Higher education minister Professor Nkandu Luo announced that the public universities management office of the deputy vice chancellor will be reformed to ensure changes to the higher education act are implemented.
Professor Luo stated that the office of the deputy vice chancellor will now be divided into three, with specific responsibilities divided into Academics, Research & innovation and the third responsible for consultancy.
The minister stated that most graduates from universities fail to critically analyze problems and offer credible and practical solutions to the challenges the country is facing. She said examinations will be reformed such 60% will be based on critical thinking, problem solving and practical with only 40% being theory.
Prof Luo stated that the deputy vice chancellor for technology, research and innovation will ensure that lectures and their students engage in research to generate knowledge and information that can be used to solve the country’s current and emerging challenges.
The deputy vice chancellor for academics will ensure that some changes in the curriculum are effected such as removing the mentality of graduates seeking for employment but rather look at themselves as employment creators and innovators.
The third deputy vice chancellor will be responsible for consultancy, which is the business side of the university to help generate alternative sources of revenue. Our universities have capability to undertake serious consultancy works that can generate tangible revenues for the universities.
Prof Luo was speaking at the Copperbelt University when she met the Dean of students at the meeting in Kitwe. She stated that instead of lecturers just criticizing, there is need for them to engage in research that would lead to their offering practical solutions of the very challenges they want to criticize on.
The minister also stated that government is looking at producing university graduates that are critical thinkers, capable of deeper analysis and having a mindset of problem solving.
Zambian University graduates have been accused of having an employee mentality as opposed to a mindset of graduating to create businesses and networks that would generate more job opportunities. Some few graduates have however proved otherwise setting up revenue generating ventures innovatively but the majority remains with an employment seeking mentality.