HIGHER EDUCATION ACT

Arrangement of Sections

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   Section

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Application

PART II
THE HIGHER EDUCATION AUTHORITY

   4.   Establishment of Authority

   5.   Seal of Authority

   6.   Functions of Authority

   7.   Board of Authority

   8.   Director-General, Secretary and other staff

   9.   Management of property

   10.   Inspectorate unit

PART III
HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM

   11.   Types of higher education institutions

   12.   Functions of higher education institution

   13.   Powers of Minister

PART IV
ESTABLISHMENT AND REGISTRATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

Division 1 - Establishment and Declaration of Public Higher Education Institutions

   14.   Establishment of public higher education institution

Division 2 - Registration of Private Higher Education Institutions

   15.   Prohibition of operation of unregistered private higher education institutions

   16.   Establishment and maintenance of private higher education institutions

   17.   Operational plan of private higher education institutions

   18.   Change in establishment or operational plan

   19.   Application for registration of private higher education institutions

   20.   Criteria for registration

   21.   Certificate of registration

   22.   Display of certificate of registration

   23.   De-registration of private higher education institutions

PART V
GOVERNANCE AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK FOR HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

Division 1 - The Council

   24.   Council of higher education institutions

   25.   Functions of Council

   26.   Management of property of public higher education institutions

   27.   Restriction on execution against property of public higher education institutions

   28.   Chancellor and staff

   29.   Statutes

   30.   Degrees and other academic awards

   31.   Examinations

   32.   Dissolution of Council of public higher education institution

   33.   Appeals from Council decision

   34.   Rights of Council in discoveries and consultancy

Division 2 - Senate

   35.   Senate

   36.   Functions of senate

PART VI
TRANSFORMATION, AMALGAMATION AND CLOSURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

   37.   Affiliation to public higher education institution

   38.   Constituent college of public higher education institution

   39.   Merger of public higher education institutions

   40.   Closure of public higher education institution

   41.   Closure of private higher education institution

PART VII
GENERAL PROVISIONS

   42.   Fees

   43.   Keeping of records

   44.   Annual levy

   45.   Public-private partnership

   46.   Appeals

   47.   Register of higher education institutions

   48.   Publication of higher education institutions

   49.   Offences and penalties

   50.   General penalty

   51.   Offences by body corporate or unincorporate body

   52.   Regulations

   53.   Repeal of Act No. 11 of 1999

      FIRST SCHEDULE

      SECOND SCHEDULE

      THIRD SCHEDULE

Act 4 of 2013.

AN ACT

to provide for the establishment of the Higher Education Authority and define its functions and powers; provide for quality assurance and quality promotion in higher education; provide for the establishment, governance and regulation of public higher education institutions; provide for the registration and regulation of private higher education institutions; repeal and replace the University Act, 1999; and provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

[22nd March, 2013]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Higher Education Act.This Act shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may, by statutory instrument, appoint.')">*

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“accreditation” means the evaluation and recognition of academic programmes to ensure that they meet the necessary quality requirements;

“aided higher education institution” means a college, other than a public college, established or maintained by any person, organisation or community with assistance from the Ministry;

“affiliated institution” means a college or higher education institution affiliated to a public higher education institution under section 37;

“Authority” means the Higher Education Authority established under section 4;

“Bursar” means a person appointed Bursar under paragraph 11 of the Third Schedule;

“Chancellor” means the person appointed Chancellor under paragraph 3 or 4 of the Third Schedule;

“constituent college” means a college or institution established or declared, by statutory order, as a constituent college or institution of a public higher education institution under section 38;

“Council” means the Council of a higher education institution established under section 24;

“course of study” means the structure for academic qualification and the subjects of study in the course;

“Dean” means the person appointed Dean under paragraph 24 of the Third Schedule;

“Dean of Students” means the person appointed Dean of Students under paragraph 12 of the Third Schedule;

“department” means a teaching or research unit of a higher education institution recognised as a component of a school;

“Deputy Vice-Chancellor” means the person appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor under paragraph 6 of the Third Schedule;

