HEA Classifies 42 out of 63 HEIs

Higher Education Authority (HEA) Director General, Prof. Stephen Simukanga, has stated that the Authority has classified 42 out of the 63 public and private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

The Director General said this when he gave an introduction of what HEA does to the Minister of Education, Honourable Mr. Douglas Munsaka Syakalima, MP., during a meeting organised by the newly formed Ministry of Education at which the Minister met the heads of departments, statutory bodies and institutions under his charge.

“Honourable Minister, the classification is intended to align Higher Education Institutions to the capacity they have to offer learning programmes,” Prof. Simukanga said, continuing, “for example, if the capacity of a Higher Education Institution is just to offer Bachelor’s (Degrees), we classify it as a (Zambia Qualifications Framework) ZQF7 institution, meaning that it cannot offer Masters (Degrees).”

Prof. Simukanga further informed the Minister that HEA will soon inform the public of the HEIs that can offer which qualifications so that the public are made aware in order to prevent PhDs flowing from HEIs that do not have the capacity to graduate PhDs.

Prof. Simukanga presenting to the Honourable of Minister Education during the meeting.

The classification system, which is provided for in Statutory Instrument No. 25 of 2016, allows HEA to group HEIs into classes based on their capabilities in research and innovation, teaching and learning. 

The goal of the classification system is to provide a basis for guiding learners and the public on the level of education that can be offered by an HEI based on its human resources, physical resources and research capacity and not to rank the HEIs. In this regard, this classification system should not be used as a ranking tool.

This classification system is also a quality assurance tool that instils confidence in the public on the ability of an HEI to offer any type of education falling within the classification in which the institution has been registered.

Prof. Simukanga

The meeting, which was held last week at the National Science Centre in Kabulonga, Lusaka, included the departments of University Education, Human Resources and Administration, Standards and Curriculum, Planning and Information, Open and Distance Education, School Health and Nutrition, Financial Management and Accounting, and Internal Audit.

Further, statutory bodies included the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA) and Higher Education Loans & Scholarships Board (HELSB), whilst institutions included the hosts, the National Science Centre.

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