Home!!! Do not use !!!UNZA Degree still competitive and powerful, Education Expert says

UNZA Degree still competitive and powerful, Education Expert says

Higher education quality assurance Expert Orleans Mfune has described the article circulating on media purporting that University of Zambia (UNZA) degree is inferior according United Kingdom(UK) standard as an issue based on comparability of the education system and not on the quality of the degree.

The article in question by Field Ruwe seek to address the position of UK- National Academic Recognition Information Center (NARIC) on UNZA’s 4-year Bachelor’s degree qualification.

UK-NARIC is charged with the responsibility of evaluating qualifications from outside UK and comparing them in line with the UK education system.

The article also raises an issue of how the UK home office is shunning UNZA graduates for the High Potential Individuals (HPI) visa due to ‘perceived’ inferiority’.

Dr Mfune a Lecturer at UNZA says the perception on the degree been inferior is due to lack of an ‘A level’ certificate as university entry qualification to pursue Zambia’s four-year bachelors degree compared to the United Kingdom (UK) system.

“For you to pursue a degree in Zambia you need O levels whilst in UK system you need A levels,” he said.”In UK system you stop at Grade 11,then the 12th grade is for A levels and for us the A levels are done in first year at University.”

Dr Mfune said the difference is a technical hitch which shouldn’t cause agitation but deliberate efforts by the public to understand the education system in Zambia and beyond.

“Thus the issue is about comparability of qualifications not judgement on the quality of graduates of the University of Zambia,” Dr Mfune said.

He said every country has a a body that evaluates academic qualifications from outside and such a role in the country is undertaken by the Zambia qualifications authority (ZAQA).

He reiterated that the position of UK-NARIC on Zambia’s four year degree is a matter of differences in the structure of two education systems thus a mismatch in the qualifications frameworks.

He said there is no need to panic or indeed malign the education system as significant steps have already been taken by government to align the country’s education system not only to UK but also to global trends.

“From a technical point of view this shouldn’t be an issue because Govenrment has already responded through the revised curriculum,”he said.”This is an outdated talk because the technical and policy work has already been done.”

“Explicit in the new framework is the introduction of an A level certificate as the entry requirement to University level education while the O level certificate will be for college entry

“Thus at policy level,the technical hitch is already being fixed and this harmonises our Higher Education system with both the UK and South Africa,” Dr Mfune said.

Dr Mfune further said to ensure that qualifications remain competitive and recognized across the African continent, Zambia has also ratified the revised Addis-convention on the recognition of studies, Certificates and other academic qualifications.

And UNZA Acting Head communications and marketing department Damaseke Chibale said the (HPI) visa issue is a non-issue as the list of eligible Universities in 2023/2024 does not include any University from Africa.

“It is clear the writer of the article conveniently ignored or unaware of how performance of academic institutions are measured.

“That is why in 2024,the reputable UK based Times Higher Education (THE) World University rankings has ranked the University of Zambia no 14 out of the best 25 universities in sub Sahara,” he said.

Mr Chibale urged the student populace and public to dismiss the contents of the article in question with the contempt it deserves.

This article was Co-authored by Dorcus Phiri

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