University of Zambia has this academic year enrolled a record figure of 6,526 distance students out of which 3,500 students are expected to attend the Lusaka residential session. This was disclosed by Vice-Chancellor Prof. Stephen Simukanga when he addressed distance students on 27th December at the Great East Road Campus.

He said the Institute of Distance Education had embarked on the expansion programme that would lead to the increase in the number of courses as well as student enrolment figures, infrastructure development and installation of ICT equipment, and recruitment of additional staff. Prof Simukanga also disclosed that the Institute was offering a total of nine (9) degree programmes and three (3) diploma programmes.

Some new developments are that the Institute of Distance Education owns a property at plot number 122 on Mwambula Road in Jesmondine with installation of ICT equipment currently taking place. This will facilitate use of different methods of delivering instructional materials such as DVDs, CDs and audio tapes containing supplementary study materials. The institute has also initiated the process of gradually employing its own academic members of staff instead of wholly depending on the services of lecturers from other units.

Prof Simukanga also disclosed that the university was able to offer third and fourth year level courses in most of the study areas, making it possible for students to complete their studies exclusively by the distance learning mode.