SARUA’s aim is thus to strengthen the leadership and institutions of higher education in the southern African region
ESTABLISHED IN January 2008, Mulungushi University is still more a brave idea than a fully operational higher education institution. Starting with just 1 000 students in 2008, the projections are that enrolments will reach 10 000 by 2018.
The brave idea upon which this brand new university is to be built is a combination of income generating activities and private/public partnerships. Already, partnerships exist between the university and the Konkola Copper Mines operating in the Zambian copperbelt, and the university and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.
Some of the income generating innovations already on the drawing board include promoting Mulungushi Rock as a tourist attraction; investing in the stock exchange; and establishing a commercial radio station. The university is also looking at opportunities for private sector participation: such as renting student accommodation, providing cafeteria and transport services, opening on-campus bookshops and other commercial ventures. In the excitement of income generation and commercially viable partnerships, the core business of a university is not being ignored.
Two campuses are in the process of being developed. One, known as Town Campus, is rising on the site of the Zambia Railways Training School in the heart of Kabwe some 140 km north of Lusaka. The other, the main campus, is being built on a lavish site on the banks of the Mulungushi River 26 km north of Kabwe.
The academic structure of the university will be as follows. There will be three main schools: Business Studies, Social Sciences, and Agricultural Development Studies. Then three centres will increase the academic reach: the Centre for Labour Studies, the Centre of ICT education, and a Disaster Management Training Centre. In addition, an Institute of Distance Learning will promote that mode of academic delivery, while a Directorate of Research and Postgraduate Studies will co-ordinate these essential academic activities.