malawi, The Malawi Polytechnic

Associate Prof Nancy Chitera - The Vice Principal

Served From January, 2013
Qualifications BEd, MSc, PhD

A trained mathematics educationalist, Nancy Chitera has been the vice principal of the University of Malawi—The Polytechnic since 2013, and an associate professor in the Faculty of Applied Sciences since July 2012, where she conducts research and teaches mathematics, statistics, and research courses to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, including supervision of master’s students. (She has also been an external examiner at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa since 2011.) 

In her capacity as vice principal, Chitera has to coordinate with and advise the principal on all academic matters, broadly defined. More specifically, she is tasked with optimizing the use of human and financial resources, ensuring adherence to academic quality standards, promoting strategies and procedures for quality assurance, coordinating the design and review of curricula, coordinating the preparation and implementation of the strategic plan for the college, and developing and testing risk and crisis management plans within the college. In this vein, she heads the following committees:  CTS and Students Disciplinary Committee, Finance and Management Committee, College Strategic Plan Implementation Committee, College Quality Assurance Committee, and Internal Procurement Committee. 

Chitera’s ascension to the position of vice principal was one of her proudest achievements, and it is the culmination of her having held a number of increasingly responsible positions within the Faculty of Applied Sciences, within the Department of Mathematics, at the college-wide level, and at the university-wide level. Immediately prior to her becoming vice principal, Chitera was dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences. Also at the faculty-wide level, she was coordinator of the mathematics and statistics curriculum review process. She has also been deputy head of the Department of Mathematics and coordinator of teaching practice, also at the departmental level. 

At the college-wide level, she spearheaded the implementation of technical, entrepreneurial and vocational education training (TEVET) programs, which were implemented in collaboration with partners from the University of Regina, Canada.  Her role involved advising various stakeholders, and monitoring and evaluating the progress of the project. In this capacity, she was also a liaison, working with various offices at the Polytechnic and the respective authorities at Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST), Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TEVETA), Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) Malawi Chapter, and the Malawi Chamber of Commerce and Industyr (MCCCI). She also served as coordinator of the Policy Research Unit and chairperson of the Strategic Implementation Committee; both positions were at the college-wide level. At the university-wide level, Chitera was chairperson of the Deans Committee and the University of Malawi Representative to the Mzuzu University Council. (Mzuzu University is a public university in the northern region of Malawi.)

As a researcher, Chitera is proud of the impact of her research, which has been published in various peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. Much of her research focuses on the use of language in mathematics education, particularly the impact of multilingualism in the classroom. In this vein, she volunteers her expertise at Chadzunda and Manyowe primary schools, looking at improving the teaching and learning of mathematics. She was an editor, in 2006, for the Association of Mathematics Education in South Africa (AMESA), and is currently a reviewer for various conferences and journals, including the Pythagoras Journal, the African Journal Research of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (ARJMSTE) and the Malawi Journal of Applied Sciences (MJASI). She has also organized a number of conferences, including international ones. 

A 1999 bachelor of education (science) graduate of the University of Malawi—Chancellor College, Chitera has a master’s degree in mathematical sciences from the same college. In 2009, she graduated from the University of Witwatersrand with a doctor of philosophy degree in mathematics education. She has also participated in various mid-career professional development trainings and workshops, including, most notably, a one-year course on higher education management offered by the University of Applied Sciences, Osnabruck – Germany (DAAD), and a short course on project management and sustainability offered by the University of Regina—Canada. 

Married to a banker for a husband, with whom she has a high-school son, Nancy is a Pentecostal Christian. Not surprisingly, you will often find her listening to Christian music or reading Christian literature. She also enjoys the occasional jog, but does not fancy having pets.