Over half of the Zambian population is filled with young people, the majority of these people yearn to go to University after they complete their secondary school education and not just any University but the highest learning institution of Zambia, The University of Zambia (UNZA).
UNZA being the biggest and highest learning institution in Zambia, enrolls a lot of students who are eligible and wish to pursue different programs at the institution regardless of sex, age, race, beliefs among other things.
From the time the institution was established in 1966 with a total number of 312 students, it now has over 30,000 students including parallel and distance programmes.
In recent years the University has encouraged women to enroll in the University and it has put up some policies to encourage them enroll more especially in schools of natural science, mining and engineering as the schools lack female representations.
For the past three years, UNZA has consistently been increasing the number of enrolled students especially the number of female student every academic year. In 2015/2016 intake it enrolled a total number of 4,605 students whereas 1,962 female students and 2,643 male students.
In the 2016/2017 intake the institution enrolled 2,053 female students and 3,043 male students which led to a total of 5,096 students. And in the 2017/2018 intake, 5,351 students were enrolled and 2,310 were females and 3,041 males. It continues to minimize the margin between males and females.
- Statistics showing the enrollment of students for the 2015/2016, 2016/2017 and 2017/2018:
UNZA public relations officer Mr. Damaseke Chibale said the institution has a deliberate policy of admitting 30 percent of female applicants while 70 percent is completed for both females and males as such females should strive to study in schools such as mining, veterinary medicines and available sciences.
Meanwhile Mabanga Mwanza a third year Business Administration student complained about the institution’s failure to consider where the students they enroll will be accommodated since they increase the number of students admitted every year, and also how inadequate the lecture theatres are.
“UNZA management should be applauded for putting up such policies to encourage and create more access for us female students, however, the institution should consider accommodation for both male and female especially those from far places,” She said.
On the other hand the UNZA vice chancellor, Prof Luke Mumba said we have witnessed applicants with 5 to 6 points- both female and male applicants. This situation has compelled the University senate to set higher admission points in order to admit a limited number of students that its infrastructure for teaching and learning can accommodate.
This is evident to that the University is trying hard to enroll more female students to reach the same ratio as male students in enrolled.
Prof. Luke Mumba- University of Zambia Vice Chancellor
Mabanga Mwanza – third year Buisness Administration Student
Damasake Chibale – Public Relations UNZA
Writer – Chanda Chanda
Editor – Chishimba Bwalya
Sources – Peter Mwanza and James Sakala and Chinyemba Kamweho
Layout – Chipema Chinyama
Photography – Chipema Chinyama