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The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has stated that the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Zambia should begin while students are very young in order to improve its equity, quality and relevance.

These remarks were made on Friday, 24th January, 2020, by HEA Director – Quality Assurance, Dr. Vitalicy Chifwepa, when he made a presentation before the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Science and Technology.

In his presentation which was responding to the Committee’s request of the Authority to speak to the teaching of STEM in Zambian schools, Dr. Chifwepa further outlined that there was a need to begin approaching STEM as a culture, not as content, in order to inculcate its importance in, not only, the pupils and teachers, but in the parents of the pupils and society at large.

Dr. Chifwepa further stated the need to incentivise STEM lecturers and teachers to retain them in colleges and schools.

“Therefore, there is need to conduct capacity building of teachers and lecturers in the new STEM pedagogical approaches in order to ensure quality provision of education,” he said. “This means that there is the need to develop mobile laboratories and STEM pedagogical approaches to ensure effective teaching and learning.”

The presentation by HEA further highlighted the major challenges in the promotion of STEM. These were stated to be the availability of resources in teacher training institutions and in schools, and the retention of STEM trainers in teacher training institutions and teachers in schools.

Figure 2 Dr. Chifwepa delivers the presentation on behalf of HEA before the Committee.

In analysing the adequacy and effectiveness of the policy and legal framework of teaching STEM in Zambia, Dr. Chifwepa noted that the three (3) policy measures under quality and relevance, access and participation, and equity and inclusiveness of the National Higher Education Policy had a bearing on STEM.

“These policy measures promote the learning of STEM and Enhance gender balance particularly in STEM programmes,” Dr. Chifwepa said.

Figure 3 Honourable Prof. Geoffrey Lungwangwa Lungwangwa, MP., makes a comment after HEA’s presentation.

In thanking the Director for the presentation, the Committee Chairperson, Honourable Mr. George Kingsley Mwamba, MP., noted the importance of HEA’s presentation as the Authority was a major player in higher education and the Committee needed its input to make an informed decision.

The role of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology is to carry out detailed scrutiny of certain activities being undertaken by the Ministries of Higher and General Education and make, if considered necessary, recommendations to the Government on the need to review certain policies and/or certain existing legislation.

To this end, as part of its programme of work for the Fourth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, the Committee considered the teaching of STEM in Zambian schools as a topical issue and requested HEA’s submission in addressing the adequacy and effectiveness of the policy and legal framework governing STEM, the challenges of teaching STEM and the way forward in addressing these challenges.

Figure 4 The HEA Delegation poses for a picture outside the National Assembly.

(L-R) Mr. Denny Nsokolo, Senior Standards and Research Officer; Mrs. Elizabeth N. Hamvumba, Manager - Programme Accreditation; Mr. Ronald Chulu, Manager – Finance; Mr. Martin Mushumba, Senior Programme Accreditation Officer; Dr. Vitalicy Chifwepa, Director – Quality Assurance; Mr. Suzyo Soko, Senior Inspector – Institutional Audits; Dr. Orleans Mfune, Manager – Standards, Research & Institutional Audits; and, Mr. Birbal Boniface Musoba, Corporate Communications Officer.

 

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The Zambia Air Force (ZAF) yesterday held a consultation meeting with the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on the operationalisation of a Centre of Advanced Learning for the Air Force.

 Speaking during the meeting, the head of the ZAF delegation, Colonel Terry Moono, who is also the Commandant of the Centre, stated that the Air Force intended the Centre to help upgrade its personnel’s academic competencies.

 “We intend to focus, amongst others, aeronautical engineering, civil engineering, agriculture, medicine, and business, management and finance,” Col. Moono added.

 The Commandant added that through the Centre of Advanced Learning, ZAF would be able to meet, interact, share and build on ideas with academia and nondefense forces personnel.

Figure 2 The Commandant explains the proposed structure of the Centre to the Director General.

