Main Article Content

Zambian Higher Education and Induction of Early Career Academics: Current Status and Way Forward

Gift Masaiti
Mwansa Mukalula-Kalumbi
Kapambwe Mwelwa


Like many other higher education systems globally, Zambia’s higher education terrain is grappling with the new complex situation of increased private higher education providers and the quality of faculty. While questions related to internationalisation and quality assurance are being discussed, very little attention is being paid to the induction process of emerging academics in both public and private providers of higher education. Higher education has experienced huge changes regarding working conditions premised on regular scrutiny of individual research and quality of teaching, and, more importantly, individual academic performance. These changes have come at a time when Zambia has seen a plethora of universities with Early Career Academics (ECAs) becoming part of higher education as they are potentially seen as an inevitable investment. In 2015, the Zambian Higher Education Authority (HEA) was established under the Higher Education Act of 2013 to ensure quality education in Zambian Higher Education, with ECAs expected to play a huge role in driving this ever-growing sector. It is, therefore, imperative that these ECAs are inducted into the academic profession adequately, as different renowned scholars have attested that the significance of experiences of ECAs in the first five years of employment determinately shape their future academic success. There are now emerging issues related to the ‘massification’ of higher education amid limited facilities and resources and declining numbers of senior academics. It appears that seasoned, experienced, and competent academics are not only increasingly scarce but are either retiring or getting other portfolios away from academics. Against this background, this research paper illuminates the status of ECAs induction (impacting teaching, research, and publication skills) in Zambian universities with a focus on policies, procedures, and prospects. It further examines what facilities and provisions exist for the induction and, more importantly, what Higher Education Institutions are putting in place for the growth and sustainability of the Academic Profession.