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Apr 23

VICE CHANCELLOR’S SPEECH TO RETURNING STUDENTS

The Registrar, Bursar and Acting Librarian;

Deans and Directors;

Fellow Academic, Administration and Support Staff;

Students,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with real delight that I welcome our returning students to this residential school. Unlike the residential school that was held in January, and which was disrupted by the cholera epidemic, we are glad that this session is taking place at a more conducive time. We expect to hold a full session at the Evelyn Hone College.

Dear students, residential school is an opportunity for you to interact with your Lecturers and receive instructions that will assist you with your programmes. I therefore urge you to take full advantage of the time that you will be here. You will find the academic and support staff to be pleasant and supportive. Please feel at home and do not hesitate to ask questions whenever you need information, or for help whenever you need assistance.   As far as your university career goes, if you will apply yourself to your studies, conscientiously, I have no doubt that you will succeed in this endeavor. This is our desire too – that you succeed in completing your studies within the regular time. As I welcome you this morning, let me again remind you that ODL mode of study calls for serious discipline if you are to succeed in your academic career here at ZAOU. You have to dedicate yourself to constant and continuous interaction with your study material, as well as with your lecturers.

The Zambian Open University continues to be a leading and highly recognized private institution in the country and the region. As you may have heard in the news last week, ZIALE announced that ZAOU Law School graduates recorded the highest pass rate at the last examinations there. This is a culmination of the quality of our programmes, the quality of our academic staff, and the spirit of hard-work which is inculcated into our students. We shall continue to strive to ensure that all our programmes rank highly among all universities in Zambia and the region. The Zambian Open University is particularly interested to ensure that the education offered by ZAOU is relevant to the workplace and national development.

In order to improve service delivery, ZAOU was forced to increase fees last year. This was the first increment since 2013, and could not be avoided as the cost of goods and services were rising rapidly. My appeal to you is to continue to appreciate that ZAOU fees are still among the lowest, even when the quality and recognition of our education is much higher.

Another change that was introduced this year was the requirement to access and submit assignments using the Moodle platform. The University observed that record keeping in terms of student registration, examinations and transcripts was becoming very tedious and sometimes unreliable. The Moodle platform will assist all of us to easily trace assignments and to eliminate that “IN” grade that has worried most of you. I am aware that there have been concerns with this change, and we are taking every step necessary to address those. While we have talked about being a very good institution, “excellence without transformation is not sustainable.”

Dear students, ladies and gentlemen, in as much as I have highlighted the seriousness of university, let me also hasten to say that your university life is an experience to be enjoyed. Have fun as you are exposed to new and exciting thoughts and ideas. Enjoy your interaction and relationships with fellow students. Cherish the linkages you will develop with lecturers. This is a good time of your lives.

Once again, I welcome you to the Zambian Open University and wish you all success in your career here.

It is my privilege to now declare the 2018 Residential School for returning students officially open. Thank you.

May God bless our nation Zambia; God bless ZAOU; God bless us all.

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