HEA Director General, Prof. Stephen Simukanga, praised the move by ZAF in establishing the Centre of Advanced Learning and encouraged them to engage with the Authority so as to ensure that all the stages in its establishment are followed.

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The Management of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on Wednesday, 4th December, 2019, met the Founding President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, at his home in State Lodge as part of data collection for the inaugural State of Higher Education report.

HEA is mandated by the Higher Education Act No. 4 of 2013 Part II Section 6 (2) (b) (ii) to cause to be published an annual report on the state of higher education in Zambia. As such, the Authority is currently compiling the inaugural report, which will only represent a full picture of the state of higher education in Zambia through a retrospective examination of how far higher education has come. Thus, this makes the input of the Founding President of paramount importance.

At the moment of independence, Zambia only had 100 Zambia graduates and, as such, there was need to train the Zambian population to be able to take up the workforce. Thus, the Founding President governed a nation with few university graduates, posing challenges which will be highlighted in the State of Higher Education report.

In receiving the delegation, the Founding President quipped that at 95 years old, he wondered if the HEA delegation could still learn anything from him.

The Founding President praised HEA’s Director General, Professor Stephen Simukanga, for his commitment to higher education and laid a challenge on HEA’s Management, Staff and Interns to learn from the Director General and then pass the knowledge to the next generation as the Founding President had also endeavoured to do.

Figure 2 The Founding President receives the Director General and imparts a blessing on him.

Leading the delegation, Professor Simukanga stated that the vision that the Founding President had when he envisioned higher education in Zambia had grown with a multitude of smaller Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) around complimenting the larger public HEIs, thus, affording greater opportunities for access to higher education by Zambians.

“Your Excellency, we have seven (7) public universities and 55 private universities, with the big ones being the University of Zambia (UNZA) with the about 25,000 students, and the Copperbelt University having about the same, around 20,000 students,” Professor Simukanga said. “Mulungushi University, where there the Rock of Authority is, has now become a university with about 10,000 students.”

The Director General expressed happiness for being warmly received by the Founding President, fondly reminiscing that he had greatly benefited from the free education policy that the United National Independence Party (UNIP) instituted.

“Your Excellency, in my family we were nine (9) children, so we greatly benefited from free education as we went to primary and secondary schools for free, including university,” he said. “So, we are also trying to give back through the work that we do in higher education as you gave to us.” The inaugural report on the State of Higher Education in Zambia will be published in 2020.

 

Figure 3 The Director General and the Founding President have a conversation.

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HEA TO BEGIN CLASSIFICATION OF UNIVERSITIES

As part of the re-organisation of the higher education sector, the Higher Education Authority will next year begin classification of Universities into a 4-tier system. The tiers are based on a national classification system developed by the Authority and provided for by the Higher Education Act No.4 of 2013 and Statutory No. 25 of 2016.

The national classification system will lead to new and existing Universities being classified into tiers depending on their capabilities in teaching, research and public service.

The classification is coming against the backdrop of increased participation by various actors in the higher education sector over the past two decades. This increased participation is a direct result of the 1992 legal reforms in higher education that allowed non-state actors to participate in the provision of university education. Prior to this period, the country had only two Universities – the University of Zambia and Copperbelt University.

While the two public universities have made an immense contribution to Zambia’s national development through training of vital human resources, their capacity to absorb the thousands of secondary school graduates illegible for University education has always been severely limited.

Today, the higher education sector’s limitation to absorb secondary school graduates is being mitigated by the emergence of private and faith-based universities. Thus, from two Universities in 1992, the country now has over 50 Universities. A positive consequence of this development has been an increase in the diversity of learning programmes on the higher education market available to prospective students.

While the diversity that has come to characterise the higher education landscape is healthy and critical to increasing access to University education, the downside is that for over a decade, since the legal reforms of 1992, the higher education sector operated as a weakly regulated and coordinated sector without external quality controls until the establishment of the Higher Education Authority in 2013.

