Funding Higher Education in Zambia

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

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:

Kenya:   Solar Boreholes, Irrigated Crops Throw Lifeline to Herders (news)
Thomson Reuters Foundation
22 March 2017

Many Kenyan livestock keepers are losing their animals to drought - but some are staying afloat by using solar-powered pumps and growing vegetables At the only borehole with water for miles around, ... [read more]

Kenya:   Govt Planning Law to Guide Counties On Revenue Collection (news)
The Nation
23 March 2017

The government is developing a national legislation to guide counties on revenue collection. This follows complaints that some devolved units had come up with prohibitive taxes that have scared away ... [read more]

Kenya:   Kenyans Are Still Oppressed By Archaic Colonial Laws (analysis)
The Conversation
15 March 2017

It's been 54 years since Kenya got her independence and yet there are still a number of archaic, colonial and discriminatory laws on the statute books. From archival research I have done it's clear ... [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!