The University of Livigstonia (Unilia) was established by the Synod of Livingstonia as the first private university in the country in order to fulfil Robert Laws’ dream of establishing a University for natives of east, central and southern Africa. Thus, it opened its doors to the first group of undergraduates at Khondowe or Mumbwe on 23rd August, 2003. At that time there was a serious shortage of secondary school teachers. Consequently, the immediate task of the Synod was to complement the Malawi Government efforts in training secondary school teacher.
The College of Education at Khondowe, which later changed the name to Laws Campus, was not only the main Campus, but also the only College of University of Livingstonia. However, soon already existing colleges – Livingstonia Technical College, and College of Commerce, Health Sciences and Theology (all based at Ekwendeni Campus) – were taken on board through some kind of loose agreements. Now, the emphasis is on the two Campuses: accomodating the College of Theology and Laws Campus. Lusangazi near Mzuzu, is also coming up.
Futhermore, right from its inception, the Commission planning for the establishment by Unilia felt it important that the University must have satellite campuses as on the old missionary historical sites such as Njuyu, Bandawe and Karonga.