By OLIVER SAMBOKO
THE University of Lusaka is committed to working with the government to synergize opportunities to upscale development, says its vice chancellor, Prof Pinalo Chifwanakeni.
He said the country should develop new technologies and take advantage of social media to synergize opportunities to upscale development.
The vice chancellor was speaking during the recently held 11th graduation ceremony at the Silverest campus in Chongwe under the theme “Upscaling Development by Synergizing Opportunities”
Prof Chifwanakeni said Unilus will be the first private university in the country to build a teaching hospital fitted with modern specialist medical equipment which will not only provide hands on technologically oriented research and training for the medical and nursing students but more importantly, add value by supplementing the provision of quality healthcare to the community.
He said once operational, Unilus will work at accrediting the hospital to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIMA adding that this will bring health insurance closer to the community and significantly reduce the cost of accessing primary health care.
He said UNILUS will continue offering quality education and that in the 15 years the university has been in existence, the university has contributed to the provision of quality education in Zambia, the SADC region and beyond.
“In the past 15 years, Unilus has tangibly up scaled development in the higher education sub-sector to a world class standard which other institutions can emulate,” he said.
Prof Chifwanakeni appealed to government to consider reviewing and streamlining the higher education regulatory framework which is currently characterized by overlapping and duplicated roles of various regulators.
He said there is need for the regulatory framework of higher education to play a critical role in creating an enabling environment to promote creativity and innovation required to synergize opportunities which foster development, whilst maintaining standards for quality education.
He said there is need to take advantage of public private dialogue forum, which was launched by President Hakainde Hichilema on April 27, which seeks to strengthen private sector engagement in Zambia’s economic development.
He challenged 888 graduands to use the knowledge they acquired from the University to better the country and those who are already in employment, not to demand a promotion from employers because they have a qualification but to earn it through dedication, hard work and the application of the knowledge.
Prof Chifwanakeni equally challenged those that will be entering the job market, to always remember that in whatever they do, they should do it exceptionally well.
“Let your work output prove your competence and differentiate yourselves from the masses by being problem solvers and opportunity takers. Do not be in a hurry to build your own brand, or live a lifestyle to impress others,” he said.
The ceremony was attended by Education Minister Douglas Syakalima, the chancellor of the University of Lusaka, Dr Caleb Fundanga, members of the university council, representative from the Zambia army commander and Zambia Airforce commander.