University of Zambia Vice Chancellor Professor Luke Mumba has revealed that 665 students were barred from writing final exams because they were not registered.

And Prof Mumba says UNZA disqualified 12 students for examination malpractices such as carrying mobile phones in the examination rooms.

Meanwhile, Prof Mumba has disclosed that UNZA raised K1.2 million for infrastructure development from its alumni.

At a press briefing, Wednesday, Prof Mumba said the said students had, however, been given an option of withdrawing from the institution so that they could return next academic year when they have money.

“A good number of students have been facing challenges with finances and this impacted negatively on their ability to register as students and subsequently write their exams. I must report that there has been an improvement in our collection of school fees hence out of 14,356 students who sat for examinations, only 665 students had not paid their fees, these are the students who failed to raise 37.5% to register as students and they did not write the final examinations,” Prof Mumba said.

“But as a listening management, we have said we are going to do something which is not normal in University operations, we are going to allow you to withdraw and come back next year when you have money to register. Normally, you need to be a registered student to withdraw, but we bent our policies to accommodate these very needy students.”

He said going forward, admission to the University would only be confirmed after one proved they had the means to pay tuition fees.

“Over 5,794 applicants have been accepted to enroll at the University as first years. School leavers are 5,416, direct entrants are 378. These incoming students have been given provisional acceptance letters, pending proof of the ability to pay tuition fees. This approach is introduced in order to avoid the perennial problem the university has been facing of admitting students who cannot pay tuition fees for various reasons. This means that admission will only be confirmed upon providing a a letter of sponsorship or upon paying fees. So the adminssion letter is not an assurance that you have a place at UNZA until you meet those obligations of paying fees,” Prof Mumba said.

And Prof Mumba said the university disqualified 12 students for examination malpractices such as carrying mobile phones in the examination rooms.

Prof Mumba disclosed that the University has so far installed 300 bunker beds in student hostels to cushion the accommodation crisis.

“You may wish to know that out of the 24,000 students that the University has, 18,000 students are full time and ideally requires 18,000 bed spaces. However, currently our capacity can only accommodate 3,670 students out of the 18, 000. As a result of this, UNZA embarked on a project to produce 1,674 bunk beds at the cost K5 million. So far, 300 bunk beds have been installed in rooms to accommodate 600 students. The introduction of 1,674 bunk beds will increase our capacity to accommodate 7,018 from the current 3,670,” Professor Mumba said.

Meanwhile, Prof Mumba disclosed that UNZA raised K1.2 million for infrastructure development from its alumni.

He also announced three resource mobilization campaigns towards infrastructure development at the institution.

“The first one is the K100 project campaign which is aimed at raising funds for the construction of the multi-purpose teaching and learning centre. Through this campaign, the alumni fund has generated K1.2 million in 2018. Government through president Edgar Lungu pledged K90 million towards this fund which will be disburded to the university in 2019. The second campaign is the ‘Buy a brick campaign’ which we want to use to raise money to construct a wall fence for the University.You can make K3.50, we are appealing to all nationals to make this contribution. The third campaign is ‘Adopt a hostel campaign’ which will be a holistic and sustainable measure to deal with the state of students hostels, especially in water and sanitation. This will make it easy for the University to attract foreign students,” Professor Mumba said.

He announced that UNZA had registered a company to generate income for the institution.

“We have registered a company of the University of Zambia called ‘The University of Zambia Investment Holdings’. This entity will begin its operations in 2019. This entity will be used to conduct all commercial activities of the University, purely on business lines. With regards to recapitalization of our own operations, I am delighted to announce that we have now installed an ultra modern industrial printing machine at UNZA Press, the first of its kind in this country. This printer has been procured at a total cost of 770,000 Euros, approximately $875,000 or K10.5 million. This machine will be commissioned in January in 2019. Members of the public and the business community are encouraged to give us printing business as we now have the capacity to print at any level according to customer specification,” said Prof Mumba.