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Books and journals sought for African university

Wednesday 2 December 2015 11:16am

Tourism PhD graduand Felix Bello with some of the books and journals already donated by Otago staff and students for Mzuzu University in Malawi.

A PhD student who will graduate from Otago this month is collecting books and journals to be donated to his university back home in Malawi, Africa.

Felix Bello, a lecturer at Malawi’s Mzuzu University, has just completed his PhD through Otago’s Department of Tourism looking at protected area tourism.

He says Mzuzu University is a public university, and as is the case with most small universities in sub Saharan Africa, it is under-resourced in terms of teaching and learning materials.

"It is not uncommon to have a course with 50 to 100 students with only one copy of a recommended textbook available in the university library."

“Both lecturers and students find it difficult to teach and learn respectively as they have very limited access to journals or recommended academic texts,” Mr Bello says. “It is not uncommon to have a course with 50 to 100 students with only one copy of a recommended textbook available in the university library.”

Mr Bello was initially hoping to take just Tourism books and journals home with him using his excess baggage allowance, but was encouraged by Tourism’s Head of Department, Associate Professor Neil Carr, to expand his request to include all departments.

“Mzuzu University has five faculties (Education, Health Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Information Science & Communication) offering several degrees programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels covering a diverse range of subjects. As of now, I haven’t yet received something which I could say it’s irrelevant. Resources permitting, all books and journals which have been donated will be shipped to Malawi.”

Mr Bello says he has been overwhelmed with the response so far. While the Department of Tourism will help support the shipping of the books and journals, he hopes others might also be able to assist.

“The donated books and journals will make a very huge difference to Mzuzu University academics and students.”

Do you have any unused books or journals you could donate?

Contact Felix Bello, Ph: 021 0257 6404, Email: Books/journals can also be dropped off at the Department of Tourism reception, 4th Floor, Commerce Building. The final date to supply items is 8 Dec 2015. Help with shipping the items would also be gratefully accepted.