Terms of Reference to Conduct Research on the Status of Academic Freedoms in Institutions of Higher Learning in Zambia

  • Consultancy
  • Zambia
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To Conduct Research on the Status of Academic Freedoms in Institutions of Higher Learning In Zambia


Zambia National Educational Coalition (ZANEC) is an umbrella body for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that include Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), Teacher Trade Unions (TTUs) and Students Unions. ZANEC envisages a quality national education system that is accessible, relevant and equitable for human development in Zambia. As a result, the mission of ZANEC is to campaign and advocate for the quality and equitable education through attainment of national education aspirations and  international  Sustainable Development Goal number four through education policy engagement with the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ), Cooperating Partners (CPs), communities and other stakeholders.

One of the ways used by the Coalition to ensure that duty bearers reinforce their commitments towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals is to spearhead the active participation of various stakeholders in policy engagement in the education sector. Among others, the Coalition strongly believes that student unions can play a major role in contributing their voice towards the national and international education agenda. However, for student unions to contribute effectively towards the education discourse, there should be clear regulations and statutes that guarantee their academic freedoms. It is because of this that ZANEC, with support from the Norwegian Students and Academics International Assistance Fund (SAIH), would like to conduct a follow-up study on the status of academic freedoms in Institutions of Higher Learning in Zambia.  This study will build on the earlier study conducted in 2015.


In 2015, ZANEC conducted the first-ever research on Academic Freedoms in Zambia. The study findings generated a lot of discussions and created sufficient evidence for ZANEC to influence the movement towards academic freedoms among students in the country’s institutions of higher learning. The study also provided recommendations for government and tertiary institutions to institutionalize academic freedoms. ZANEC also produced a Code of Conduct which it lobbied institutions of higher learning to adopt.

As a follow-up to this study, ZANEC would like to conduct another study to generate current information on the status of academic freedoms in institutions of higher learning and the extent to which recommendations and follow-up advocacy has been influenced.

ZANEC will therefore engage the services of a consultant for 15 working days for this purpose.


The following are the specific objectives of this study: –

  1. To document the current status of academic freedoms in Zambian Institutions of Higher Learning.
  2. Document the progress made by Higher Learning institutions in achieving academic freedom since the last research was conducted and their contributions towards the promotion of education for all in Zambia.
  3. To outline the common challenges facing students in Institutions of Higher Learning pertaining to the enjoyment of their academic freedoms in Zambia.
  4. Make practical recommendations on what needs to be done to improve academic freedoms in Institutions of Higher Learning in Zambia.


The Consultant will therefore be expected to undertake the following tasks among others.

  1. Submit an inception report outlining the title of the study, the objectives and the research methodology.
  2. Develop questionnaires for collecting primary data on key aspects relating to academic freedoms in Zambia.
  3. Review existing literature relating to academic freedoms in Zambia.
  4. Conduct interviews with relevant participants on the status of Academic freedom in Zambia.
  5. Draft the research report detailing the key findings, conclusions and recommendations.
  6. Present the research findings at an engagement meeting to be organized By ZANEC.


  • An Inception report with a clear timeline
  • A final report detailing the findings, conclusions and recommendations regarding the status of academic freedoms in Zambia.
  • Two-page policy brief on the research findings
  • Presentation of research findings at ZANEC-organized meetings.


  • Must at least possess a Master’s Degree with a bias in education, demography, statistics or equivalent
  • At least 7 years post-qualification experience in conducting research
  • Proven experience in designing and implementing qualitative research studies for reputable organizations
  • Strong analytical, writing and communication skills
  • Ability to devote full time to the assignment and meet deadlines
  • Evidence of past successful work in a similar assignment will be added advantage

All expressions of interest with a detailed budget for the research must be submitted through email to the address below by 17:00hrs on Friday 3rd March 2023.

The Executive Director,

Zambia National Education Coalition,

Baptist Fellowship Building,

Plot 3061/2 Corner Makishi Road and Great East Road,

P.O. Box 30774,


Email: [email protected]

CC: [email protected]

CC: [email protected]

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