Cost sharing in Zambia’s public universities: Prospects and challenges

Gift Masaiti , Hong Shen

APA 6th edition
Masaiti, G., & Shen, H. (2013). Cost sharing in Zambia’s public universities: Prospects and challenges. European Journal of Educational Research, 2(1), 1-16. doi:10.12973/eu-jer.2.1.1

Masaiti G., and Shen H. 2013 'Cost sharing in Zambia’s public universities: Prospects and challenges', European Journal of Educational Research , vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 1-16. Available from:

Chicago 16th edition
Masaiti, Gift and Shen, Hong . "Cost sharing in Zambia’s public universities: Prospects and challenges". (2013)European Journal of Educational Research 2, no. 1(2013): 1-16. doi:10.12973/eu-jer.2.1.1


This research paper explores the concept of ‘cost sharing’ which became more prominent in Zambia education with the advent of democratic form of governance in 1991. As a way of responding to the ever diminishing tax revenues, government through the education policy of 1996, allowed higher education institutions including public universities to introduce cost sharing as way of improving financial vibrancy, accountability and cost effectiveness. This paper therefore, uses students’ perceptions to examine the cost sharing policy which has now been existence for almost two decades. More specifically, it explores underlying factors which can make cost sharing more effective and sustainable. In exploring these prospects and challenges, a self administered questionnaire based on convenient sampling was used to collect data from 729 respondents in Zambia’s three biggest public universities. The findings revealed that the current cost sharing policy was appropriate but lacked the government support in its implementation. The study further highlighted the need for re-engineering the current policy by providing details on the implementation process. The study highly recommends that a true cost-sharing model be implemented in an effort towards making public universities more effective and sustainable.

Keywords: Cost sharing, public universities, prospects, challenges, Zambia