Students of the University of Malawi have been sent home after a decision to close it because of student protests.
The students are protesting against an academic calendar that keeps them at home for five to six months between semesters - which they say will result in a four-year course being concluded in up to seven years.
Several meetings between student representatives and university authorities have been held without an agreement being reached.
Last Thursday, a student general assembly resolved to suspend classes and on the following day, students started rioting, blocking all roads leading to the university with stones and tree branches.
In a statement on Wednesday, the university's acting registrar, Mary Wasiri, said the school had been closed until further notice, saying the protests had rendered the campus unsafe for both staff and students.
The academic calendar that's being contested was adopted in April in order to accommodate two first-year groups, one from last year and another from this year.
Last year's group spent almost a year and a half at home following the closure of all academic institutions due to Covid-19.
The university resolved to stagger the teaching of the two first-year groups so that both would alternate their time on campus, Ms Wasiri said.
This is because the university did not have enough teaching space and staff to accommodate them at the same time.
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