Within this weakly coordinated sector, Universities operated in an institutional vacuum, where any university could offer any level of education, sometimes without considerable attention to its capabilities. The negative consequences of this situation are quite evident and have manifested in various forms, including of public dissatisfaction with the quality of graduates and low research activity in universities.

The Higher Education Authority seeks a cure for these challenges in our higher education sector. Thus, besides implementing other quality assurance mechanisms such as programme accreditation and institutional audits, the Authority is rolling out the national university classification programme.


The national classification system categorises Universities into four tiers. Each tier is distinguished by the level of education that can be provided by institutions in that class based on their teaching, learning and research capabilities. In this way, the system creates roles for Universities classified at different tiers. For example, Tier 1 institutions are research-oriented institutions that will be given the role of offering higher research degrees such as doctorates.

The rationale for giving doctoral awarding powers to such institutions is that doctoral researchers can best be natured in an environment where there is an existing research culture, experienced senior scholars and the necessary infrastructure to support production of quality doctoral graduates. Thus, institutions in tier 1 will be allowed to offer degree programmes up to doctoral level based on the fact that they have demonstrated this essential attribute.

Similarly, institutions that demonstrate enough capacity to offer postgraduate education at Master’s degree level will be placed in tier 2. The other two classes, Tier 3 and Tier 4 will be restricted to taught programmes at Bachelor’s degree and postgraduate diploma levels respectively.

It is important to note here that the national classification system is not a ranking system. It does not seek to create a league table of high and low flying institutions such as that of the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Rather, it groups universities with similar capacity into similar classes and assigns them roles on the basis of their capacity.

At the core of the classification is the idea that Universities should only offer a level of education for which they have the necessary capacity. In this regard, Universities can be high performers within the tier in which they are classified. This is different from ranking institutions on the basis of performance.

Further, it is also important to note that the Authority is not touting the idea of a classification system as a panacea to the challenges that plague our higher education system. However, it is seen as one of the many necessary steps that must be taken to fix our higher education system.

The classification system has numerous benefits for actors in the education sector. For prospective learners and the public, it will provide information on the ability of a University to satisfy the minimum quality standards in the provision of higher education. The public will be assured that an institution has the ability to offer the level of education in the tier in which it is classified. For universities, the classification system allows them to enter or stay in the higher education sector within an appropriate tier that best represents their capacity while offering them an opportunity to invest in quality assurance systems to enable them move to the next tier or to maintain their stay in a tier.

 

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The Higher Education Authority would like to wish His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, a happy, joyous and prosperous 63rd Birthday.

Steve Jobs said of a leader, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Your Excellency, you have been a great champion and ally of higher education, with the continued, sustained and burgeoning support of higher education, you empower HEA, through the Ministry of Higher Education and its Honourable Minister, Dr. Brain Mushimba, to “Ensuring a Quality Higher Education” that will build a strong and vibrant Zambia.

Your Excellency, Happy Birthday. May your cup overflow with goodness, health and long life.

Send in your birthday messages for His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we shall publish it on our Facebook page.*

Continue wishing the Republican President a Happy Birthday @HEAZambia on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube using the hashtag #HappyBirthdayDrMushimba #HEAZambia #HigherEducationZambia, and visit our website for ALL the information on higher education in Zambia.

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Higher Education Authority (HEA) Director General, Professor Stephen Simukanga, has stated that safeguarding the provision of quality higher education in Zambia ensures the continued preservation of Zambia’s independence.

Speaking when he delivered his Independence Message for Zambia, Professor Simukanga stressed the transformative power of education in safeguarding the sacrifice that Zambians paid to gain independence from colonial occupation.

“As we celebrate our independence, we should be reminded of the sacrifice of the many women and men who ensured that we got our independence,” he said. “We must look to the future to build and leave a legacy that will ensure our children prosper.”

