Welcoming Prof Anne Lungowe Sikwibele to UNZA
By Dr. Brian Mushimba
Elections indeed have consequences! These consequences are manifesting themselves through a raft of new appointments into positions.
And this is generally good for democracy and progress especially when the change is well managed. A new broom, many times, sweeps the best.
As we welcome Prof Anne Lungowe Sikwibele at UNZA, we encourage her to focus on the reforms to steer UNZA to higher heights:
1. Curriculum Reviews – in this changing world, the curriculum must constantly be reviewed, upgraded and updated. Technology and innovation is coming at us fast and certain new concepts must be incorporated constantly into the teaching materials to produce relevant skills for the industries of today and tomorrow.
2. Streamline & control costs – for sustainability, UNZA must live within its means or govt must declare it a “service to the people” and remove any expectations on it to raise resources to meet some of its costs.
3. Enroll every qualified applicant – expand virtual teaching infrastructure to accommodate all qualified applications. The biggest opportunity is the ICT/online/Virtual environment. Keep ploughing resources into this and build up and make these platforms robust. Require minimal residency requirements for some courses that you can teach virtually. You can literally double or triple your enrollment numbers via this strategy without building any new lecture halls or residence halls for students.
4. Re-look at your fees/tuition – to compensate for dwindling enrollment numbers, UNZA doubled tuition in 2017. This strategy I frowned upon when I became their minister. It’s not sustainable and was making UNZA only accessible to the rich. Quality Education must be accessible by ALL and not only the rich. So please lower tuition and attract all students that want to get a good education from the oldest public university in the land. Run programs to increase enrollment while your fees remain reasonable 🙏🏾.
These were some of the things we worked on. Some of them, we implemented or we were close to implementing. We turned over all notes to the new team.
I wish you well as you settle down in the new role at UNZA.
Congratulations Prof. 🤝🏽