Self-financing of public universities in Developing Countries: a case of the University of Zambia
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This study was conducted in order to assess self-financing of Public Universities in Developing Countries, with a special focus on the University of Zambia (UNZA). The main purpose of the study was to explore the potential for self-financing and future prospects of UNZA. This was done by investigating whether financial and management policies were in place in pursuit of UNZA's mission of reducing financial dependency on government; find out how the internally generated funds were utilised, and also investigating challenges faced by UNZA in transforming into a self-financed institution. The report used the neo-liberal and resource dependence theories to show the reasoned set of interrelated ideas derived from prominent scholars. The study employed a mixed embedded method, using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Further, a study sample of 140 respondents was used. For the qualitative method, constracted interviews with principal officers, middle management and Deans of Schools. Interviews were also conducted to collect data from two officers at the Ministry of Education as key stakeholders of UNZA. In addition, a questionnaire was administered to a randomly selected sample comprising lecturers from all schools of the University for quantitative method. Qualitative data was analysed according to emerging themes where quantitative data was analysed using SPSS and excel. The findings suggested that although UNZA had the potential to become a self-financed institution, it faced certain challenges that were considered to be a hindrance to the transformation process. Some of the hindrances included, UNZA being a public institution, predominately depended on government funding, failure to invest sustainably in short, medium to long-term projects, failure to capitalise on potential and existing business units, failure to revise financial and management policies; and other challenges as will be read in this report. It is recommended that UNZA should revise its financial and management policies to accommodate entrepreneurial measures for enhancement of income generating activities, plan rigorously and invest, in short, medium to long-term projects that would earn a sustainable income for the University.