UNIVERSITY of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers Union (UNZALARU) and students have welcomed Government’s decision to split the institution into five university colleges.
UNZALARU president Evans Lampi said in an interview yesterday that Government’s decision to restructure the institution of higher learning into five colleges will help liquidate the institution’s debt.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Kampamba Mulenga disclosed on Wednesday that the decision to split the university was reached at by the 13th Cabinet meeting held on Monday.
“Government has committed itself to clearing the debt the university has had for a long time. UNZA owes a lot of money in pensions and other goods and services which Government wants to liquidate through this Cabinet decision,” Dr Lampi said.
He said as a condition to liquidate this debt, Government has proposed to break the universities into colleges that will be easy to run and manage.
“The idea appears logical because the schools will fall under small units to be called colleges,” Dr Lampi said.
He, however, said there is need for the university council to assimilate the logic behind breaking the university into colleges, and how they are going to operate.
“The university has a council that runs the affairs of the institution, and that university colleges will also have boards which may still put financial strain on the university,” Dr Lampi said.
He commended Government for its commitment to finding a solution of liquidating the university’s debt.
Meanwhile, some students said in separate interviews that the decision to break UNZA into five colleges is good as it will bring about efficiency.
Melody Mwale, of the School of Education, contends that this is a good way in which to improve efficiency in management of the institution.
“The School of Medicine is better organised, efficient and effective because it stands independent of the main Great East Road campus,” she said.
Another student who did not want to be named said this is a good idea as it is a reflection of trends in universities in Europe and the United States.
Meanwhile, the UNZA management has said it will issue a comprehensive statement on the matter on Monday next week.