The Director General added that this legacy and future is only guaranteed through access to quality education.

“On this 55th Independence Anniversary, I am reminded of what the late Kofi Annan said, “Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rests the cornerstones of freedom, democracy, and sustainable human development.”” Professor Simukanga sated.

On Thursday, 24th October, 2019, Zambia will be celebration 55years of independence, having had become independent from British Colonial Rule in 1964.

The Higher Education Authority wishes Zambia a Happy 55th Independence Anniversary

 

The Higher Education Authority wishes Zambia a Happy 55th Independence Anniversary

 

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The Higher Education Authority (HEA) won big at the just ended 93rd Agricultural and Commercial Show by triumphing in the highly contested Best Regulatory Exhibit category.

HEA, which was operationalised in 2015, recorded its first exhibition triumph with its Third-Place finish in the Regulators category at this year’s show, which was held from 31st July – 5th August, 2019, in Lusaka under the theme, “Embracing Industrial Development.”

Speaking after being presented with a certificate and a specially made trophy by the Agricultural and Commercial Society of Zambia (ACSZ) President, Mrs. Carolyne M. Silwamba, HEA Director General, Professor Stephen Simukanga, lauded the achievement, noting the giant strides the Authority has made within a short period of time in ensuring that its mandate is articulated clearly to the public.

“HEA strives to go beyond merely being a regulator in the higher education sector, but we also want to be a player in the sector and, as such, this means clearly articulating our mandate through our public relations so that the general public is able to discourse with us about the state of higher education in Zambia,” Professor Simukanga said.

The Director General noted that this achievement was an achievement that HEA shared with the four (4) institutions it exhibited with at Jubilee Gardens.

“We did not exhibit alone this year but we came together with our colleagues that are as heavily invested in higher education as we are, thus, we could not have achieved this triumph without them putting their best feet forward in representing the pedigree of quality that is inherent in higher education,” Professor Simukanga stated.

HEA exhibited together with Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE), Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA), Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA), and Higher Education Loans & Scholarships Board (HELSB).

Being institutions invested in ensuring quality in the higher education sector, the aforementioned institutions exhibited as a collective by domesticating the Show’s Theme under their combined theme interpretation, “Supporting Industrial Development Through Vocational Training and Higher Education.”

Professor Simukanga thanked the ACSZ for presenting HEA with a trophy days after the official prize giving ceremony was held during the main event of the Show.

“I am very grateful to the Agricultural and Commercial Society of Zambia, its President, Mrs. Silwamba, and its General Manager, Mr. Mukamba, for presenting us with this trophy and according HEA the opportunity to continue the conversation on ensuring quality in higher education,” he said.

The Director General concluded that HEA will strive to achieve an even higher placing during next year’s Show’s competition.

 

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The Management and Staff of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) wish to congratulate the Director General, Professor Stephen Simukanga, for being designated as President of the Natural Sciences Commission of the 40th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO to be held in November, 2019.

Thus, during the General Conference, Professor Simukanga will preside over deliberations by the 192-member states Natural Sciences Commission on a wide range of issues in science that affect the world.

The Zambian Mission in France’s submission of Zambia’s candidature for the position of President, following the expression of interest by the Zambian Government, met no opposition and the Executive Board of UNESCO deliberated and designated Professor Simukanga as President of the Commission, a decision that will be presented to the General Conference for ratification. The last time Zambia chaired the Natural Sciences Commission was in 1973.

HEA is proud of yet another notch on Professor Simukanga’s stellar reputation and academic achievement, an addition that will undoubtedly add to the immense experience and expertise he brings to the stewardship of HEA in Ensuring Quality in Higher Education.

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The Minister of Higher Education, Honourable Professor Nkandu Luo, MP, challenged the Higher Education Authority (HEA) not to continue with a “business as usual” approach as it implements its 2018 – 2021 Strategic Plan.