“Director” means the person appointed Director of an institute, bureau or similar body of a higher education institution under paragraph 24 of the Third Schedule;

“Director-General” means the person appointed as Director- General of the Authority under section 8;

“educational institution” has the meaning assigned to it in the Education Act, 2011;

“Framework” means the National Qualifications Framework provided for under the Zambia Qualifications Authority Act, 2011;

“higher education” means tertiary education leading to the qualification of a diploma, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree or Doctorate Degree;

“higher education institution” means an institution that provides higher education on a full-time, part-time or distance learning basis;

“institutional audit” means a quality assurance tool which involves evaluation of institutions, policies, systems, strategies and resources for quality management of the core functions of teaching, learning, research and public service using set audit criteria;

“learner” means a person who is enrolled and receiving knowledge, skill or competence at a higher education institution;

“learning programme” means a process by which learners acquire knowledge, skill and competence, or a course of study or instruction, apprenticeship, training and employment;

“Librarian” means the person appointed Librarian under paragraph 10 of the Third Schedule;

“lifelong learning” means lifelong activities undertaken by learners to continue their education, improve the acquired qualification or requalify;

“principal officer” means the Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Registrar, Bursar, Librarian or Dean of students;

“private higher education institution” means a higher education institution which is not established or maintained by the Government or a local authority out of public funds;

“proprietor” means the person or body responsible for the management of a private higher education institution;

“public funds” has the meaning assigned to it in the Public Finance Act, 2004;

“public higher education institution” means a higher education institution which is owned by the Government or a local authority and is financed out of public funds;

“qualification” means the formal recognition of a learner’s achievement of the required number and range of credits or other requirements at a specified level of the Framework;

“quality assurance” means providing tangible evidence to demonstrate compliance with standards of relevant education which are accepted and recognised by employers and other educational institutions nationally and internationally;

“quality promotion” means encouragement of the development and maintenance of quality standards in institutions of higher learning;

“Register” means the register of higher education institutions kept by the Authority under section 47;

“Registrar” means the person appointed Registrar under paragraph 9 of the Third Schedule;

“relative” in relation to a person means—

      (a)   a parent, son, daughter, brother, sister, niece, uncle, aunt, grandparent or cousin of that person or that person’s spouse; and

      (b)   a spouse of that person;

“repealed Act” means the University Act, 1999;

“school” means an academic unit of a public higher education institution in which teaching, learning, study and research are pursued;

“search committee” means a search committee constituted under paragraph 16 of the Third Schedule;

“Senate” means the Senate of a higher education institution constituted under section 35;

“Secretary” means the person appointed Secretary of the Authority under section 8;

“statutes” means the rules governing a higher education institution made under section 29;

“students’ affairs unit” means a students’ affairs unit established under paragraph 26 of the Third Schedule;

“students’ union” means an association of students established under paragraph 27 of the Third Schedule;

“Tribunal” means a Higher Education Institution Staff Tribunal established under paragraph 22 of the Third Schedule; and

“Vice-Chancellor” means the person appointed Vice-Chancellor under paragraph 5 of the Third Schedule.

3.   Application

This Act does not apply to colleges—

      (a)   registered under the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Act, 1998;

      (b)   colleges of education accredited under the Teaching Profession Act, 2013; or

      (c)   established by or under any written law.

PART II
THE HIGHER EDUCATION AUTHORITY

4.   Establishment of Authority

   (1) There is hereby established the Higher Education Authority which shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name and shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, have power to do all such acts as a body corporate may, by law, do or perform.

   (2) The provisions of the First Schedule apply to the Authority.

5.   Seal of Authority

   (1) The seal of the Authority shall be such device as may be determined by the Authority and shall be kept by the Director-General.

   (2) The affixing of the seal shall be authenticated by the Chairperson or the Vice-Chairperson and the Director-General or any other person authorised in that behalf by a resolution of the Board.

   (3) Any contract or instrument which, if entered into or executed by a person not being a body corporate, would not be required to be under seal, may be entered into or executed without seal on behalf of the Authority by the Director-General or any other person generally or specifically authorised by the Board in that behalf.

