The State of Higher Education in Zambia – 2023

ThemeQuality Assurance in Higher Education

Quality assurance in higher education is the process of systematic and continuous review and improvement of the quality and relevance of programmes and other services provided by an institution. It covers many areas, such as programme development and evaluation, curriculum review, learner assessment, continuous professional development, evaluation of teaching and learning and evaluation of delivery methods.  

The quality of education, in general, and higher education in particular, is internationally recognised as a strong predictor of economic growth rates. Quality assurance is therefore a critical component of higher education provision that improves the quality of teaching and learning. It increases student satisfaction and enhances learning outcomes by enabling learners to acquire essential new knowledge and skills they need for their careers and professional development. Quality review and improvement ensures that learning programmes and related services offered by an institution meet the standards and needs of various stakeholders, such as employers and professional bodies. It is also important for promoting excellence and innovation in higher education and enhances institutional credibility and reputation. Further, it enables institutions to meet internationally acceptable standards.

Quality assurance is important for addressing challenges that may arise from the rapid evolution of higher education, which is characterised by internationalisation, massification, increase in the number of institutions and the adoption of new approaches to teaching and learning. The importance of quality assurance in higher education is further underscored by the global commitments to the portability of qualifications, transfer of credits and mobility of students. It is therefore important that higher education institutions adopt rigorous quality assurance processes that respond positively to these commitments.

Governments, worldwide, have committed themselves to promoting quality assurance in higher education in different ways, including the provision of relevant legal and institutional frameworks. In Zambia two legal frameworks guide and support the provision of quality higher education.  These legal frameworks are the Higher Education Act, which provides for, among others, quality assurance and quality promotion in higher education and the Zambia Qualification Authority Act, which provides measures aimed at ensuring that standards and registered qualifications are internationally comparable. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA) were established to operationalise these legislations.

Both the HEA and ZAQA have developed regulations, systems and guidelines to encourage, guide and support quality review and improvement in higher education institutions. However, there are some challenges that tend to negatively affect the quality of higher education in both public and private institutions, namely underfunding, rapid increase in enrolments, which result in unfavourable lecturer – student ratio, inadequate physical and technological infrastructure, and shortage of qualified staff.

These challenges can be addressed by, among other strategies, ensuring that key stakeholders, especially students, staff, employers and policy makers participate in quality assurance activities, directly and/or indirectly. It is therefore important to share essential information for them to get a better understanding of the importance and benefits of quality assurance in order for them to participate actively in promoting quality review and improvement in higher education institutions.

In this regard, the 2023 State of Higher Education in Zambia Report will focus on the theme: Quality Assurance in Higher Education. The topics for the Report will be as follows:

  1. Trends in quality assurance in higher education
  2. Quality assurance and quality promotion in higher education
  3. Continuous quality review and improvement in higher education
  4. Relationship between Internal Quality Assurance and External Quality Assurance systems
  5. Various models and conceptual frameworks of quality assurance
  6. Policy and strategic documents, quality assurance systems and networks
  7. Research and Innovation in quality assurance in higher education
  8. Quality assurance mechanisms in relation to:
    • Financing of higher education
    • State of physical and technological facilities
    • Use of Technological applications
    • Learning management systems
  9. Innovative approaches to programme delivery for quality assurance
  10. Support mechanisms for quality assurance in higher education
  11. Collaborations and partnerships for quality assurance
  12. Quality assurance and demand-responsiveness in higher education
  13. Case studies in quality assurance in higher education

In order to address these issues, the Higher Education Authority invites submission of research, theoretical and policy papers in the area of quality assurance in higher education.  The papers should provide critical reflection and informed debates on various aspects of quality assurance in higher education. In particular, the papers should provide insight into trends and dimensions of quality assurance in higher education including experiences of diverse actors/stakeholders in varying institutional settings, as well as appropriate case studies.

Submission Instructions

Prospective authors are invited to submit abstracts of not more than 300 words by 31st May, 2024. The abstract should include the aim of the paper, issues being addressed, the methodology and approach. The abstracts will be subjected to peer reviews. The selected abstracts will proceed to final paper submission.

Full Paper

The papers should not exceed 2,000 words and should be in font size 12, Times New Roman. Figures and Tables should be inside the text. The Harvard style of referencing should be used.

All papers should be submitted electronically to and For inquiries contact +260977459475


Abstracts should be submitted to the Higher Education Authority 31st May, 2024.

About the State of the Higher Education Report

The State of the Higher Education Report is an annual publication of the Higher Education Authority, which is aimed at publishing information on the status of higher education in Zambia and stimulating debate on emerging issues in the sector. The report is published in accordance with the Higher Education Act No. 4 of 2013.

The report is published in the form of an edited volume with an ISSN. Papers accepted for publication will be published as chapters in the volume. The 2023 Report, under the theme “Quality Assurance in Higher Education” will be the fourth publication in the series

Papers that will not be published in the State of Higher Education Report may be considered for publication in another publication on the same subject.