CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0049.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Zambia; Higher Education and Quality Assurance; Zambia’s Higher Education
Online: 4 January 2023 (02:58:38 CET)
This paper discussed the concept of quality assurance (QA) in higher education and its implications to higher education institutions (HEIs) and the possible challenges. The study evaluated literature concerning QA in Zambia and elsewhere. The findings of the study show that QA is implemented through external and internal mechanisms such as accreditation, registration, institutional auditing, and the use of external examiners, self-evaluation, and peer reviews. The QA implications to HEIs in Zambia are that there is a need for accreditation of academic programmes with the Higher Education Authority (HEA) by HEIs. Further, HEIs should establish QA units to spearhead quality issues, reactive, and introduce the use of external examiners to ensure quality. The challenges identified in the implementation of QA in HEIs include inadequate funding, infrastructure, shortage of qualified academic staff, and lack of standalone QA units in some HEIs. In this regard, it has been recommended among other things, government improve funding in public HEIs, construct infrastructure, HEIs establish QA units, and recruit and retain qualified academic staff to ensure the quality of education.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0047.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: Zambia’s Higher Education Policy; Policies in Higher Education; Education and Policies in Zambia
Online: 4 January 2023 (02:46:40 CET)
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.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0237.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: Higher Education Act; Higher Education; Zambia; Universities
Online: 13 January 2023 (06:33:31 CET)
The higher education act of 2013 with its amendment act of 2021 was enacted to guide and regulate the provision of higher education in Zambia. This conceptual paper sought to assess the impact of this act in the higher education sector. It was qualitative in design and data was collected using content analysis. In this regard, literature regarding the Zambia higher education act and higher education provisions were scrutinised. The findings show that the higher education act has resulted in the creation of the higher education authority (HEA) which has brought sanity to the higher education sector by compelling all higher education institutions to be registering themselves and programmes with HEA. Further, the HEA has developed a policy for the promotion of academic staff in the higher education sector. However, the higher education act (the amended act of 2021) has negatively impacted the higher education sector. The amended act outlawed the spirit of accountability in the running of universities by removing stakeholders such as unions from sitting on the university council. Further, the act has reduced the number of councillors to sit on the council to run public universities from 16 to 8, thereby limiting the diversity of membership to the council. Furthermore, the higher education act has opened higher education institutions' affiliations to even private universities with little or no capacity, thereby further compromising the quality of higher. The Act has also increased the cost of running universities by introducing additional administrative structures in universities. Based on the above findings, the paper recommends that the Act be amended to remove the retrogressive clauses highlighted in this paper.