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“When the University of Zambia Act of 1965 was repealed in 1992, when we were opening higher education (provision) to the rest of the country and to many players, we should have put a higher education authority at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to start dealing with these challenges as it implements its Strategic Plan so that some of the Acts that exist can be repealed.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.