Funding Higher Education in Zambia

From Zambian Economist Tue Jan 29 2013, 02:07:00

By Chola Mukanga

Without doubt the biggest challenge facing higher education is funding. In many countries it is accepted that higher education delivers benefits beyond the individual and therefore it is susceptible to under-provision if we relied on market forces alone. Until not too long ago for many African nations this meant government shouldering the full cost. Increasingly, we now have other countries following Kenya, Zimbabwe and other countries towards greater role for private funding. The latest comments from Robert Serpell (former UNZA Vice Chancellor) is further evidence that more needs to be done in Zambia to move this issue forward. He is calling on Government to abolish the current bursary system and replace it with a new student loan system :

"The wise thing for the Zambian Government to do is to set aside money upfront for underprivileged students, but also institute measures for recoveries of these funds, when the students graduate and enter the employment sector. Bursaries are not as effective as setting up loans that could be used as a revolving fund. This system has worked in other countries such as Kenya and even the United States..."

Serpell's proposal is for a system run by an independent statutory body, working with the commercial banks. Sadly all of this is not new. We have been here before. In 2004 the Mwanawasa administration proposed to introduce a "Student Loan Scheme" to operate as a revolving fund for students at universities. The new loan scheme was planned to be administered through Finance Bank Zambia Limited. In 2005/6, the Bursaries Committee undertook study tours abroad to learn the implementation of the new student loans scheme in Zambia. Following the study tours, the creation of the Zambia Higher Education Loans Board (ZAHELB) was proposed. The Board was to build on progress made so far in financing higher education in Zambia and perform the following functions:

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Africa:   Olikoye - a Short Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (document)
allAfrica.com
28 January 2015

How softly the rain fell that Monday morning when my water broke. Because I was used to the raging downpours of Lagos, this quiet patter calmed me, filled me with peace. My husband Omoregie was at ... [read more]

Nigeria:   Elections 'Too Close to Call' in Nigeria, Says Major Survey (news)
allAfrica.com
28 January 2015

Nigeria's upcoming elections are likely to be the most competitive in the country's history, with the parties running neck-and-neck and the outcome "too close to call", according to a major survey of ... [read more]

Mali/Guinea:   Lots to Decide After Mali, Guinea Draw (news)
allAfrica.com
28 January 2015

Mali and Guinea played to a third 1-1 draw in their African Nations Cup Group D in Mongomo on Wednesday and will have to endure the drawing of lots to decide which of them advances to the ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!