   (4) Any document purporting to be a document under the seal of the Authority or issued on behalf of the Authority shall be received in evidence and shall be executed or issued, as the case may be, without further proof, unless the contrary is proved.

6.   Functions of Authority

   (1) The functions of the Authority are to—

      (a)   advise the Minister on any aspect of higher education;

      (b)   develop and recommend policy on higher education, including the establishment of public higher education institutions and the registration of private higher education institutions;

      (c)   establish a coordinated higher education system which promotes corporate governance and provides for a programme based higher education;

      (d)   regulate higher education institutions and coordinate the development of higher education;

      (e)   promote quality assurance in higher education;

      (f)   audit the quality assurance mechanisms of higher education;

      (g)   restructure and transform higher education institutions and programmes to be responsive to the human resource, economic and development needs of the Republic;

      (h)   promote the access of students to higher education institutions;

      (i)   design and recommend an institutional quality assurance system for higher education institutions, and recommend to the Minister institutional quality assurance standards for—

      (i)   the establishment, standardisation and registration of higher education institutions, including standards of plant and equipment;

      (ii)   the preparation and amendment of statutes;

      (iii)   the development of curricula;

      (iv)   libraries, laboratories, workshops and other facilities; and

      (v)   student transfers between academic programmes among higher education institutions;

      (j)   advise the Minister on the funding arrangements for public higher education institutions;

      (k)   advise the Minister on staff development for higher education;

      (l)   promote equity in access to higher education through the provision of student assistance programmes;

      (m)   promote international cooperation and facilitate exchange through the provision of student assistance research and teaching; and

      (n)   do all such things as are necessary or conducive for the achievement of the purposes of this Act.

   (2) The Authority shall—

      (a)   publish, on a regular basis, information regarding developments in higher education; and

      (b)   cause to be published—

      (i)   an annual list of higher education institutions established or registered under this Act; and

      (ii)   an annual report on the state of higher education in Zambia.

   (3) The Authority may—

      (a)   determine and levy fees that the Authority considers necessary to finance its activities under this Act; and

      (b)   determine what portion of any fee is payable in respect of any part of a year and the date on which the fee or portion thereof is payable.

7.   Board of Authority

   (1) There is hereby constituted a Board of the Authority which shall consist of the following part-time members appointed by the Minister—

      (a)   one representative each from the Ministries responsible for—

      (i)   education;

      (ii)   vocational and entrepreneurship training; and

      (iii)   labour;

      (b)   a representative of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education;

      (c)   a representative of the Attorney-General;

      (d)   a representative of the Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry;

      (e)   a representative of the Examinations Council of Zambia;

      (f)   a representative of the Zambia Institute of Human Resource Management;

      (g)   a representative of a civil society organisation working in the education sector; and

      (h)   two other persons with expertise in matters relating to higher education.

   (2) The Minister may give to the Board general or specific directives which are consistent with the provisions of this Act and the Board shall implement the directives.

   (3) A person shall not be appointed as a member of the Board if that person—

      (a)   has been adjudged bankrupt;

      (b)   has a mental disability that would make the person incapable of performing the functions of a member; or

      (c)   is convicted of an offence under this Act or any written law and is sentenced to imprisonment for a period exceeding six months without the option of a fine.

   (4) The Minister shall appoint the Chairperson of the Board from among the members of the Board.

   (5) The members shall elect the Vice-Chairperson of the Board from amongst themselves.

   (6) A member shall, subject to the other provisions of this section, hold office for a term of three years and may be reappointed for one further term of three years.

   (7) A member may resign upon giving one month’s notice, in writing, to the Minister.

   (8) The office of a member becomes vacant—

      (a)   if the member is absent, without reasonable excuse, from three consecutive meetings of the Board of which the member had notice;

      (b)   if the member is adjudged bankrupt;

      (c)   if the member is convicted of an offence under this Act or any other written law and is sentenced to imprisonment for a period exceeding six months without the option of a fine;

      (d)   if the member is convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty;

      (e)   if the member has a mental disability that makes the member incapable of performing the functions of a member; or

      (f)   upon the member’s death.

   (9) The provisions of the First Schedule apply to the Board.

