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Influence of Gender, Age and Ethnic Diversity on the Autonomy of Faith-Based University Councils in Malawi

Dennis Matekenya


This study sought to establish the influence of gender, age and ethnic diversity on the autonomy of faith-based university councils in Malawi using a Correlational Research Design with a sample of 200 respondents from whom 175 turned up. Data was collected through a validated questionnaire to which respondents had to indicate their agreement or disagreement with particular statements. Data analysis was done by using the IBM’s SPSS software. The study affirmed the existing literature that age mix should be considered when constituting a governing body of a higher education institution for its proper functioning. The study further confirmed the role of gender in the appointment of the governing body of a college or a university as it has been found that gender mix brings different perspectives that enrich the deliberations in a University Council. Ethnic diversity is an important factor to be considered when constituting a University Council as the diversity provides unique opportunities for resource mobilization, enlisting international flavor and mitigating negative perceptions that comes from having members from one ethnic grouping. It is therefore recommended that those constituting University Councils should consider demographic diversity as part of the criteria of coming up with University Council members. Particularly, considerations about gender diversity, age diversity and ethnic diversity are vital in ensuring that the governing councils are effective in their functions.

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eISSN: 2714-2132
print ISSN: 2714-2183