Speaking during the Strategic Plan’s launch, the Minister said that as HEA implements the Strategic Plan it needs to deal with some of the challenges that are prevalent in the higher education sector.

“We cannot register anything as a university if it is not able to demonstrate the existence of a campus,” the Minister said.

Professor Luo explained that a university is not about houses for lecturers or student accommodation but that a university is about the faculty.

“Therefore, from now onwards, as we implement this Strategic Plan and as we put together regulations, anybody that wants to set up a university in Zambia, first and foremost, must demonstrate the existence of a faculty,” Professor Luo said.

Professor Luo noted that the challenges in higher education stem from higher education in Zambia having had started without a regulatory authority.

“When the University of Zambia Act of 1965 was repealed in 1992, when we were opening higher education (provision) to the rest of the country and to many players, we should have put a higher education authority at that time,” the Minister said.

Professor Nkandu Luo directed HEA to sit down with stakeholders to develop regulations together, even as the Authority increases its sensitisation to companies registering with Patent and Company Registration Agency (PACRA) in order to ensure that the registered companies are advised that registration with PACRA does not mean that they are a university, as a university must be registered with an appropriate institution, that is HEA.

The Minister of Higher Education further pointed out that another challenge that exists is that besides HEA, there are so many entities registering universities and colleges and regulating Learning Programmes being offered at these institutions.

“When the (Higher Education) Act was established in 2013, we did not repeal the other Acts that existed before the Act,” Professor Luo said.

The Minister of Higher Education directed HEA to start dealing with these challenges as it implements its Strategic Plan so that some of the Acts that exist can be repealed.

Professor Luo launched HEA’s 2018 – 2021 Strategic Plan on 29th March, 2019, at a ceremony at Mulungushi International Conference Centre.

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has with immediate effect reinstated the registration status of Africa Research University and Rockview University.

In a Public Announcement made available on Thursday, 7th March, 2019, HEA stated that it had restored the full registration of the two (2) named private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and, as such, the HEIs were allowed to, again, provide higher education in Zambia.

Further, HEA stated that the HEIs were registered to operate ONLY at the following listed addresses for each institution:

1. Africa Research University, whose registration number is HEA/001, has been registered to operate at Cresta Golfview Hotel, Stand No. 10247, Block 7, Lusaka.

The HEI has changed location from Suite 142, Carousel Centre, Corner of Lumumba Road, Lusaka.

2. Rockview University, whose registration number is HEA/036, has been registered to operate at Plot No. 23258, Off Lake Road, Ibex Hill, Lusaka.

The HEI has changed location from Provident House, Lusaka. Therefore, only the above listed Rockview University campus is registered in Zambia.

On 6th December, 2018, HEA revoked the registration status of six (6) HEIs, including the named 2, as the HEIs had abrogated the provisions of the Higher Education Act No. 4 of 2013 Part IV Section 18 (1), (2) and (3) (a), which state that HEIs that register with HEA at a particular site of operation but then change sites without registering those premises with the Authority are not recognised, at the new premises only, as institutions offering higher education in Zambia.

Therefore, the registration status of Damelin University and Kenneth Kaunda Metropolitan University remain revoked.

Download the Audio Clip here.

For more information of the reinstated HEIs and how you can apply to study there, please refer below:

1. Africa Research University

Mode of Study: Full Time and Open and Distance Learning
Vice Chancellor: Prof. Kobus Malan
Registrar: Mr. Adams Siapemo
Bursar – Mr. Frank Sakanya

Contact:
260 955 885672
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.aru-online.com
www.africaresearchuniversity.net

2. Rockview University

Mode of Study: Full Time and Open and Distance Learning
Vice Chancellor: Dr. Lupambo H. Chishala

Contact:
260 955 151 517, 260 967 976 961
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.rockviewuniversity.com

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This article was written on 28th February, 2019, by Birbal Boniface Musoba, Corporate Communications Officer.

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