8.   Director-General, Secretary and other staff

   (1) The Board shall, with the approval of the Minister, appoint a Director-General on such terms and conditions as it may determine.

   (2) The Director-General shall be the chief executive officer of the Authority and shall be responsible, under the direction of the Board, for the day-to-day administration of the Authority.

   (3) The Board may appoint, on such terms and conditions as it may determine, the secretary and such other staff as it considers necessary for the performance of the Authority’s functions under this Act.

9.   Management of property

   (1) All the funds, assets and property, movable and immovable, of the Authority shall be managed and utilised by the Authority in accordance with this Act and in such manner and for such purposes as shall promote the best interest of the Authority.

   (2) The Authority may, after the approval of the Minister and subject to such condition, if any, as the Minister may impose, charge or dispose of the immovable property of the Authority.

10.   Inspectorate unit

   (1) The Authority shall, for purposes of ensuring compliance with the provisions of this Act, establish an inspectorate unit of the Authority.

   (2) The Authority shall appoint suitably qualified persons as inspectors for purposes of this Act.

   (3) The Authority shall provide an inspector with a certificate of appointment which shall be prima facie evidence of the inspector’s appointment as such.

   (4) An inspector shall, in performing any function under this Act—

      (a)   be in possession of the certificate of appointment referred to in subsection (3); and

      (b)   show the certificate of appointment to any person who requests to see the certificate or is subject to an investigation for purposes of this Act.

   (5) An inspector may, for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this Act, at any reasonable time, without prior notice, and on the authority of a warrant, enter any premises of a higher education institution that the inspector has reasonable grounds to believe is used by any person for the commission of an offence or contrary to the provisions of this Act, and—

      (a)   search the premises;

      (b)   search any person on the premises if the inspector has reasonable grounds to believe that the person has possession of an article, document or record that has a bearing on an inspection or investigation except that a person shall only be searched by a person of the same sex;

      (c)   take extracts from, or make copies of any book, document or record that is on the premises and that has a bearing on an inspection or investigation;

      (d)   demand the production of, and inspect, relevant certificates; and

      (e)   make such inquiries as may be necessary to ascertain whether the provisions of this Act or any other law on which an inspection or investigation is based have been complied with.

   (6) A person who—

      (a)   delays or obstructs an inspector in the performance of the inspector’s functions under this Act;

      (b)   refuses to give an inspector such reasonable assistance as the inspector may require for the purpose of exercising the inspector’s functions;

      (c)   impersonates an inspector or presents oneself to be an inspector; or

      (d)   gives an inspector false or misleading information in answer to an inquiry made by the inspector;

commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding three hundred thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both.

   (7) An inspector shall furnish the Authority with a written report and any other information relating to an inspection.

PART III
HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM

11.   Types of higher education institutions

   (1) Higher education institutions shall consist of the following—

      (a)   universities; and

      (b)   colleges.

   (2) Higher education institutions may be public or private.

12.   Functions of higher education institutions

   (1) The functions of a higher education institution are to—

      (a)   provide higher education;

      (b)   create conditions for learners to acquire qualifications and pursue excellence and promote the full realisation of the potential of learners;

      (c)   create conditions for lifelong learning;

      (d)   prepare learners and academics and strengthen the effect of academic learning and scientific research so as to enhance social and economic development;

      (e)   conduct research necessary and responsive to national needs;

      (f)   provide facilities appropriate for the pursuit of learning and research and for the acquisition of higher education that is responsive to the needs of the public;

      (g)   prepare specialist, expert, research and managerial cadres to carry out intellectual and creative work to meet national needs;

      (h)   provide optimal opportunities for learning and the creation of knowledge; and

      (i)   contribute to the advancement of all forms of knowledge and scholarship in keeping with international standards of academic quality.

   (2) A higher education institution shall submit data on the enrolment, records of achievements and award of learners to the Authority at such intervals and in such manner as the Authority may determine.

   (3) A higher education institution may—

      (a)   establish its own procedure of learning programmes;

      (b)   formulate programmes conforming to the guidelines for a subject area;

      (c)   publish academic and other literature;

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