Preprint Concept Paper Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

An Evaluation of the National Higher Education Policy of Zambia

Version 1 : Received: 31 December 2022 / Approved: 4 January 2023 / Online: 4 January 2023 (02:46:40 CET)

How to cite: Bwalya, T. An Evaluation of the National Higher Education Policy of Zambia. Preprints 2023, 2023010047. Bwalya, T. An Evaluation of the National Higher Education Policy of Zambia. Preprints 2023, 2023010047.


Policies are adopted and implemented to achieve specific goals. In this regard, the Government of Zambia in 2019 adopted the higher education policy with many objectives which include, the expansion of access to higher education; reduction of gender and other forms of inequity in accessing higher education; the improvement of quality of higher education by increasing funding to higher education institutions, construction, and repair of infrastructure in higher and improvement in the provision of learning materials in higher education institutions (HEIs).This paper, therefore, sought to evaluate the higher education policy of 2019. The four criteria were used namely; effectiveness, equity, policy sustainability, and consistency. Other principles such as political and social acceptability of a policy were not used because the policy is already adopted and being implemented. Further, the principle of efficiency was not used because it would have been problematic to gauge the expenditure against the outcomes.The findings have revealed that the policy to some extent has been effective; some of the objectives such as increased access to higher education and reduction of inequality have been partially achieved. It has been established that the number of students pursuing higher education has been increased to 114,049 in 2020 from 91,969 in 2017. Further, in 2021, 48.5% of scholarships in public universities were awarded to female students while 51.5% were awarded to female students. Further, more students are encouraged to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); and more women are pursuing studies in STEM-related fields. However, the policy has not helped to achieve the quality of higher education as funding in public HEIs has not improved. Further, infrastructure remains very poor and inadequate; and access to update and relevant learning materials also remains a challenge in HEIs. However, the policy seems to be duplicated by the recent re-launched Technical Education Vocation Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) national policy.Given the above findings, it has been recommended that the government among other things improve funding and build infrastructure in public HEIs. There is also a need to harmonise the TEVET national policy with the higher education policy.


Zambia’s Higher Education Policy; Policies in Higher Education; Education and Policies in Zambia


Social Sciences, Education

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